This would make Amazon the latest entrant in a flooded market that saw nearly 400 million smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012, according to a report by IDC. The top selling phones in the period were Android-based smartphones from Samsung and Apple’s iPhone.

Amazon, which had enormous success in the low-end tablet market with its Kindle Fire, is acquiring wireless patents to protect itself from infringement allegations, like those earlier raised by Apple.

The company has also hired Matt Gordon, who earlier served as senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management, as general manager for patent acquisitions and investments.

Amazon is also said to be preparing for the release of a second-generation Kindle Fire by the end of this year, which is expected to rival Apple’s popular iPad and the Android-powered tablet Nexus 7, unveiled by Google last month at Google I/O conference.

This is not the first time that suggestions are made about Amazon’s intentions of selling its own smartphone. A rumour surfaced in November 2011, when Citigroup’s research department, predicted that Amazon would launch its own smartphone in the fourth quarter 2012, basing on its supply chain checks in Asia.