Friday, September 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm.

What does the new Kindle Fire say about Amazon’s future smartphone?

The most intriguing idea I had, in addition to stuff like ad-supported subsidies, etc.: Could Amazon try to act as a middleman between its users and carriers, offering much cheaper 4G service? That’s what it’s doing with the Kindle Fire’s LTE data plan — the first $50 pack, at least.

Imagine, for instance, an Amazon phone with no monthly voice-plan requirement, fair pricing on data plans and unlimited text messaging. It could conceivably cost half what an iPhone does per month, running on the same AT&T LTE network.

Yes, it’s risky. The carriers have tremendous control over the U.S. wireless industry, especially around device sales and distribution. Google learned this the hard way with the first Nexus One. But who’s got bigger balls than Jeff Bezos?