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If true, the new Amazon cell phone would greatly benefit AT&T by bringing it new customers at a time of fierce competition amongst mobile carriers. Since AT&T already provides wireless service to Amazon's Kindle tablets and e-readers, the partnership isn't too far fetched. For consumers, however, an AT&T exclusive means potentially being locked down to one carrier, much like Apple initially required its customers to sign up with AT&T for the iPhone.
But Amazon may have another trick up its sleeve. Rumors indicate Amazon may pay for part of its customers' data bill by using a hybrid of AT&T's Sponsored Data program. The program, which was launched at the start of the year, lets companies foot the bill for data traffic used by specific apps and services on customers' devices, explains BGR.
This means whenever someone with an Amazon smartphone consumes data via an Amazon app, such as Instant Video or its recently announced Prime Music app, Bezos will foot the bill, and not the consumer. In other words, that data usage won't count against monthly data caps. Consumers would only be responsible for data usage spent on other, non-Amazon apps and sites.
Some net neutrality groups have spoken out against this scenario saying carriers shouldn't be in control of what its customers do on the Internet. What do you think? Would this type of plan bother you or would you gladly buy an Amazon phone knowing that Bezos will partially pay for your data usage?