Amazon has denied reports that it was preparing to launch a new smartphone that would be free to customers.

The idea of a free Amazon phone — possibly tied to your Amazon Prime account — tantalized observers last week. It suggested that Amazon had the potential to disrupt the smartphone market with a mobile-first e-commerce play.

But today, former WSJ reporters Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin walked back their earlier report after having a conversation with a spokesperson for the company:

A spokesman for Amazon.com Inc. said Sunday the online retail giant won’t launch a smartphone this year, and that if it did launch one in the future, it “would not be free.”

The pair also note that the official denial covers phones of any kind, not just free ones.

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