After Fire flop, Amazon returns with special edition phones

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
(Amazon via AP)

NEW YORK -- Amazon is back in the phone business - sort of.

After its own Fire phone flopped, Amazon is selling special editions of other manufacturers' phones at a $50 discount. They'll come with ads on the lock screen and about 10 Amazon apps on the home screen. Inc. is touting the discount as a benefit of its $100-a-year Prime loyalty program. Membership is required, and Amazon figures that those customers will appreciate having single sign-on access to Amazon's various apps.

The new phones are the Moto G from Motorola and the R1 HD from Blu. They will run a standard version of Google's Android system, rather than Amazon's highly modified version, called Fire OS, which Fire used.

Orders begin Wednesday, and the phones start shipping July 12.