Amazon is set to launch its own smartphone which could debut next year.

Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney said that “supply chain channel checks” by the group in Asia suggested that the online giant is developing a handset with Foxconn, the manufacturer behind Apple’s iPhone.  The phone could launch as early as the fourth quarter of 2012.

Amazon entered the hardware market in 2007 with the launch of its Kindle ereader. It now controls 75% of the e-book market.

A phone launch could shake-up the smartphone market.

Citigroup said: “For a normal brand like HTC, they need to price the product at $243 to make 30% gross margin. If Amazon is actually willing to lose some money on the device, the price gap could be even bigger.”