Over the years, there has been a steady stream of speculation about an Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) smartphone, known casually as the "Kindle Phone." The latest comes from the Financial Times, which says that Amazon is partnering with smartphone maker HTC to potentially launch a device as soon as next year. Amazon previously shot down rumors that it would launch a phone this year, but implicitly left the possibility of a future launch.

HTC has a long history of partnering with other companies, dating back to its history as a white-label ODM. HTC collaborated with Facebook to launch Facebook Home, which was pre-installed on the HTC First. The vendor was also the first to make a Windows Mobile device, the predecessor to current Windows Phones. Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is currently HTC's main flame, as Android powers the vast majority of its current lineup.

The possible tie-up could make sense for both companies. One of HTC's biggest strengths is in product design, and its biggest weakness is easily marketing. HTC has tried numerous times to launch fresh marketing campaigns, and it's fallen flat every single time. Amazon could take a page out of Google's Nexus playbook, partnering with OEMs to design and manufacture phones.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses the possibility of an Amazon smartphone with Evan Niu, CFA.

Erin Kennedy and Evan Niu, CFA, have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Amazon.com, Facebook, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.