Report: O2 UK close to agreeing exclusive Amazon Fire deal

O2 is on the brink of agreeing a deal to become the exclusive seller of Amazon's Fire smartphone in the UK, while separately signalling its intention to sell Motorola's Moto 360 smart watch by opening a registration page for the device.

The UK mobile arm of Spanish incumbent Telefónica is in advanced talks with Amazon regarding an exclusive deal for the Fire--the U.S. online retailer's first smartphone. The deal between the companies could be announced this week, after Amazon decided during the summer to talk exclusively O2 following initial discussions with rival operators, the Financial Times reported.

One of those operators is likely to have been Vodafone, which holds an exclusive deal to sell Amazon's Kindle e-reader and tablets.

If accurate, the reports suggest O2 and Amazon are gearing up to debut the Fire in time for the important Christmas selling period. However, the FT noted that some telecom company executives have doubts over how popular the Amazon device will be.

Initial reviews of the Fire also showed scepticism about the device's chances of success. Amazon launched the unit in the U.S. through an exclusive deal with AT&T, but reports state that sales so far have been slow, the FT noted.

A raft of new smartphone announcements from companies including Samsung, Huawei and Sony at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, and Apple's expected launch of its latest iPhone on Sept. 9, mean the Fire will face even tougher competition in the run up to Dec. 25.

O2 separately revealed it will sell Motorola's new Moto 360 smart watch, which is among the first in a new wave of connected watches to feature a circular face instead of a square. The operator has opened a registration page for customers who are interested in buying the device, which runs the Android Wear operating system and offers features including maps, phone notifications and fitness functions.

The UK operator has yet to reveal pricing or availability for the Moto 360, however, telling customers that they will receive those details when announced via the registration page.

For more:
- see this FT report [subscription required]
- view O2's Moto 360 announcement

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