Amazon launches “GameCircle,” plans possible 4 or 5 inch smart phone

Amazon announced its getting serious about mobile gaming today with the launch of GameCircle, which will allow gamers using Kindle Fire and Amazon services on the computer to track high game scores, invite others to play and track achievements.

Another feature of GameCircle will be “Sync,” which will automatically save a players’ in-game progress to the Amazon cloud hard drive in the sky. So users can pick up Doodle Jump exactly where they left off when switching devices or even restoring a deleted game.

“We are thrilled to be part of Amazon’s GameCircle with Temple Run,” said Keith Shepherd, Co-founder of Imangi Studios. “The new service is a great way to keep our fans engaged by offering them more opportunities to play the game, and an intuitive platform to connect with new players.”

“Sync is a wonderful addition to Triple Town,” said David J Edery, CEO of Spry Fox. “It guarantees that Kindle Fire users will not lose their active game or their hard-earned coins if they replace their Fire, or if they must uninstall and reinstall Triple Town for whatever reason. It also enables multiple-device owners to transfer their game from one device to another—something we think gamers will love.”

Here’s official info from Amazon:

GameCircle will make achievements, leaderboards and sync APIs accessible, simple and quick for you to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience. To sign up for access, go to http://amazon.com/gamecircle-signup.

GameCircle achievements allow players to track all earned trophies, treasures, badges, awards, and more without leaving the gaming experience. Players can receive in-game messages to keep track of accolades earned in real-time or pause and view an achievements summary to check earned collections and determine what badges are still needed, before returning to gameplay.

GameCircle leaderboards provide an in-game view of score comparison information and percentile ranking, allowing players to quickly and easily check standings against top players or competitors, without ever leaving your game.

Sync automatically saves a player’s in-game progress to the cloud and allows them to pick-up exactly where they left off when restoring a deleted game or switching devices. Players will not have to worry about losing progress, scores or achievements between Kindle Fire devices, as all data is securely stored in the cloud.

Also today, Market Watch provided some insight into a possible 4 or 5 inch Amazon smartphone that’s rumored to be in development. The report says Amazon is working with Asian component suppliers to test the phone and that production could begin in late 2012 or early 2013.

A smartphone from Amazon would spur more competition in the already crowded market. While Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.’s flagship Galaxy handsets continue to dominate the lucrative high-end segment, the overall smartphone market is expanding rapidly with many players offering new models that are diverse in terms of sizes, technological features and prices.

Market Watch quoted a source saying the new Amazon smartphone will be between four or five inches. Several phones running the Google operating system are more than 4 inches, including the new Samsung Galaxy III, which is 4.8 inches. Apple’s new iPhone, due this fall, is expected to enjoy an increased screen size boost from 3.5 inches to at least 4 inches.

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