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Amazon is rumoured to be planning extensions to its existing mobile content offering that could include a music streaming service and even a dedicated Amazon smartphone. However, the global online retailer is losing ground to its ‘Big 3’ key competitors Apple, Google and Microsoft in emerging markets, according to research from mobile marketing expert and MEF member Upstream.

The latest installment in the ‘The Next Mobile Frontier’ report shows that over half of those surveyed (52%) said that Apple is the brand that they currently spend money or would like to spend more on in the future. Microsoft (48%) and Google (43%) were not far behind, but Amazon clearly still has much work to do, with only 21% of those surveyed wanting to or currently spending money with the brand.

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CEO of Upstream Marco Veremis commented: “Emerging markets offer a huge opportunity for both mobile hardware manufacturers and content provider alike, but there are clearly winners and losers in the race to dominance in these new markets. This latest research shows that while the ‘Big 3’ of Apple, Google and Microsoft are using a combination of hardware and content to attract customers, this is squeezing out other players like Amazon. This could very well be one of the reasons that Amazon is possibly moving into the music streaming service and even toying with the idea of an ‘Amazon phone’.”

See the full press release on Upstream’s website, and follow them on Twitter.