Amazon blames Fire Phone failure on its price

Amazon blames Fire Phone failure on its price
It probably shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone, but the Amazon Fire Phone turned out to be quite a bust. The device garnered middling review scores all around, and terrible customer review scores; and, Amazon ultimately took a big hit on unsold stock in its quarterly report. Now, Amazon is commenting on the trouble, and is surprisingly blaming the problems on the price of the Fire Phone.

In speaking with Fortune, Amazon's senior vice president of devices, David Limp, said:


That is an accurate statement. Amazon's price tag was far too high at launch ($200), and the price was quickly dropped down to 99 cents on-contract. The trouble with the statement is that it ignores all of the other issues with the device. If you check out the customer reviews on Amazon itself, over half of the reviews are 1-star reviews. And, while some people do mention the price, by far the more prevalent issues listed are: battery life, device overheating, terrible UI, and a lack of apps (specifically, no Google Apps). 

Those are the same issues that you'll find in most reviews of the Fire Phone (including our own), and even had Amazon launched the device for free, it wouldn't have helped the hardware and software troubles of the device.

source: Fortune via The Verge

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31 Comments

1. QuadFace

Posts: 179; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Failed tech.

8. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

All consumers already said that. Amazon you should rethink your strategy for next times.

2. syncronyze

Posts: 103; Member since: Apr 26, 2014

Amazon should blame the Fire Phone failure on Amazon.

16. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

What amazes me is that it took them this long to figure this out. Most people knew this the day it was announced.

3. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

A shopping phone that has extra cameras to spy on the owner and their surroundings and is made to data mine the owner. Yeah, charging anything for this crap would be a ripoff. But the very IDEA that Amazon should be making phones in the first place IS STUPID. Instead of being the premier multi-platform content supplier, they are trying to spin up a content island, so they can be like Apple. Ugh. Taking a giant market share business and turning it into a narrow market share business... not so smart. Time for the Amazon Board of Directors to put a leash on Bezos.

15. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

"But the very IDEA that Amazon should be making phones in the first place IS STUPID. Instead of being the premier multi-platform content supplier, they are trying to spin up a content island, so they can be like Apple. Ugh." +10... "by far the more prevalent issues listed are: battery life, device overheating, terrible UI, and a lack of apps (specifically, no Google Apps). " Yup everyone called the batt capacity out from the get go. Hate to say it Amazon but told you so.

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

This phone sucks.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

So you've actually used the phone for quite some time and actually can come to the conclusion that it sucks.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

So long xperia, you shoulda remained the techie you started out as, instead of degenerating into the new Arte 8800.

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I thought I'd never see this day come.

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah dude, he had become a real site sore.

5. rlatkddn124

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

could be the great CM machine.

7. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

No s**t...

9. jjjsong

Posts: 76; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

Price is 1 of the MANY reasons why it was a failure... I wouldn't buy it even if it's cheap.

28. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I'd consider picking one up if they did a fire sale on it for $199 no contact. Any higher than $200 and this phone would feel like a rip off with the 2014 Moto G already released.

10. Arthurhkt

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

And most important thing..... they just sell the phone in US

11. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I don't think they corrected the price problem. While the 99 cents on-contract price may sound enticing, a lot of consumers have already switched to prepaid style plans. So, the devices they are going to be buying are going to be off-contract price. The off-contract price for this phone is still way too high. It should be around $300 if they really want to move the product off the shelves. And I also do think the problem was mainly the UI and battery life. The UI seemed cool in concept but in terms of daily usage it just doesn't seem reasonable.

13. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

No one wants to be trapped in the Amazon ecosystem. People just aren't that dumb. Paying $300 for a trap phone... still not worth it. Paying $300 for a weird trap phone that spies on them and data mines them... just a joke. They should give them out for free at the bar, next to the peanuts.

29. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Replace "Amazon" with "Apple" in your statement, I guarantee it reads the same...

12. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Price too high and UI have too many learn curve. Fail.

14. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

The Kindle Fire tablet is a good product for Amazon (obviously - the sales prove this), but tablets are mainly used for entertainment, and the Kindles are entirely for entertainment. A phone however is much more a tool - a necessity rather than a diversion. Phones definitely can have entertainment, but that's not its primary use for most people. Make calls, text, look up who that one guy was in that movie with that other guy, etc. A phone focused on entertainment and shopping is doomed to failure. especially one so limited and overpriced as the Fire Phone.

17. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

It'd still fail if the price were lower.

18. Bozzor

Posts: 248; Member since: May 02, 2012

I had this phone for a few days in September. It deserved to fail as a phone, but as a "collection of new ideas for mobile"...different story. Carousel idea was well executed, though so much of the rest of the software was inconsistent, confusing and different just to try and be different from Android and iOS, Dynamic Perspective - it felt gimmicky in this v1.0, but you could easily see that the potential was there. The vision and the creativity in the application is yet to catch up with the technical capability on offer. Firefly was good, but Mayday is just brilliant: that alone is perhaps the best thing to look forward to, unless Siri and Cortana really take it up a level. The phone had crap battery life, good voice quality, OK screen but overall underwhelming experience. But bits of it...we have not see the last of them.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I blame it on Apple and Samsung. The big dawgs own the field.

21. johnriii

Posts: 248; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

horrible strategy for a first time smartphone. first, why limit it to only one carrier? secondly, how could they have possibly imagined they could set their price point with other much more established smartphones? maybe since they are Amazon they just assumed that it would automatically sell? I would have suggested $50 to start, on contract, then maybe they would have had much more interest. but once the word got out about the lack of google apps and the horrible battery life, sales would have tanked quickly. I say don't try again, Amazon is killing it with just about everything else they do.

22. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I'd blame it on the crappy Android fork and the fact that you launch with an exclusive carrier, but that's just me. Even if they paid people $100 to use the phone it would still be a turd locked into a crappy eco system. If people want to be locked in an eco system they buy Apple.

25. zinger69

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Heads should be rolling over at Amazon HQ whomever thought $199 was a great price point.

26. Paximos

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

How about giving it for free for one month and then if we like it, we'll pay $29.99 for it plus a year of free Amazon Prime, 10% discount on all future Amazon purchases and same day shipping by Amazon Drone and a thank you letter from their CEO for using the phone....??.....(Just an idea ...LOL, I don't think so :))

27. Rioth

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

Whatever problems the phone has otherwise, the 1-star reviews are due to Greenpeace activists carpet bombing the review section. They are not legit reviews.

30. jesusnexo unregistered

this is why we dont get new things... everytime there is a new phone with something different oyu all come and bash and hate from it being different, then complain about all the phones copying eachother... you are why these comapies fail.. you dont give them a chance.

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