Amazon's Fire Phone flop won't stop it from launching more handsets

Amazon's Fire Phone flop won't stop it from launching more handsets
Despite having produced a huge flop with the Amazon Fire Phone, it seems that Jeff Bezos is not giving up on the category so quickly. Yes, there were high hopes when the Amazon Fire Phone was introduced. The company had managed to make a huge name for itself in the tablet industry with its forked Android flavored Kindle Fire tablets, priced to undercut all of its branded competitors, such as Apple and Samsung.

Quickly though, it became apparent that the Fire Phone would not follow the Kindle Fire to the land of success. Amazon ended up writing off $170 million of unsold inventory collecting dust in its warehouse. Problems selling the handset could be detected quickly, as AT&T cut the price to 99 cents on contract. The carrier had the exclusive rights to sell the model in the states, designed to invoke the OG Apple iPhone, which was also an AT&T exclusive for a few years.

But the Amazon Fire Phone was no Apple iPhone. Still, CEO Bezos has said that "it’s going to take several iterations" before he can decide the merits of the device. And that means we should expect at least two more sequels of the Fire Phone at the least. For the device to pick up market share, perhaps the Fire Phone 2 should be offered by all four major U.S. carriers instead of just AT&T. Sure, the exclusivity worked with the iPhone, but the latter was a once-in-a-generation new product.

Other things that Amazon needs to think about for the Fire Phone 2 include the lack of Google Services. There might not be an easy answer to this, but the public is familiar with Google's applications. And while the innovative Mayday and Firefly services are a nice touch, most felt that the 3D effects were too gimmicky. But the most important thing that Amazon needs to fix with the Fire Phone 2 is the pricing. The unlocked price tags of $649 (32GB) and $749 (64GB) were just too much for the handset. Even the respective two-year contract pricing of $199.99 and $299.99 at AT&T might have seemed high in retrospect.

Amazon's MO is to keep pushing until things work out. This game plan has enabled the company to become the behemoth that it is now. With that in mind, it would seem likely that Bezos and crew will continue to work on the Fire Phone until they get it right.


source: Forbes via Re/Code

Related phones

Fire Phone
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2400 mAh(22h talk time)

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23 Comments

1. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

I bought 2 on the black friday week with $199 unlocked. However, its back to $450 now

2. btbotimtim

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

I saw the 199 deal online and also checked ebay. Unable to make profits. some new firephones were selling under 200. ebay gives 2% coupon + no tax. firephone = fail

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22085; Member since: May 28, 2014

I recently purchased one at the lower price as well. It's actually a pretty good smartphone. The hardware and build quality is good, as well as the OS, despite the fact that it lacks Google services(I don't use Google services anyway, I'm not a fan of them). I find it admirable that Amazon is going to keep at it with the Fire Phone...who knows? Perhaps they will have a bona fide hit on their hands next time around....

6. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Sure you are gonna like Fire phone, because your daily regular driver is worse than the feature phone ..... Oh Blackberry! Fire phone is a huge jump for you. CONGRATS.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22085; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry, my daily driver, is more secure and powerful than whatever feature phone you're using, troll. Now go back under your bridge, I know momma troll didn't let you out to play yet.

4. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

lawd please stop with this garbage

7. dimas

Posts: 3367; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It's their money to burn so let them do what they want. If they can improve the fire phone 2 it's a win win situation for everyone.

11. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

I don't think Amazon can improve FirePhone in anyway that fit Amazon purpose (which is as a gateway to their service). The Amazon FirePhone is too limiting compared to the biggest OS (Android, iOS) and even compared to WP.

18. dimas

Posts: 3367; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

And that's the reason they're still going to do firephone 2: for improvement. iPhone 6 is a failure compared to 4s and and Mi3 is an improvement for Mi4. This is business so there will always be ups and downs in every move they make. Jumping into conclusions without testing the waters is very narrow minded and shallow. And because it's their money to burn, consumers have nothing to complain until it's released.

19. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

The iphone 4s is in no way a failure compared to anything.

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 22085; Member since: May 28, 2014

He didn't say the 4s was a failure, he said the iPhone 6 is a failure COMPARED to the iPhone 4s.

22. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Wait, I said it backwards, the iphone 6 isn't a failure either! Heck, they keep going up in their sales, whether ya like it or not :/

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 22085; Member since: May 28, 2014

Very true. The sales of the iPhone continue to go up. More and more iOS fans continue to upgrade with every new iteration of the iPhone, with a small amount of consumers coming from other platforms. However: I think what dimas was referring to was the build quality and software of both handsets, not the sales.

5. mortalmastermind

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 07, 2014

Amazon Fire Phone isn't that bad phone after all! They tried something new... So respect to them for that!

14. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Respect could not save them from failure.

20. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Oh yes, a phone that is so super awesome due to having 4 cameras to create a dynamic desktop. You know a Moto X can do the same trick with a gyroscope instead of stupidly moving your head around right?

8. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Amazon should wake up. Fire phone shouldn't be continued.

12. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Agree. I think there is no reason people want a limiting phone (such as FirePhone or BB) that could only download apps from Amazon.

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 22085; Member since: May 28, 2014

Considering that you can't even afford a smartphone, you should keep yourself out of the "smartphone" conversation and stick to your $50 feature phone.

9. surethom

Posts: 1694; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

A nice phone but Personally I would not recommend this to my friends of family because no access to the Google play store.

13. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Nice-but-not-good-enough could NOT survive in Man eat Man, Dog eat Dog competition. Even WP & BB were having a hard time.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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