How badly the Amazon Fire Phone failed may surprise you

How badly the Amazon Fire Phone failed may surprise you
Frankly, this story shouldn't surprise anyone. We did report that the Amazon Fire Phone was on top of the Amazon smartphone sales list for a while, but we were clear to caveat that fact with the information that "Amazon is not a factor in sales of smartphones in the US", according to NPD, and that there was a relatively high proportion of reviews mentioning the word "return". We also found out later that there was almost no web usage for the Fire Phone.

So, now that we're getting estimated sales figures on the Amazon Fire Phone, the number is expectedly low. But, just how low it is, might surprise you. To be fair, the numbers are just estimates by Charles Arthur of The Guardian. Arthur has taken a look at the web usage stats from Chitika as well as ComScore sales numbers, and he is saying that in the best case, the Amazon Fire Phone has sold about 35,000 units. 

It breaks down like this: ComScore said there were about 173 million smartphones in use in the U.S. as of the end of June, but that number was probably around 175-177 million as of August. Then, Arthur estimated the relationship between Chitika's usage numbers with actual sales for other manufacturers and estimated the Fire Phone is "unlikely" to have sold more than 35,000 units. 

Amazon never shares device sales numbers, and maybe this is why. The Kindle Fire tablets have gathered a respectable proportion of the tablet market share, but if the Fire Phone is going to move, it will be a long-term effort, and Amazon will have to make a deal to put the device in carrier stores. 

source: The Guardian

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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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51 Comments

1. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Never surprised me.. At all. Fire Phone failure was so expected due to its exclusiveness to At&t and ridiculous high price. A very experient company like Amazon had to have much better marketing and pricing strategy.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Carrier exclusives = destined for failure. *waiting for someone to bring up AT&T and iPhone*

5. blingblingthing

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Let it stay a carrier exclusive and see how numbers would look. No one gets to the top solo.

24. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The iPhone revolutionized the phone market so success was inevitable but the carrier exclusive did limit its sales potential. If the iPhone was on Verizon from the start I probably would be an iOS fan right now instead of an Android fan. I'm sure there's many like me.

31. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Well I am using a Android phone because of that exclusive deal. I wanted the iPhone 4 at the time and when I tried calling AT&T I was left on hold for almost 30 minutes before I hung up the phone; that told me right there to stick with Verizon. Imagine how dominate Apple would have been if the iPhone was available on all carriers back in the day. Samsung wouldn't be what it is today. These exclusive deals end up hurting the companies more than the customer. They look at the upfront money instead of thinking long term. I would have figured that Amazon would have known better. That's why it shocks me that they would have such a game plan.

52. AlikMalix unregistered

reply to post 24 and 31... I actually personally know an Android fanboy who hates Apple, because I was able to get an iPhone and he could not. I remember how he was gonna get the iPhone too, but months after months not available on Verizon. So Android was his remedy. Then he changed his song to "I never wanted iPhone anyway, iPhones suck" and this began our rival days... He would buy one "iPhone killer" after another but it wasn't till he got SGS3 that he was contempt. I think this exclusivity is what started the anti-apple following that begat fanboyism...

57. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Not at all, many carrier exclusives have been successful. Look at the Droid phones on Verizon and the Eco phones on Sprint. Both were highly successful as a series and as individual devices.

6. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Carrier exclusivity has nothing to do with this IMO, the whole concept of the phone was an outright fail from the get go.

17. engineer-1701d unregistered

its a fail because humans don't like change to put a new os that's not like the android or ios and using a advanced parallax display that only works with there maps and a few other things, the firefly is a gimmick waste google now does the same thing and has for years, the high sub price with the att only really hurt and knocked it out, they should have released on all networks and it would have helped the sales numbers but lets face it it was never going to be a 3rd os runner in os battle.

20. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It's still running Android, just a forked version of it...

48. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

"It's still running Android, just a borked version of it..." Or sporked. Sporked would have been an acceptable answer as well.

33. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

That's the funny part. There are so many negatives with the phone it's hard to forgive just one. From the exclusive deal, price, custom OS with no access to Google play and the so so specs. Even the marketing with those kids are dumb.

40. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Please tell me how any of the specs are so-so? OIS, S800 and a big battery... Huh?

49. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

The battery life was terrible until the patch. The camera is fine and processor is too, but there's soooo little to it. A fine first smartphone if you're not interested in listening to your friends or family that chant Samsung/Apple, but easy to outgrow. Maybe I'm not enough of a shopaholic to love it. If it wasn't a work phone I'd have sideloaded a different launcher on it. It's iOSness is probably why Myx loves it so much.

54. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

This guy knows what's up.

46. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"Fire Phone failure was so expected due to its exclusiveness to At&t and ridiculous high price." Let us not forget: -- device was basically just for shopping -- extensive use of multiple cameras to spy on the user, including many angles of the user's face and facial expressions -- extensive data mining of the user's life and connecting that to shopping, advertising, etc. (and Amazon sells all this data as well) -- walled garden app store -- extensive additional spyware like Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets Basically every single thing about this phone was "good for Amazon" and not for the customer. The smartphone market is not new. It's harder to fool people. Amazon seems to have forgotten that most of the "fool some of the people all of the time" customers are firmly in the Apple camp. I might also add that Amazon being in the hardware business is just strategically stupid. Their business is built on breadth, not making a content island. Bezos has fallen into some sort of pit of Apple envy and it is doing nothing good for Amazon.

2. syncronyze

Posts: 103; Member since: Apr 26, 2014

How badly the Amazon Fire Phone failed "may surprise you". Mmm yes, surprising.

32. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yup Wow , they sold even less than HTC M8!!!!! Wouldn't believe that !!!!!

37. Busyboy unregistered

The M8 actually has gotten modest sales. Between 500k-1m devices have sold. Obviously a joke compared to Samsung or Apple sales, but still respectable, especially compared to Sony or Lenovo, per say.

47. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I think it's sold less than the HTC First (the Facebook Phone).

3. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Ouch!

8. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

I'd say, offer it for free...clear the inventory and move on.

9. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Ahhhh... Nope. Not surprising at all.

10. mturby unregistered

reason for this phone to fail is is lack of information. Why would the average consumer pick this phone over Android , Iphone, WP or BB? I like phones and i cant c a reason for me to even watch a fire phone video on youtube to c what it does. i know its got some 3D features and that's it. in addition, that 3d feature is 4 advanced users, not normal people who wants things to be easier.

11. NateAdam8

Posts: 439; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Does anyone know when Civilization is coming to the Play Store?

12. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

I smell a fire sale, a la HP Touchpad, coming soon. I'll pick one up as a backup for under $200, off contract, if some development starts up on it . Looks like good, old Towel root works on it.

18. engineer-1701d unregistered

hahaha no pun intended hahaha i got a hp touchpad and put android on it. cm11

13. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

American product deserve to be failed, just like HP and Dell

22. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Chinese phones are no better...

44. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

atleast they are priced correctly according to their quality

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