Amazon Fire Phone Goes On Fire Sale – Under A Buck On Contract

Image courtesy of Forbes, modified using an image courtesy of Kindleworlds

Before Amazon fully unveiled their Fire phone, we wrote about the things it would need to do to make a reasonable person want to buy one. Once the device was announced, we followed that up by asking, based on what was announced, whether or not a reasonable person would buy one. When AT&T was announced as the exclusive carrier for the Fire phone, there seemed to be a collective facepalm from all corners of  the internet. We can now say with the utmost confidence that the Amazon Fire phone is a complete flop.

It’s been widely reported that the Amazon Fire phone will immediately be reduced to a mere ninety-nine cents on contract with AT&T. For less than the change that’s probably sloshing around in your couch cushions (plus your standard 2-year cell phone contract with AT&T) you too can buy the phone that sold a mere 35,000 units in the roughly 2 months that it’s been available.

The New York Times paints a part of the particularly dreary picture:

But in reviews on Amazon’s site, customers said the parts that were different were not necessarily good, and the parts that were good — call clarity, for one thing — were not enough to outweigh things like a short battery life and a tendency to overheat. And there were other issues: “If you use this phone, you are inviting Amazon to know all the details of your life.”

A quarter of the reviewers of the Fire gave it one star, which Amazon translates as “I hate it.”

Amazon will undoubtedly spin this as a positive, which the New York Times confirms as well:

From just about any other company, a debut like the Fire would be embarrassing, or perhaps even painful. But Amazon is not like anything else. Even as it cut the price on Monday, it announced that it was expanding the phone to Britain and Germany.

“Amazon is a company that prizes innovation and experimentation, and it can handle one or two major flops a year without too much trouble,” said James L. McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research.

Remember all of the reasonable people that I mentioned in the first few sentences of this piece? They will know the truth. The Fire phone is an under-powered handset with features that people either don’t want, or aren’t attractive enough to cover the other downsides of the device. AT&T exclusivity has been a kiss of death for any device not starting with an ‘iP’ and that streak continues here.

Did any of you actually buy a Fire Phone? Why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or on your favorite social network.

  Source: The New York Times
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