Launched in July, Amazon's Fire Phone was heralded as the next big thing in smartphones. Amazon showed off the unique use of 3D Dynamic Perspective using multiple front-facing cameras and its Firefly shopping experience, aiming to stand out from the me-too smartphone crowd with differentiating functionality rather than escalating hardware specs. However, a report by The Guardian's Charles Arthur suggests that Amazon may have sold "no more" than 35,000 units since the handset's launch, based upon combined Chitika and comScore data.
Since Amazon never releases sales figures for any of the hardware it builds, The Guardian relies upon data from Chitika, a company which analyses smartphone-based online ad impressions generated within its ad network, and comScore. Chitika reports that the Fire Phone only accounted for 0.02 per cent of activity in the 20 days after its release. By combining this with data from comScore, which records monthly data on US smartphone users, Arthur was able to calculate a rough figure of how many Fire Phones were in use during that period.
Just to put the figures into perspective, Apple sold nine million iPhone 5S/5C mobiles during the first week of availability, and Samsung sold 11 million Galaxy S5 devices during that smartphone's debut month, reports ZDNet. Arthur's calculation can not indicate how many Fire Phone devices were sold, but how many were actually in use. He also considered the potential of any device to 'under-index' or 'over-index' when viewing online ads, and reasoned the figure of 35,000 units as a fair estimate for overall sales.
While the data used, and the Guardian calculations presented, are not definitive, it does give a good indication of how many Fire Phones are being used, and if anywhere near the true sales figure this will be a big disappointment for Amazon. The device comes with a high-end price, and the features teased pre-launch as revolutionary could easily be seen by consumers as gimmicky. It is hard to see how Amazon can revive its smartphone dreams and not write off its first Fire Phone project, as things stand.