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Amazon Fire Phone a damp squib: no more than 35,000 units sold

by Mark Tyson on 27 August 2014, 11:45

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), PC

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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.



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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As it stands at the moment, the market just isn't interested in a brand new smartphone with a brand new OS. I don't see how this phone could ever have succeeded - especially when you can go buy an S5 or an iPhone 5 with the same money and come home with change to spare.
AlexKitch
As it stands at the moment, the market just isn't interested in a brand new smartphone with a brand new OS. I don't see how this phone could ever have succeeded - especially when you can go buy an S5 or an iPhone 5 with the same money and come home with change to spare.
You've got a point there - why buy a phone locked into Amazon's ecosystem when you can get an S5 or one of the many other decent Android phones for less money. Plus, I just did a search on Amazon-UK and it doesn't appear in the results. US only again?

The 3D stuff struck me as a bit of a useless gimmick at the time. And with Amazon's rep I would have thought that a “normal” high end phone that competed on price would have been a better idea. If it has failed then I'm glad - the market isn't big enough for yet another oddball phone OS.
I also wonder how the Kindle Fires are doing. Our oldest wanted one and now hardly uses it because there is very little in the app store for it. he totally wishes he'd asked for a regular Android tablet like his sister.
The only way I see this phone doing anything is if was free and Amazon trying to make their money from content sales.
Amazon has almost flooded the television with commercials on the product (rather clever, at that). And not just on cable, but standard OTA as well. 35k units wouldn't come close to covering the advertising cost at this point.

And, really - comparisons to iPhones? The Apple culture being what it is, the iPhone 6 could be gold foil coated feces, literally, and would do repeat business in the multiple millions on the first day of sale.

And no, I neither work for Amazon, nor do I own a Firephone (or any smart phone, for that matter. My last new phone was an LG Chocolate, and I only got it because it was the cheapest phone I could get that allowed me to change the ringtone myself, and wasn't forced to use MIDI's to do so - and it still rings when someone calls, and I can still talk with it…)