Poor sales of Amazon’s one and only smartphone have led to steep price drops less than a year since its launch. Bad news for Amazon, good news for you.
The majority of you will be familiar with Amazon’s Kindle eReaders and a fair few will know about its Fire tablets too, but the Amazon Fire Phone turned out to be nothing more than a dim glow that never burnt brightly enough for anyone to really care about or more importantly, buy.
With carrier exclusivity in both the US and the UK from the outset, Amazon may have cut off curious consumers already committed to other networks, interested in sampling the company’s debut smart-blower. Consider this the first mistake in a series of unfortunate events for the Fire Phone.
It offered competent enough hardware for its Stateside launch in the latter half of last year and still had some standout features when it eventually arrived here in the UK months later.
Whilst a 720p HD display and a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor weren’t going to blow your socks off against the Sony Xperia Z2, Galaxy S5 or the HTC One (M8) – it’s key competition at the time, it boasted a respectable day and half of usage per charge, a solid pair of snappers (2.1-megapixels on the front with an impressive 13-megapixel sensor on the back) and four additional cameras for its unique Dynamic Perspective feature.
Similarly to the parallax effect on the iPhone and Galaxy S6, the Fire Phone was able to track the user’s face and simulate a 3D interface without the need for a 3D display. Cool in theory, but an absolute gimmick in practice that didn’t consistently work that well at all.
Pair this to the fact that Fire OS, despite being cut from the same cloth as Android doesn’t support the Google Play Store and in turn standard Android apps without some tinkering, the Fire Phone had seriously limited appeal. To top it off a starting price of around £400 placed it amongst the top tier smartphones on the scene, without having the stones to back up this price tag.
Jump to July, 2015 and the Fire Phone has exited from a myriad of reviews with middling results and sales have done likely slowed to a complete crawl. On the upside, the aforementioned £400 price tag has dropped considerably to just £99 SIM-free and Amazon also points you in the direction of O2’s plans, which afford you a free handset at £18.50 a month.
Tempted? Let us know what you think of the state of the Fire Phone below.