A new report from the Guardian today claims to have figured out sales figures for the Amazon Fire Phone, and they’re not great. According to the article, Amazon has only managed to move about 35,000 units since its debut.
When we finally heard the official details about the Amazon Fire Phone in July, it sounded pretty neat, if a little non-traditional: running on a forked version of Android, it could give you information (and relevant purchasing links) about whatever object you zapped with its Fire Fly app, while also sporting six infrared, motion-tracking cameras to provide pseudo-3D visuals without glasses. At $200 with a two-year contract on AT&T, it’s not cheap, but it seemed like it might be an interesting entrant in the smartphone race.
As it turns out, however, it seems as though smartphone consumers don’t agree. The Guardian compiled data from Chitika, which offers data on network activity from different kinds of devices. According to their reports, the Fire Phone managed to rack up somewhere between 0.015% and 0.02% of network activity in North America over the course of 20 days since its release. Then, that figure was checked against information from ComScore that said there were roughly 17 million smartphones in use in the United States during that time period. The result? After a few more calculations and correcting for un-reported devices, the Guardian comes up with 35,000.
It’s important to note here that Amazon absolutely refuses to provide sales data on its devices. We’re still in the dark about how many Kindle devices the company has sold. It is telling, however, that the Fire Phone doesn’t appear in the list of Amazon’s top selling Electronics products, nor the top sellers in Cell Phones and Accessories. Meanwhile, there are more than a few other Amazon products scattered throughout both of those categories, ranging from any number of Kindles and Kindle Fire tablets, the Fire TV set top box, and even the Amazon Local Register Card Reader, which was only launched two weeks ago.
While this feels like it might signify wasted money on Amazon’s part, let’s also not forget the fact that we discussed earlier today regarding news of Amazon’s $970 million acquisition of Twitch: the company isn’t focused on turning a profit immediately. In the case of the Fire Phone, those 35,000 or so users are locked into Amazon’s ecosystem, and they’re almost certainly buying even more Amazon products than they were before. Apps, books, music, movies, TV shows – all of it is easily consumed via the Fire Phone.
Moreover, this is just Fire Phone 1.0. When Amazon releases its next iteration of the device, it may do so with better specs and a lower price. Jeff Bezos is in the business of slashing prices until you feel stupid for not buying whatever he’s offering. That’s how Amazon has been able to become the top retailer, well, anywhere. While the first Fire Phone might not be a smash hit, it might be providing the kind of consumer data that Amazon will use to ensnare us all.
[Source: The Guardian]