Amazon just announced its third quarter earnings today and the retailer giant is surely navigating in shallow waters. In its earnings conference call, Amazon reported a third quarter loss of $544 million, compared to the $25 million losses announced in the third quarter of 2013. Who’s the culprit you would ask? None other than the Fire Phone, some company reps report. According to reports, the eccentric smartphone wasn’t as hot as expected, causing the company a $170 million write-down in addition to supplier commitment costs.
It’s true that very few had expected the Amazon Fire Phone to be as great a trailblazer as the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy. What is surprising, though, is that it performed as terribly as it did in the market. In fact, the retailer giant is not a newborn where mobile devices are concerned and although smartphones are slightly different from ereaders or tablets, it still doesn’t explain why the Fire Phone did so badly. The device itself is no underdog, porting the basic hardware that normally comprises any high-end smartphone.
What many would blame is the Fire Phone’s exclusivity to one (and just one) carrier. While such a stunt could have been pulled off by a highly popular and more established smartphone producer, Amazon shouldn’t have attempted to shut out others out from the device. And it’s true that when you’re just starting out, you might experience some issues when deciding to get in bed with only one carrier, be it AT&T. The Fire Phone simply couldn’t solve the adoption problems even when the price was brought down to just one U.S. dollar.
However, there are some who believe that the Fire Phone had an even bigger problem. While other Amazon devices focus on one particular use case (and that is precisely where they perform excellently), the Fire Phone isn’t much of anything. It does good, but so do countless other models and as a reading device, it’s not as good to begin with. The Fire Phone was designed to be intimately connected to Amazon’s selling business, and although people love shopping, buying a smartphone dedicated just for online shopping simply doesn’t seem reasonable.
There are some notable features that the Fire Phone also has, for instance, the Dynamic Perspective, however, these fancy gimmicks only sugar coat the device’s clear lack of vision.
And when you’re planning to buy a smartphone, the Fire Phone strikes one as being too expensive, looked down and as having poor specs. Not to mention no Google Play.