Amazon Announces Its Fire Smartphone Will Be Discontinued

Amazon has finally pulled the plug on its Fire smartphone after it suffered poor sales since its launch in June last year.

The online retail giant released the Fire Phone in an attempt to break into the smartphone market, but the offering did not attract consumers and failed to gain much traction.

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High prices and poor reviews impacted sales of the Amazon Fire

Critic reviews were not very favorable to the Amazon Fire, and that transmitted to poor sales. Gimmicks such as 3D effects “Dynamic Perspective” and the “Firefly” object scanner were derided by critics, and did not prove to be enough to attract customers.

Another issue was pricing. At $649 the Amazon Fire was competing with industry leaders Apple and Samsung in the flagship smartphone market, but without any of the polished performance offered by its rivals.

The Amazon Fire was offered for $199 with a contract, and handset-only prices were repeatedly reduced in order to attract buyers, but the damage had already been done. An Amazon executive spoke out on the matter last year, blaming poor sales on high prices.

“We didn’t get the price right, […] I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we’re also willing to say, ‘we missed.’ And so we corrected,” said David Limp, Senior Vice President of Devices, in an interview with Fortune.

Amazon finally withdraws poorly performing smartphone

Listings for the Amazon Fire were spotted saying that the smartphone is “currently unavailable,” while a note says “we don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”

An spokeswoman for Amazon later confirmed the move, telling Geekwire that the U.S inventory of Fire Phone units had sold out, while global inventory was expected to sell out by the end of August.

After failing to crack the smartphone market it seems Amazon is rethinking its hardware strategy. After laying off dozens of Fire Phone engineers it seems unlikely that the phone will make a reappearance, not that many people will mourn its passing. The high-end smartphone market is a tough place for new entrants, and unfortunately the Amazon Fire didn’t have what it takes.