According to unnamed sources at Digitimes:
Total shipments of Amazon’s Fire phones are expected to reach 2-3 million units by year-end 2014, which is unlikely to make a significant impact on the global smartphone market, according to sources in Taiwan’s handset supply chain.
Amazon is outsourcing production of the Fire phones to the Foxconn Group, with initial shipments totaling 300,000-500,000 units a month, the sources revealed.
It’s not clear where Digitimes got their information, but my guess is that they used either a Magic 8 ball, Ouija board, or possibly tea leaves. (I prefer navel-gazing, myself.)
Amazon’s first smartphone launched 2 days ago. It runs a custom version of Android 4.2 on a quad-core 2.2Ghz Snapdragon 800 CPU with 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and no less than 6 cameras, including a 13MP rear-facing camera.
But in spite of its newness, pundits are already joining a chorus in predicting that it’s doomed because it is too expensive (retail is $649), missed the mark on gaming, packs in too many parlor tricks, is exclusive to AT&T, and has other problems.
I don’t know about you, but I think it is too early to make a prediction as to the success of the Fire Phone. Amazon is not likely to sell huge numbers, at least not while the Fire Phone is limited to the US, but that isn’t necessarily a failure. Amazon’s business model is based on selling services, not hardware.
Like the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, Amazon sells their hardware cheap in order to make money off of selling content to device owners. That’s how Amazon has been pricing hardware since the original Kindle Fire, no seems to think it’s a failed model.
Admittedly, the Fire Phone isn’t cheap but then again it also has an expensive 13MP camera, the guts of an upper-mid range smartphone, and an additional 4 cameras not found on most smartphones. I can’t find that anyone has performed a cost estimate for the Fire Phone, but given its specs this was never going to be an inexpensive phone.