Amazon finally launched that $199 budget Fire Phone
Amazon knocked the price down on the Fire Phone today. Originally launched in June with a $649 price tag, Amazon dropped the price by a couple hundred dollars in September (2 months after it shipped), and today they dropped the price again, to $199 for the unlocked phone with no contract.
In short, the Fire Phone is now the budget smartphone which Amazon should have launched all along, it just took Amazon 5 months to figure out that no one wanted a premium priced Amazon-branded smartphone (to be fair, Amazon came to that conclusion after only 4 months).
So are you going to get one?
I plan to. This wasn’t a good value as a $649 smartphone or even a $449 smartphone, but as a $199 unlocked device it is one hell of a media device.
Since it can be used sans contract, the unlocked Fire Phone is essentially a 4.7″ Fire PDA/tablet that comes with some impressive camera abilities. It runs Amazon’s Fire OS in a quad-core 2.2GHz SnapDragon CPU with 2GB RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13MP rear-facing camera, 4 face tracking cameras, and a 5th front-facing camera.
That’s a great price for $199, but what’s even better is that it comes bundled with a year of Prime. And since that gets tacked on the end of my existing Prime membership, that effectively brings the price down to $99.
Oh, yeah, you can bet I’m going to buy one. What about you?
It’s a shame Amazon didn’t go for this pricing strategy in the first place; they would have sold a lot of phones had they decided to stick with the tried and true model of cheap but decent hardware. That worked with ereaders, it worked with Fire tablets, and I think it would have worked with the Fire Phone as well.
Oh well. Better luck next time.
Timothy Wilhoit November 26, 2014 um 12:49 pm
If the price stays around a couple of days, yes I will buy one. I already have Prime and I will re-up when the time arrives; this deal delays that $99 hit for another year. For me, it’s absolutely a no-brainer to buy a new unlocked smartphone, effectively for $100.
Robert November 26, 2014 um 12:53 pm
…aaaand I still don’t want one. 😉
Jonathan Mattson November 26, 2014 um 2:01 pm
I noticed this, called up my parents and asked them if they wanted them also. For two hundred dollars for the phone and a year of prime, no brainer.
Three new phones will be arriving on Saturday. I agree Nate, if this was the deal when the phone was first announced I would have bought them. I refuse to pay for an AT&T contract and this unlocked phone will work with T-mobile.
I could buy one new high end smart phone for the cost of getting these three fire phones.
Robert Barnett November 26, 2014 um 10:54 pm
I have had a used Fire Phone for about three months now. I like it. Turn off the dynamic perspective and it is a pretty good smartphone with an excellent camera. At $199 plus prime I couldn’t resist ordering a new one. Being "unlocked" is also a key selling point.
TheGreatFilter November 27, 2014 um 7:32 am
Anyone know how much they cost to produce?
Nate Hoffelder November 27, 2014 um 7:51 am
I would bet at least $300.
Name (required) November 27, 2014 um 9:19 am
I wonder how many hard-core Amazon fans that got it for the original price are pissed off at the moment.
Nate Hoffelder November 27, 2014 um 3:35 pm
I would be pissed.
Vonda Z November 29, 2014 um 1:24 pm
I bought one. Wasn’t planning to. I don’t care that much about phones and was not interested at all at the price point it originally sold at. However, it is worth the $100 to get a decent quality phone that will integrate seamlessly with my Amazon content. It is actually way more hardware than I will ever need, but all I ever wanted it to do was to integrate with Amazon content and to just work reliably as a phone without a contract.
Timothy Wilhoit December 2, 2014 um 6:03 pm
Amazon has extended the sale through 12/3. I finally decided to hit the "Buy" button today and I got an expected delivery date of 12/17 – 12/26. Considering that’s Prime 2-day delivery, it’s quite a bit further out than I expected.
Amazon Puts the Fire Phone on Sale in the UK for Today Only ⋆ Ink, Bits, & Pixels January 28, 2015 um 11:06 am
[…] better deal than either of the sales Amazon has run in the US. Amazon sold the Fire Phone for $199 in November and for $189 earlier this […]