Survey Says: The Fire Phone is the eReading Device of Last Resort
A new report fromshows that Amazon prime members, consumers who could be described as the company’s most loyal shoppers, aren’t buying the Fire Phone.
According to the press release, CIRP polled 500 Amazon Prime customers in the third quarter and found that hardly any of them owned a Fire Phone. The survey also found that around one in four respondents owned one of Amazon’s tablets or ereaders, and that around 5% owned a Fire TV.
The results for Fire and Kindle ownership were about what I would have expected; given the free ebooks and free streaming video, it makes financial sense for a Prime member to also buy one of Amazon’s cheap devices. And it is equally obvious that that incentive doesn’t extend to Amazon’s $650 smartphone.
"Our data shows that Amazon hardware devices have mixed results," said Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of the research group in a press release Wednesday. "Effectively zero percent own an Amazon Fire Phone. In contrast, approximately one quarter of US Amazon customers have either or both of a Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle Reader, and about 5% report owning the new Amazon Fire TV set-top box. Though anecdotal accounts suggest Amazon has sold a few thousand Fire Phones, none of the 500 recent Amazon customers in this quarter’s survey reported owning one."
Amazon hasn’t shared sales figures, but in late August a guesstimate went around that pegged Fire Phone sales at 35,000 units.at the time, but now it seems that it was not inaccurate.
Released in early July with a retail price of $650, the Fire Phone was initially available from AT&T at a subsidized price of $199. Amazon dropped the subsidized price to under a dollar in early September, but that does not appear to have boosted sales all that much.
The reasons for the Fire Phone’s failure are both obvious and numerous: the subsidized price is an AT&T exclusive, it costs as much as the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S5 without offering that smartphone’s extensive app ecosystem, and it has an excess of gimmicky features but no single killer feature.
I think it’s safe to say that the Fire Phone has been extinguished, don’t you?