Study suggests Amazon has only sold 35,000 Fire Phones since launch

A new study suggests that Amazon may have sold no more than 35,000 Fire Phones since the smartphone launched this summer. The reasearch cited reasons such as a high $200 price tag that's equivalent to Apple's iPhone 5s and Samsung's Galaxy S5 and an exclusivity with U.S. carrier AT&T as reasons for the Fire Phone's slow sales, though Amazon still has not disclosed sales numbers for its debut smartphone on the market.

To arrive at the 35,000 units sold since July, Chitika says that data from its ad network suggests that the Fire Phone accounted for just 0.02 percent of activity. Based on ad network activity, there are about 26,550 Fire Phones in active use, and accounting for indexing errors, Chitika estimates that there are about 33,000 Fire phones out in the wild.

What do you think of the 35,000 Fire phones that have been sold? Does this look like a low number? Be sure to read our Fire Phone review if you're interested.

Source: The Guardian

 

Reader comments

Study suggests Fire Phone sales are not lighting on fire

166 Comments

So we now have about 35,000 volunteer NSA agents?

Posted via the Sprint LG G2 Android Central App

+1 I'm sure the HTC first and chacha and having quality conversations with fire phone right now

Posted via Nexus 7 2013 or Galaxy S5

Has little to do with exclusivity. iPhone was exclusive to AT&T for a long time, and it did VERY well. I think it is more to do with people just not being interested in the phone. I look at it and ask ... "why should I buy this?" And can't come up with any answer that isn't some gimmick. With firefly and other features, I would have considered it, IF it had Google Play. I'm just not going to buy an Android phone with a 3rd party app store.

I don't think Michael was claiming exclusivity was to blame, I believe he was merely saying they deserve this for having made it exclusive. Not cause and effect, but action and punishment.

While I agree with the lack of interest for the Fire Phone, there was nothing else like the iPhone when it was exclusive to AT&T at launch. So that really cannot be used as a comparison. So here, IMHO, exclusivity certainly hampered sales, but isn't fully to blame.

Are you kidding? The phone landscape is completely different today than it was in 2007. While I don't think the Fire Phone would have been flying off the shelves if it hadn't been an exclusive, being an att exclusive definitely hurt it. You really can't hold the iPhone up as a very good example considering what it was competing against. I don't disagree with the other things you said though.

Posted via the Android Central App

Actually the exclusivity is a factor and cannot be compared to the Apple exclusive with AT&T. Being exclusive gives you access to only about a third or less of the consumers out there. So it stands to reason that minus the exclusivity they could have sold around 100k units.
The reason you can't make a comparison to the Apple deal is that the market is completely different. At the time of the Apple deal there were VERY few other good smartphones out there.
Skip to today there are a TON of choices so folks are far less apt to leave a carrier for another carrier exclusive device.

Posted via a Republic Wireless Moto X using the Android Central App

I think it is definitely exclusivity. IPhone is the only phone that managed to do that well, and that is only because it was so original and unique when it first launched.

If iPhone didn't exist, and all of sudden it came about in 2014 on AT&T only, it would fail.

Exclusivity has never worked. Never understood why companies would willingly limit their market share. Sure. AT&T is probably paying them for it, but no amount of money is worth consumer mind share, which then turns into market share.

Posted via Android Central App

Not necessarily. Google's original phone was quite different and when the iPhone was released, Google abandoned their phone to totally redesign it to match the iPhone. So going with what you said and Apple not releasing their phone until this year... AND assuming cell phones were still the same as they were back before the iPhone was released... it's quite possible the iPhone would still be a big hit since it would still be different from other cell phones...

The iPhone was a premium device. It was something that people would (and did) change carriers over. The Fire phone isn't in that class. By going exclusive to ATT, they cut out more than half the potential market. So yes, carrier exclusive IS a cause of low sales numbers.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm not surprised at all. This needed to be priced competitively ($0-$50 on-contract or $250-$300 off-contract) in order to sell.

Posted via Android Central App

Really not surprised about this. Exclusive (didn't AT&T learn with the facebook phone) phone on an os people are not completely familiar with at a price that's the same as top tier phones. Amazon and AT&T are crazy to think this would sell in big numbers. This phone needed to be free on contract and moto g priced for purchasing outright.

Posted via Android Central App w/G2

Thanks for the absurd tangent. What kind of dipstick tries to politicize something like this?

Posted via Android Central App

My wife stated that she would buy the firephone if it ever came to Verizon. I have since taken away her phone buying privileges.

Posted via Android Central App

It just shows that the "average customer" most people here routinely bash are becoming sophisticated shoppers in the arena of tech.

Posted via Android Central App

Probably because they give it to their employees, that's the only reason their at 33k phones!

Posted via Android Central App

No .....s##t....I would have never guessed. It had fail all over it.

Posted via Android Central App

The phone just sucks. But it fits right in with Amazons business philosophy. Lose money at all costs!

Posted via Android Central App

Whoever greenlighted this phone should be fired. Whoever suggested AT&T exclusivity should be fired. Whoever suggested this price point should be fired.

Posted via the Android Central App

Well it was an att exclusive and price was too high.
2nd generation: more specs, same or lower price, more carriers = more units sold

Posted via Android Central App on 1+1

Nah their 3d interface hogs up to much battery power and processor speed, 4 freaking front facing cameras? Who thought that was a good idea? I bet these phones owners and iPhone owners get into fist fights over wall outlets in public.

Posted via Android Central App

Amazon's kindle fire phone is on fire! It is on fire! Wait.... I think the fire died out....

Posted via Android Central App on 1+1

I blame the ugly holes they call cameras :P Oh, and the haaaateful commercials. I just want to punch that kid in the face every time it comes up. haha

Every time I see one of those commercials, I have a sudden urge to give myself a vasectomy with the nearest sharp object.

Nope, but I read some news article about how the m8 had a horrible camera, overrated front speakers and bezels for days...

Posted via the Android Central App

Please just stop. You like your S5, great. But stop bashing others' phones in an entirely unrelated article. The camera lacks some detail and the speakers may not be for you. Great, just don't buy an M8.

Posted via the OnePlus One

Joe Godwin Shiting on ur tooths becouse u so stupid moron :)) i like camera the most, best speakers i like bezels with HTC name on it...blind stupid moron sansung fanboy

HTC Desire S»HTC Desire HD»HTC One S»HTC M8 (Naked)

L hasn't been released yet; HTC meant 90 days after the official release of L.

Posted via the OnePlus One

Android L released? Can't believe even some Android central readers are clueless.

Posted via the Android Central App

Not enough specs, price too high and outright wrong game plan. They should have practically given this phone away to drive sales on Amazon. It's pretty bad when the average consumer has a better game plan than the decision makers.

Posted via Android Central App

While making it exclusive to at&t was bad, the real blame was on the price. Just look at the kindle fire. It was an OK tablet sold at a great price and that sold very well. They should have used the same philosophy on the fire phone.

Posted via Android Central App

Exactly that's what I was saying. I would have given it a try if it was reasonable price and I could get it unlocked.

Posted via Android Central App

$650 is just way too much for an unproven phone with last year's hardware and an unappealing OS. Tried one out at the AT&T store and god, I really do not like the design at all.

OnePlus One

Runs on a Google OS sans Google? Check.
Relatively expensive?
Check.
Exclusive to AT&T?
Check.
Kids in the ads make you want to commit postnatal abortion?
Check!

Cash that check, for fail can never be overdrawn!

Posted via Android Central App

Lol, I guess Amazon are just bored of success now, there's no point trying any more! Though tbh they have never been serious with their own mobile products, they're a bookshop at heart.

Posted via Android Central App

I have a Fire HD, rooted. It's good if a little poor on memory management. I'm sure the phone is fine too, but putting it on AT&T these days is just begging for commercial suicide. And those kids... those goddamned kids.

Posted via Android Central App

Saw this coming a mile away....plus most are holding out for the new iphone.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

Not sure why ya all are cheering. We really need a good third ecosystem to keep Google android and Apple firing on all cylinders. You get super pissed about att and Verizon duopoly on wireless service, but that's cool for us on the hardware side? Come on. As far as right now goes Amazon is close to having the tablet-tv-phone trifecta worked out. We should be rooting them on.

Posted via the Android Central App

Yes, now give me a reason why Amazon's phone should not succeed? Obviously the first attempt was a bad one, but why can't the next one be a winner? Because Android is perfect? Hardly. It is my preferred mobile OS, but I yearn for how easy all of Apple's products work together, and Amazon can do it/is kinda of doing it.

I see no issues in cheering for Amazon. I wholeheartedly agree that we need a third viable ecosystem to keep Google and Apple on their toes. With that being said, I will neither purchase nor "root for" a failed product. Amazon still has to earn my respect and my dollars. Besides, no amount of "rooting for" will make the Fire phone any more desirable, especially for what Amazon and AT&T are asking for.

I'm with others: reduce the on- and off-contract prices, cut the exclusives crap, and sell an unlocked version for us that don't want to be deal with carrier BS. If they had just done these three things from the get-go, they'd surely have more than 35k sales.

Maybe, but the screen tech is cool, and a solid idea. Just hide the camera's next time, bump up the battery, little more pleasing design, and they'll have a winner. It may not even be that much of a loss if ATT paid enough for the exclusive, and they pretty much beta test their first phone to a smaller group of people. And even if it's only 35,000 people, all they do on that phone is gonna make it's way to Amazon, so they will know first hand how people are using it, so the next gen it that much better. It's not all stupid.

Also, it's just the tone the comments have. "DIE STUPID AMAZON PHONE, SUCH A STUPID PHONE, PHONE IS DUMB FROM AMAZON". Even if the screen tech is a dud, it's the first cool new toy on a phone since the S-Pen.

Hey, I'm with you. The next iteration of the Fire phone may very well be the phone for other OEMs to beat.

As for the comments: you've seen worse, lol. Trust me, we both have haha. Remember when the One M7 first came out? The comments for each M7 and S4 article were friggin epic, lol.

So you want a 3rd ecosystem that depends on one of the other ecosystem for their OS?
Am I reading this right?

Amazon does not depend on Google's ecosystem, it depends on AOSP, which is quite a bit different, and to be nit picky, Google is itself kind of forking AOSP itself with hangouts, the new camera app, gmail, etc. In fact, an argument could be made that AOSP is supposed to be forked, since it's has barely any features to stand alone.

Why did we open the Android source code?
Google started the Android project in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there would always be an open platform available for carriers, OEMs, and developers to use to make their innovative ideas a reality. We also wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, so that no single industry player could restrict or control the innovations of any other. The single most important goal of the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP) is to make sure that the open-source Android software is implemented as widely and compatibly as possible, to everyone's benefit. https://source.android.com/faqs.html

I think he forked his own argument pretty well. Amazon is AOSP attempting to be as closed as it can. As for a 3rd ecosystem, there is a 3rd already, it's Microsoft, and I beleave they have a bigger phone market share than Amazon's FirePhone.

I'm pretty sure that Windows Phone can be considered a third ecosystem... One that is actually independent of the other two...

Seems like it would be about more than AT&T exclusivity. I believe in people choosing whatever they want. That being said I was even shocked to see they sold 35,000. Even that seems like alot. I don't understand who would buy that phone when there are other options that offer more in the same price range.

Posted via Android Central App from Samsung Note 3 or Surface Pro 3

Honestly what made them thing being sold by only carrier was a good idea. Whom ever accepted the offer should be fired.

Posted via Android Central App

really people?> Those people who bought it isn't so bright?. Those equal phones are better at that price point.

I like Amazon too. Once I took their OS off my Kindle FireHD and put CM on it, I had a pretty good device.

Amazon is great. I really hope they as a company don't lose sight of why.

What makes "fire" products so bad is their amazon app store exclusivity. They pander to people who don't know operating systems or ecosystems and don't want to. This is a legitimate market segment, but it is a shrinking one. I believe Amazon's future success depends on their ability to find profits outside of their "walled garden" business philosophy.

I believe the fire phone is an object lesson in this.

Posted via Android Central App

I haven't seen one in the wild yet.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

Well to be fair I've only seen 2-3 M8s and 1 Z2 in the wild as well. Everyone automatically goes for the S5, Note 3, or iPhone.

OnePlus One

I've seen a fair share of the M8's. Sony is like seeing a blue lobster.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

When I first read about this phone I couldn't see one compelling reason to want it. Flagship pricing for mediocre specs where it counts. No access to Google services. Availability on only one carrier. Everything that could have been done wrong was. While none of these issues would be enough to cause failure by itself the combination of all 3 is a disaster. Multiple heads are going to roll on this one.

Posted via Android Central App

We could have saved them a ton of money if they had listened to our collective ESP

After all...their number one feature was..snapping a picture of a movie scene and having a 9 year old tell you what movie it was from.

WTF WE'RE THEY THINKING

Posted via Android Central App

Maybe the reason the phone isn't selling well is the fact that no one wants it. I could have told you this thing wouldn't sell before they even announced the damn thing. I'm an Amazon Prime member and I don't even have a desire for this phone. For $200 on-contract there are MUCH better phones available.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

Yep. This can't be said enough. Note 3, iPhone 5s, etc. Hell, the S5, M8, and G3 can be had for 99 dollars on contract or less, if you shop around.

This phone should have been dirt cheap off-contract. The fact that it costs as much as a Galaxy Note 3 off-contract when it first came out is just ridiculous.

I think the obvious answer to the low sales figures of this device is simple....The phone sucks....we all know it, but I'll just say it again. $200 price tag? Its like they put the nail in the coffin all by themselves! Lmao

Posted via Android Central App

If you want to talk exclusivity, think about the entire Droid line. The Motorola Droid helped kick start the Android boom and the entire line was Verizon only. I think it's really just a terrible attempt to get people to use Amazon products. Not to mention the interface is disgusting. Who wants one giant app icon on their home screen with shelves of others underneath? Swipe through a random list of apps until you find that big ole icon your looking for!

Posted via Android Central App

First, I understand ATT exclusivity, GSM is the dominant technology so if Amazon is thinking of expanding outside the US market, GSM is the way to go. They should have made a T-Mobile variant to increase base of possible users. Perhaps if there is a Fire phone 2, they will make a CDMA version and put it on all carriers. If I remember correctly a second phone eas to be released soon after the first, perhaps it will not be an ATT exclusive. The real problem with the Firephone is the price. While many also site lack of Google play store and other Google software as a minus, if played right it could be a plus. Clean up the UI a bit and it may sell more, but Amazon is known for low prices and that is what the Firephone needs.

If your trying to break into a established market you've got to market the hell out of the thing and give it away. My contract is up in December and had forgotten of its existence.

A phone solely designed to part you from your money--loaded with a crap third party app ecosystem. Who could say no to that?

The Fire is based on spoon feeding information to people who either don't know how, or don't care to know how to use a smart phone... but the iPhone already owns that market.

The only phone I've actively rooted against for. I actually like Blackberry and Windows Phone and wouldn't mind them succeeding but these Fire products are different. No Instant Video app for non-Kindle android devices. I bought a first gen Kindle Fire first day it was in retail and then it barely gets any updates. From what I understand that was the same with the Fire HD. Doesn't give much faith for the HDX and Fire Phone.

These devices failing to storm the market makes me confident I won't have to go Kindle to get my Amazon movies I had bought over the years and the Prime videos that are a nice extra to the shipping. Bring on that Instant Video App Amazon, your experiement to be another Apple has failed.

It's definitely the app store situation. People don't buy these cheap capacitative tablets with no Google Play store, big deal if this is sold by a better known company. You dress up poop, it's still poop. The Amazon app store takes SO LONG to update apps. Most apps are two or three iterations older than the actual Google Play app. It's craziness. It's absolutely infuriating to have a device but not be able to get the app you want on it, or the updated app for that matter. Amazon needs to fix their app store first....

I expect Amazon would say they hold off on making these newer versions of apps available until they've completely tested it for their hardware. If so, they need to do this faster, to make them available sooner.

Posted via Android Central App

Actually, you are able to get apps like Snapchat and Instagram and everything on Fire devices without rooting it. For example, I have a Kindle Fire and I just set my settings to be able to install applications from unknown sources, then go on Silk Browser and download 1Mobile Market. Install it, and you can go on 1Mobile Market and download all of your desired apps like the ones from Google Play. It fixes the problem.

Brought to you by the Samsung Galaxy S5

Mediocre phone specs, At+t exclusive and high price. Looks like sales are going as expected maybe even better.

Posted via Android Central App

Why they would sell the Kindle nearly at cost and not their phone does not make sense. If they priced this phone around $349 contract free it would have been flying off the shelves....potentially sold out.

This just confirms what I've suspected for a long time. In the world of smartphones there's only room for 2 major platforms and barely enough for a 3rd. People know iOS and Android, and some people just want to live in a Windows phone tiled world. All other platforms have trouble justifying their existence. In Firephone's case Amazon tried gimmicks to get the consumers attention. Doesn't work and the numbers confirm that.

Posted via the Android Central App

I'm not shocked: according to the commercials, the target demographic are know-it-all 9 year olds with tech startups. Pretty niche market.

I think phone companies forcing their customers to hang on to a phone for two years forces customers to purchase more conservative, and less gimmicky phones. This just screams gimmick.

Dear Amazon, when you get a brand new phone in the market, there are one big thing you should've known. WHY would you make the thing EXCLUSIVE ONLY TO ONE CARRIER???!!! Even as some may comment about the iPhone when it was exclusive, even Apple could've made a MORE serious boat load of money if other carriers got it also. Besides Apple came out with their iPhone at a time smartphones were just starting to make their splash (the reason they made so much money). Add that with the fact the Fire is not very interesting for many with the awesome choices of smatrphones today, it's completely understandable very few are interested. Besides all of this garbage, is anyone surprised?!

Seeing as how AT&T says that 50% of it's business is from corporate customers, that eliminates half of potential buyers. The other 50% have way better devices to choose from.

That coupled with no Google play drives another nail in the Fire phone coffin. Then if AT&T does their usual thing of directing customers straight to the iPhone display the minute they come in.... Well let's just say that's the final nail.

Amazon has a decent ecosystem but unless you're a diehard fan, their sandbox is still too small. I only see the inevitable "fire" sale (pardon the pun) from AT&T coming for these devices.

From the DeathStar using my rooted LG G2

They tried to reinvent the rectangle with rounded corners. They just did such a poor job at it that Apple didn't even bother to sue.

Actually, you are able to get apps like Snapchat and Instagram and everything on Fire devices without rooting it. For example, I have a Kindle Fire and I just set my settings to be able to install applications from unknown sources, then go on Silk Browser and download 1Mobile Market. Install it, and you can go on 1Mobile Market and download all of your desired apps like the ones from Google Play. It fixes the whole problem.

Brought to you by the Samsung Galaxy S5

Why would anyone want to buy the fire phone. It's surprising so many people bought it in the first place. The phone locks you into Amazon's limited ecosystem. Other Android phones allow you to use both the play store and Amazon market.
This phone is utterly pointless and unnecessarily restricting