Amazon’s Fire Phone has pretty been the laughing stock of the smartphone world ever since it was first announced back in June. Poor sales and a price cut did little to stop the mocking of the gimmick-laden phone, but just how big a flop the Fire Phone became wasn’t realized until late last month.
Amazon reported that it took a $170M charge on the Fire Phone and was sitting on roughly $83 million in unsold stock. At the time, Amazon execs weren’t offering up much criticism of the device other than to say “We didn’t get the price right.”
Today, however, an Amazon Europe exec is offering a bit more humility with regards to the Fire Phone. Jorrit Van der Meulen, Amazon’s VP of Devices in Europe, offered a more honest assessment of the troubled smartphone in an interview with The Guardian.
“We’ve learned a lot on this one. We’re undeterred, but we’re not immune to the criticism either.
“We certainly read everything that’s written from customers to journalists and take note, so might the second step be slightly different than our first step, sure. I suspect that it will be.”
The Fire Phone was pretty much written off by most reviewers as being overpriced (before the massive price cut) and incapable of competing with today’s latest and greatest flagship smartphones. Amazon’s own customers have also been less than forgiving about the device’s shortcomings, giving it an overall rating of just 2.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon’s website. More recent Amazon hardware products such as the Fire TV (4 stars), Kindle Fire HDX 7 (4.5 stars), and Kindle Paperwhite (4.5 stars) have seen much warmer welcomes from customers.
To that end, Van der Meulen pointed to the fact that its first generation Kindle tablets were not warmly received initially, but have gone on to become well-liked devices in the e-Reader field as the company has gained more experience in the field.
“The number of times we’ve been written off or received lumps because of short-term speed bumps – the list is really, really long,” said Van der Meulen.
The Fire Phone is the latest in that long list, but Amazon will likely try to get things right in subsequent generations of the Fire Phone. Hopefully Amazon will listen to its many critics to not only get pricing right the second time around, but also to develop a smartphone that people will actually want to use on a daily basis.
People might not mind being “sold” on Amazon products and services through the UI with a Kindle Fire tablet that might only be used a few times a day (or even a few times a week) and is passed and shared between family members. But with smartphones being so interwoven into the daily routine of so many people around the globe, perhaps Amazon should rethink its in your face “gotta keep selling” attitude for the Fire Phone.
The piracy police made one 9-year-old a very unhappy camper
ZMAX will come with a Snapdragon 400 processor and 720p display
UC Davis dares to go where Toyota won't with the Prius
An Apple spokesperson fires back over Microsoft's latest commercials
Engadget gets the scoop on Dell's latest "ultra-portable" notebook