Amazon finally snuffs out the Fire Phone

5 ways Fire Phone
Just 14 months after it first went on sale, Amazon appears to have finally brought the curtain down on its Fire Phone.

The company said Wednesday its global Fire Phone inventory had run dry, adding that there were no plans to manufacture more. The device’s product page on Amazon’s site now shows a “currently unavailable” notice.

The news, which comes just a few days after reports suggested Amazon was streamlining its R&D operation while focusing on other hardware products besides the Phone, will come as little surprise to those aware of the Fire’s troubled past.

Kicking off with mostly lukewarm reviews – we gave it 5/10 in our own hands-on piece – the Fire Phone pretty much went downhill from there. It was considered way too pricey (at launch $650 off contract, $200 with a two-year plan) for what it offered, with battery life and processing power both falling short of expectations. It wasn’t the most comfortable phone in the hand, either, and lacked the premium feel of competing devices.

Amazon hoped to win people over with the phone’s unique Dynamic Perspective feature which offers 3D-like images that respond as you tilt the device. It also trumpeted Firefly, a camera feature that recognizes real-world objects like CDs, books, and bar codes, though Amazon of course hoped you’d end up clicking through to buy the item from its online store. Neither feature caused consumers’ jaws to drop.

Less than three months after launch, Amazon revealed in an earnings call that it was sitting on $83 million worth of unsold Fire Phone inventory, though with no apparent consumer excitement around the phone, the news didn’t come as too much of a surprise.

And now, just over a year after Amazon boss Jeff Bezos took to the stage to announce his company’s much anticipated entry into the smartphone market, the Fire Phone is no more.

A new smartphone from Amazon somewhere down the line can’t be ruled out, but for now the company seems keen to puts its weight behind other kinds of consumer kit such as its Echo speaker-cum-digital-assistant.

As for existing owners of the Fire Phone, Amazon confirmed on Wednesday it’s continuing to support the device, so if you’re still using yours, you should be fine for the time being.


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