back to article If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, FIRE again: Amazon mulls smartphone sequel

Amazon hasn't learned its lesson from the thundering belly flop of its Fire Phone, and according to some accounts it's apparently beavering away at a second version. The giant retailer launched the Fire Phone in June to much fanfare after a hush-hush development cycle. But despite the handset's novel "3D" display and baked-in …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything to keep fooling the investors

    Gotta justify that ridiculous stock price by keeping the dream alive that they might someday be profitable.

    1. ricegf
      Thumb Up

      Re: Anything to keep fooling the investors

      Usually we chide American investors for their impatience. Why in the world would you chide them for *patience*?

      Amazon investors have been very patient because their strategy is working - market share continues to grow, and many initiatives are positioning Amazon to compete effectively with behemoths like Walmart and Target. Investing for the long term is ultimately the winning financial strategy in life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anything to keep fooling the investors

        Patience is one thing, Amazon is simply a leftover dotcom bubble that never burst. It is like fusion power, Amazon actually making money is a mirage that is always in the future.

        Reaching for a bigger market share when your margins are near zero is like the old joke about "we lose money on every car we sell, but we'll make it up in volume". They were able to muscle out the brick and mortar book stores, but they can't muscle out the brick and mortar retailers - they all sell on the internet too. Plus there are many other internet based retailers only a click or a price search away, giving Amazon little latitude to decide "now is the time to raise prices so we make better margins and actually show a profit".

        First they thought having recommendations "people who bought x also bought y" was the answer, but it is very limited utility. Then they thought having a wider selection than anyone else would make them unique enough they could charge more, but there are thousands of niche sites that collectively have a far wider selection than Amazon ever could. Now they think faster deliveries are the answer, with the same day and one hour stuff they're testing. There's certainly a market for that, but not a big one. Most people are willing to wait a few days to save a few bucks. When they figure that out, they'll have a new scheme they'll hold out to the investors as the way forward.

  2. Cynicalmark


    Expandable Memory Slot

    E Ink screen

    Be unique and don't follow the crowd

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they'd shipped the current phone with a decent hi-res screen and a metal body, it would've done a lot better. Locking it down to AT&T in the US can't have helped either.

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Lockdown Lock Out

      Locking any phone to one network is plain daft, they must have hoped that the 'partner' would help launch the beast.

      It is one thing to get a phone heavily subsidised so it appears 'free' and is thus locked down. It is anther to only have one choice, from that point on you tend only to look for reasons not to go further and from reports it appears there were a few of those. Or was it more than a few reasons?

  4. WibbleMe

    From £28 a month...!, path I want pay as you go

  5. Pen-y-gors

    Because it can...

    the Fire Phone's Firefly app, where you can scan text and have it converted to or from English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

    Sounds like it could be quite useful.

    Firefly has also been trained to identify 2,000 famous paintings, for those of you who like to walk around art museums with your mobile in your hand.

    Sounds, utterly, utterly, utterly pointless for 99.999% of users. Why do they do this sort of thing? Image recognition may well be quite handy, and that may be what they're trying to demonstrate here, but really it's of no use to the few people who actually own one. I mean, if you're in the National Gallery and want to know what you're looking at try scanning and OCRing the label next to the picture. Or even READING it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As a confirmed Amazon user Kindle, fire TV and now fire stick, I can say personally it was the exclusive att thing that threw me off the fire phone, quite possibly the most stupid mistake they could have done.

    Face it at this point there are two main phone camps, apple and android. It would have been nice to have greater access to all my amazon content, books movies etc but not enough to switch carriers. When my contract renews and if it's available on sprint I will likely buy it but face it no phone (anymore) is groundbreaking enough to switch providers for. The first apple phones were good enough but these days most of the differences are only of interest to tech writers, they are lost on the average user.

  7. Mike Flugennock

    You forgot all the other fun stuff...

    ...about the Fire Phone -- the user-tracking features and other smelly spy-ish features in Firefly, and how it's basically designed for shopping.

    Dealing with keeping my iPhone locked down (1, count it, 1 third-party app, Twitter) is tough enough. I'll take a pass on Amazon's full-on Big Brother in my pocket.

  8. MrWibble

    Put the Google play store on there, and I'm sure it'll sell lots. You can even keep the amazon stuff on there, if you really want...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All part of the plan

    I've heard from a reliable source (hence anon posting, sorry, not giving citations) they are not expecting big sales of the current or even the next version. They are a way in to the market. Amazon have enough cash to deal with low sales, until they a get a really good product that people want, and they are spending a lot of development cash to do just that.Will they succeed? Who knows, but even Windows phones are selling more than I ever expected, so anything can happen.

  10. Frederick Tennant

    its been years and people still will never learn.

    It looks like industry bigwigs which our investors are looking to are not that bright at all, they surround themselves with "Yes men" and think they are on top of the world.

    Somebody spends years looking and asking questions and listening (thats the most important bit) Then makes a outstanding product which changed the rules at the same time. Remember they spent years watching what other companies was up to and how the market was reacting before dropping that bomb on the industry, then spent 4 more years with what I could only call "vapourware" before the tablet came along.

    So what do they do about it, nothing! Im sorry but they did make fools of them selves by making so many "me too" products which just don't even come close with either quality or of use, better still they tried to cover it with stupid high prices too. When will people learn if you want to make a winning product make something new for gods sake. Look at HP's fire sale, so who's next?

    "Think Different" is the biggest slap in the face to the electronics industry to date and industry should take a good look in the mirror.

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