Amazon Fire flop won't stall firm's future smartphone plans

The launch of the Amazon Fire Phone in 2014 was not the success the company might have hoped for, but that won't stop the online retailer from pushing ahead with its plans in the sector.

According to Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak, who spoke on the Fire phone's disappointing performance last month, there is still $83 million of unsold devices left over. This translates to a loss of over $170 million during the third quarter of 2014.

Speaking to Fortune, Amazon senior vice president of devices David Limp admitted that one of the reasons behind the Fire Phone's under-performance was the bungled pricing.

The phone was sold for $199 for the 32GB model and $299 for the 64GB model.

"We didn't get the price right," Limp said. "I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we're also willing to say, 'we missed.' And so we corrected."

It's true that in September Amazon dropped prices to 99 cents (with a contract), which Limp says, along with some improvements to the phone's software, produced better results.

"When you're taking risks," Limp continues,"they're not all going to pay off. Those are the facts."

Limp mentioned the unpopularity of early Kindle models, which went on to become a huge success with consumers.

"We are going to keep iterating software features to get it better and better. Each release that we're doing, we're learning. Beyond that, I leave it out there to see what people think."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at