It wasn’t too long following Amazon’s launch of its Fire Phone back in June that we started hearing warnings of underwhelming consumer interest. First we saw what appeared to be a precipitous drop in pre-sale figures, and then later we checked out some survey data that showed Fire Phone interest lagging behind even that for Windows Phone or BlackBerry. But for all this nay-saying, one all-important figure continued to elude us: the actual number of Fire Phones Amazon has managed to sell. The company has yet to release official data, but some new estimates place the number pretty darn low.
Ad network data shows the Fire Phone accounting for something like 0.015 percent of all ad impressions across smartphones in the US, twenty days since the phone was released. When we run that against the total number of smartphones in operation, we’re looking at a Fire Phone count a little north of 26,000. Even padding that out on the presumption that Fire Phone users might be less exposed to browser ads than your typical Android user, we’re still probably not looking at a figure much higher than 35,000.
Is that bad? Well, it ain’t good. Not only is the number itself quite low, but day-by-day tracking of ad impressions seems to show quite meager growth of sales, with only a minor upwards trend. Then again, Amazon’s not really answering to anyone here, and it can sell the Fire Phone as quickly or slowly as it pleases; maybe the phone will be a slow-burner, and it will take the public some time to warm up to it. Maybe carrier exclusivity will eventually pass, and the phone will become more broadly available. Maybe it just needs a price cut! The point is, there’s a lot that could still happen to bring more shoppers to the Fire Phone, and with the ball in Amazon’s court, it’s up to the company to decide just what those sales might be worth.