Amazon Fire Phone goes nearly free-on-contract; does it have a fighting chance now?
Ever since Amazon launched the Fire Phone a few months back, we’ve been anxious to learn if the company’s first smartphone effort would find success. Going in, we were nervous about what effect its flagship-level pricing and carrier exclusivity would have on sales, and based on the projections we’ve seen, it doesn’t really look like Fire Phone sales have been, well, on fire. But now Amazon may finally be ready to start doing something to turn the phone’s fate around, and today we get word not just of an expansion of Fire Phone sales, but a godsend of a price drop.
Starting today, the Fire Phone’s on-contract price drops from $200 on a two-year agreement to pretty much free-on-contract. OK, not actually free, but the ninety-nine cents Amazon demands you pay up hardly seems worth mentioning.
Even off-contract sales see a price drop, and while the 32GB model used to sell for nearly $650, it now drops the same $200 to just $450. The 64GB model sees similar savings, and is now available for $550.
That’s pretty impressive, especially on the no-contract side, and if this doesn’t help jump-start sales, we don’t know what will. OK, dropping AT&T as the only carrier option might also help. But speaking of exclusivity…
Today we also get word of the Fire Phone’s spread to the UK (update: and Germany), and just like Amazon did with AT&T in the US, it’s also going to be a carrier exclusive over on the other side of the pond. This time, it’s O2 tapped as Amazon’s UK carrier partner, either suggesting that Amazon’s learned nothing from the phone’s US launch, or else that it truly believes that an exclusive deal is necessary to get its phone into users’ hands. With pricing that exceeds these newly discounted American levels, however, that may still prove to be a hard sell.