Amazon puts out Fire Phone for good, no sign of looming sequel
Once upon a time available at $650 off-contract and $200 with two-year AT&T pacts, the 3D-enabled Amazon Fire Phone quickly dropped to $450 and $1 respectively, then $199 SIM-free, $179, and finally, $130, with a bundled gratis year of Amazon Prime, normally worth around $100.
It’s difficult to quantify exactly how much money the Seattle-based device manufacturer and e-commerce giant lost on producing, marketing, and essentially giving the gimmicky handheld away for free, but at long last, the nightmare seems to be over.
Soon after the latest crazy discount, the 4.7-inch cousin of the slightly more popular Fire tablets was listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon.com, a text that still features on the product page. However, the company has told the media all inventory is gone, and as you’d expect, there are no plans to build and distribute any more copies. Cue bad flame and burn-related puns.
The misfire, which our review dubbed “the right phone at the wrong price” over a year ago, started off on the wrong foot in terms of software, with an Android fork that looks nothing like Google’s vanilla OS, and Dynamic Perspective-capable cameras that many found little practical use for.
Then, when the price became right, the damage was already done, the smartphone’s reputation tarnished, and its hardware got slowly superseded by even rival mid-rangers. Rumors of a follow-up, intended to mend the original’s errors, made the rounds a while back, but given Amazon has recently sacked a number of employees within its device-making division, a Fire Phone 2 is probably a long shot and unnecessary risk.
Discontinued by both Amazon and AT&T, and nowhere to be found at Best Buy or other reputable electronics outlets, the Fire Phone can still be bought on eBay from trusted seller qualitycellz in exchange for $135.