Amazon's Fire Phone sells for 99 cents

Amazon’s Fire Phone sells for 99 cents

What would be the flagship of Amazon, its first great Smartphone, the Fire Phone, seems to be sinking slowly, evidence of this we can see this week, after the phone received a price drop of almost 200 dollars (for a limited time ) after its sales just over a month and a half after its launch did not report the expected numbers. This promotion is possibly trying to gain some ground among those who are willing to sign up to a 2-year contract with AT&T, the only operator that is currently exclusively offering this terminal. If we also take into account that this week Apple launches its long-awaited iPhone 6, we can see that Amazon’s situation is not good.

Fire Phone

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon during the launch of the Fire Phone

Fire Phone What is going wrong?

ANDThe Fire Phone is not a low-class cell phone at all, it has a 13 Megapixel rear camera, a 2.2 Ghz 4-core processor and 2 GB RAM and 32GB internal memory, among other good Hardware specifications such as what is its innovative front screen equipped with 4 infrared cameras that allow it to track the movements of the face and present 3D images. Additionally, the Fire Phone comes with some software gifts such as access to unlimited storage of photos in the Amazon cloud, a free one-year subscription to Amazon’s Prime service that normally costs $ 99, and the “FireFly”, a program that uses cell phone shells to scan physical objects and search for them in the Amazon store for purchase.

Fire Phone

5 front cameras, 4 of them infrared help by giving the 3D effect

All of these features don’t sound bad at all, so why have their sales been speculated so low so far? In my opinion there are at least 2 factors to consider although there could be many more.

The first of them is the possibility of acquiring it only (in contract) with AT&T, which limited its acquisition only to those who could and would like to have their line with this operator at a price previously close to $ 200 in plan and now close to dollar in plan. For those who were not willing to have their Fire Phone with AT&T, then they should pay a full price of almost 450 dollars to get a free one, which is quite high even in the range of devices of the same range of specifications.

Fire Phone

FireFly, the App that helps to find objects with the camera in the Amazon store

Fire Phone has a Fork of Android, developed exclusively by Amazon Second and even more important in my opinion, is that the Fire Phone has an ASOP version of Android, a FORK developed exclusively by Amazon for this terminal away from the entire Google ecosystem. This means that despite the fact that most Android Apps will work without problems on this terminal, it is separated from all Google services and as such from a large part of the Android developer community. This cell phone therefore would not come equipped with the Google Play Store, but with the Amazon application store (which is known to be inferior), as well as all the native Google services, such as maps and the mail application. they would not be present. This is especially serious for Amazon to the extent that the new versions of Android and any improvement that you want to make to the operating system for this computer, would be their own responsibility, which usually translates to end users, slow or never arriving updates. On the other hand, because its 3D screen is an exclusive development, finding applications that support it, and companies interested in adapting their Apps for this terminal will not be an easy task (especially if sales are still low). No company would want to spend development hours and thousands of dollars to adapt its Apps to the 3D screen of a cell phone that very few people use.

Fire Phone

A Fire Phone un-box

What is your opinion of this terminal? Would you get one for 99 cents on a 2-year contract with AT&T? What are the reasons why you think that this great team, and very promising in appearance, is not giving the expected results? Here is a small video that shows how the dynamic perspective that is achieved with infrared cameras works. Do you think Google does not have a project similar to this phone? You can read about Google’s Tango project that is going the same way as Fire Phone augmented reality but much further.