The Future of Mobile

Amazon Dumps The Fire Phone

Tim Maytom

FirePhone_Hand_Firefly-IconJust over a year after its initial and much-hyped launch, Amazon has stopped selling its Fire Phone, removing the device from its own website and operator partner AT&T's online store.

The device was introduced in June 2014 boasting several unique technologies, including a 3D viewing display and image-recognition technology, but was largely recognised by critics and consumers as a way to simplify buying items on Amazon.

Sales were disappointing from the very beginning, with Amazon forced to dramatically drop the price from $200 (£130) with an operator contract to just $0.99 after three months, signalling that what the company had hailed as an iPhone rival was in serious trouble.

In October, Amazon took a $170m inventory charge mostly due to unsold Fire Phones, which in turn contributed to the firm's worst quarterly net loss in over a decade and sent the company's stock prices plummeting.

It isn't clear whether Amazon will attempt to introduce a new version of the Fire, but the Wall Street Journal reported last month that the company had fired dozens of engineers who had worked on the smartphone, suggesting they have truly burned that bridge. Instead, the online retailer seems to be returning its focus to tablets, with the recent announcement of a bargain tablet that will cost only $50.