Tech Fails: The Amazon Phone Disaster

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The Amazon phone, also known as the Amazon Fire phone was a tech fail due to a number of reasons. The competition in the phone devices markets notwithstanding, the Amazon phone did not please the intended users simply because the company had its interests at heart as compared to the interests of the intended buyers of the fire phone. Unlike the Amazon Kindle e-readers that aligned the interests of the readers and those of the company, the fire phone was a complete mismatch of these needs. The device may have failed solely on the account of the fact that it was not inspiring and could not at all strike a chord with the consumers. The cheap design and poor and gimmicky software could not help this device to make it in the competitive market of the smartphones.

What was the strategy of the Amazon Fire Phone?

Well, one of the contributing factors to the failure of the Amazon Fire phone was the lack of a clear strategy for this device. The Amazon Kindle device helped push the readership of the Amazon Kindle eBooks and therefore the company was able to sell more eBooks.

The Fire Phone was also created for the company e-commerce purposes. The Fire phone had the Firefly as a price comparison tool between Amazon products and the products of the competitors. The feature is a perfect example of the retail sales strategy that Amazon had for the Fire phone. However, it also serves as a reason for the failure of the Fire Phone.

So, where did Amazon fail with the Fire Phone?

So, why was the Amazon Fire Phone such an industry flop?  Was it about the hardware of the phone, the software or the price? What exactly was it that did not auger well with the targeted consumers of this phone? Well, we could say that the company was rather more interested in pushing the sales of its products as opposed to caring about the interests of the consumer. In this case, the phone had to flop.

The fact that Amazon has a fleet of apps for both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store means that the target consumers of the Fire Phone didn’t see any reason why they had to buy this phone as opposed to the other smartphones in the market. Now, apart from the above shortcomings of the Fire Phone, there are some specific reasons that made this phone a failure with the target market. We shall now discuss some of these reasons in detail below:

  • The Fire Phone was Too Expensive

One of the reasons the Amazon Fire Phone was slow in flying off the shelves was the fact that it was too expensive and lacks appeal to many of the target clients.  The Fire Phone debuted at a price of $199 with a contract of 2 years. This came as a surprise to many people, considering that Amazon has a history of undercutting its competitors. This was a high price, essentially the same as that of a new iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones? With this kind of a price, the Samsung and iPhone owners did not see any incentive in price to make them leave their devices for the Fire Phone.

If the phone had launched at a much affordable price, the Fire Phone could have gained the much-needed traction. The company finally did drop the price to 99 cents but this was too late to redeem the poor sales.

Small App Store for Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon’s devices run on the Android Operating system. This, however, does not mean that the users of these phones will have access to all the Android apps available on the rest of the Android phone fraternity. The reason for this is that Amazon’s devices use a proprietary applications store that is specifically tailor made for the company phones and devices.

This is a shortcoming that dealt the Fire Phone a blow. You see, the developers had to make different versions of the apps specifically for the Kindle Fire and the Fire Phone. Most of the developers haven’t cared to make apps for these devices.

It is also apparent that amazons store lacks most Google flagship apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps and so on. Popular services like Dropbox are also not available on the Amazon Fire and this means that not many people would be interested in this phone, hence the dismal performance in sales.

The Fire was Late to come into the market

This phone can be said to be a case of too little too late. While companies like Apple and Samsung are on their latest generations of devices, Amazon is on its first. This simply means that the company could not crack the market at this time, may be not even in the future! For Amazon to succeed with their Fire device, they would probably need to convince the first time smartphone buyers who have not yet developed a device preference. There aren’t many of these people anyway!

The Fire Phone has features of limited Interest

Many of the phones features are good for the heavy Amazon clients and this is what the phone was targeted at. Most of the features like scanning 100 million objects would only be good for the people who are interested in buying more things at Amazon. For instance, the big screen of the iPhone 6 would be a selling point for the device. It is also true that Apple Pay, the e-commerce tool works at places outside the Apple ecosystem. This cannot be said of the Amazon Fire Phone. In short, the Amazon Fire Device does not have the features or the qualities that would compel an average smartphone consumer to buy this device.

Simply put, the smartphones market is currently crowded and to break through, the Fire Phone would have needed superb hardware and software to set it apart.  This is not the case with this phone. The design of the phone is rather neutral and not many people would have a look at it, not forgetting the cutting edge technologies and designs used by the market leaders such as Apple and Samsung.