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Amazon Fire Phone may have sold just 35,000 units


Fire Phone
Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon's first smartphone, the Amazon Fire Phone, has been a bit of a flop according to recently released ad impression figures.

The 4.7-inch smartphone launched in the US back at the end of July to mixed reviews, and it seems as if consumer reaction has been similarly lukewarm.

Amazon, of course, never gives out sales figures for its hardware, but data provided by ad firm Chitika as well as ComScore has allowed The Guardian to make a pretty good guess. It believes that just 35,000 Amazon Fire Phone handsets have been sold so far.

So how did the paper reach this startlingly low figure? In the 20 days following the Fire Phone's launch, Chitika recorded the Amazon Fire Phone as being responsible for 0.015 percent of activity on its ad network. According to ComScore, there were around 173 million active smartphone users in the US in June.

Adding on around two million users to account for predicted growth, and you reach somewhere between 175 million and 177 million smartphone users for the period of the Fire Phone's launch. Using these two sets of figures, that works out to around 26,000 Amazon Fire Phone impressions.

After taking into account predicted under-indexing (the amount of time your average Android phone user will use the conventional internet compared to, say, an iPhone user), the report concludes with the headline figure of 35,000 Amazon Fire Phone handsets sold.

Or to be more precise, it concludes that "it seems unlikely that there were more than about 35,000 Fire Phones in use" after 20 days on sale.

Naturally there's plenty of margin for error in these calculations, but they give a pretty convincing estimate of the performance of Amazon's first Fire Phone - and it doesn't look promising any way you cut it.

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August 27, 2014, 1:07 pm

Got one and I like it. However, it does have some problems such as exclusivity to AT&T and no access to Google Play. Also, there are some annoying things such as the fact that Square reader is not supported, nor is Amazon's own credit card scanner.

On the positive side of things, the call quality is great, hardware is solid enough, Firefly works quite well and there are a couple of games that take advantage of the much hyped dynamic perspective technology built into this thing. A free year of Amazon Prime is pretty awesome, too.

Still, this is a hard phone to recommend. I like it because my personal smartphone is an iPhone 5S and the Fire Phone is the one my office pays for. If I didn't already have access to all the apps I want through Apple's store, I would have returned the Fire Phone a few days after I got it. It's cool and all, but limiting access to Amazon's apps store is a major problem with this phone.

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