“Amazon’s Fire Phone was launched in July, after many teaser videos and an expansive unveiling by chief executive Jeff Bezos, who showed off features like its 3D-effect maps and multiple front-facing cameras.
But since then, how many Amazon Fire Phones have actually been sold? How many are in use?”
After a lot of math, Charles Arthur of The Guardian concludes, based on web usage, that about 35,000 Amazon Fire phones have been sold. That’s not much. Amazon doesn’t release sales data for its hardware devices, so we don’t even know how many Kindles they sell.
I kind of liked the idea of the Fire Phone when I saw the first video, but seeing reviews shows me that it’s more gadget than useful device. And such a narrowly-branded phone – being tied to Amazon, just one carrier (AT&T), and it can’t access the broader Android app store – makes it a tough sell. Amazon fans might be interested, but other than that, what’s the point?
All this shows that it’s going to be very hard to unseat the two dominant players in the smartphone sector: Apple and Google (via Android). Platform is just as important as hardware manufacturer; perhaps if the Fire phone were a more standard Android fork, where people could use apps they’d already bought on another Android phone, it would be more enticing.