Amazon Not At All Desperate to Sell You a Fire Phone

kindle store

Today in Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? news, Amazon launched its first phone this summer to the great excitement of…

Exactly. In fact, the only thing we remember about the launch is disbelief over the price of the exclusively AT&T phone.

Now, in a move that amazingly coincides with Fire’s UK launch, Amazon is cutting that price by 90 percent. From the press release, which somehow found coverage on nearly every tech blog this morning:

Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, world-class customer support with Mayday, free unlimited cloud storage for photos, 32GB of storage—and, for a limited time, customers get 12 months of Prime membership with Fire phone, which includes unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes from Prime Instant Video, access to over a million songs to download or stream from Prime Music, over 500,000 books to borrow from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and free two-day shipping on tens of millions of items.

We know nothing about the phone in question, but we do hope its voice search option has better grammar than that sentence.

The release also includes (alleged) testimony from customers — just like a standard Amazon product page. Some nuggets:

  • “Love it, better than the iPhone I had, Better pictures and better screen…My wife is switching from her iPhone 5 to Fire since she has checked out my FIRE.”
  • “I’ve had three Kindle Fire tablets, and this Fire phone hooks seamlessly to their ecosystem of books and videos, which I use heavily in my professional work so that’s important to me.”

We have to wonder why Amazon chose today to issue this release, though we suspect the company just wanted a tiny bit of positive press before being overpowered by the pending Apple wave.

Re\code writes that Amazon is “tacitly admitt[ing] weak demand” for the Fire with this move, but if we were judging it on the basis of how many journalists used the phrase “fire sale” when tweeting the news, we would have to call it a great success. The company also knocked the non-contract price on the phone down to $449, which seems like a steal.

Still: in reference to the stock photo above, we don’t think you should expect to swing by the pop-up Fire store on your next mall run in Beijing.