Amazon drops cost of Fire Phone to just a buck on contract

Credit: Source: Amazon

Today is the big day for Apple fans. In just a few hours we'll see what the company has in store for us. A new iPhone 6 (possibly several models) and some kind of wearable device are pretty much what everyone is expecting.

Amazon has decided to 'celebrate' in a rather odd way: they've cut the price of the Amazon Fire Phone from $199 to 99 cents, at least if you get it with a new 2-year contract with AT&T. That's quite a drop for a device that's only a couple of months old.

Amazon hasn't released sales figures for their phone but the general feeling in the tech world seems to be that it has been a major dud. A few weeks back The Guardian tried to sleuth out sales numbers by looking at data from Chitika's ad network and came up with an estimated 35,000 units sold. Is that number accurate? No one knows for sure.

Whatever the real reasoning behind the price cut, the perception is that the Fire Phone isn't selling and Amazon is desperate to move units. Maybe that works with casual consumers but what it says to me is that we have here a platform with a small install base, and a small install base generally means a small developer base, which in turn means fewer apps written to take advantage of the phones features. In other words the price drop makes me less, rather than more, likely to switch to a Fire Phone.

I also haven't heard anything about existing customers. If you paid $200 a week ago for something that is $1 today, you might be a bit upset. It'd be nice to hear Amazon is doing something to help make things right, even if it's as simple as extending early adopters' Amazon Prime subs to a second year.

If you're in the UK and are still determined to go all-in on Amazon when it comes time for your next handset, you'll want to know that the Fire Phone is now available for pre-order on the Amazon UK site.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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