Amazon’s Fire Phone: A Missed Call

by Schneider Associates | Public Affairs, Higher Ed
November 3, 2014

At the beginning of the summer, talk flared surrounding Amazon’s new product launch. At a launch event on June 18, the Amazon Fire phone entered the smartphone market with skepticism. What would Amazon do differently to lure Apple- and Android-lovers to convert? In a Harvard Business Review article, Schneider Associates’ CEO Joan Schneider compared the Amazon launch event to tech giant Apple’s new iPhone introduction – both were eerily similar, except Amazon’s Fire phone did not ignite the same consumer demand.

Although the Fire has several unique features such as a scanning system called Firefly and cutting-edge 3D imaging technology, the Fire phone falls short of the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. The product launch has recently been called a flop by the media – which is not what Amazon hoped to hear.

As of October 24, Amazon still had $83 million worth of unsold units in its inventory, unlike the Apple iPhone 6 which sold out in less than a week. With little purchasing fuel from consumers, Amazon dropped the price of its Fire phone from $200 to just 99 cents with a two-year AT&T contract. Coincidentally, this price reduction happened just days before Apple successfully unveiled the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

So why aren’t Fire phones selling like wildfire?

According to TIME, the phone is too expensive to create the incentive for iPhone and Galaxy users to make the switch, the app store is too small, the product was too late to the market and its features are not very interesting.

Back in June, Schneider said the launch event “fell short of the panache an Apple event typically delivers, and did not produce the kind of excitement this innovative device deserves” – and while the launch was effective enough to light a small spark in the marketplace, the product has yet to catch.

To read Joan Schneider’s Harvard Business Review article, Click Here.

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Nicole LeLacheur
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