For a long time we wondered if there was really a place in the market for the rumoured Amazon smartphone, and it turned out our doubts were well founded. The Fire Phone fell flat on its face this year, with a decidedly modest number of units sold and the handset ultimately blamed for the $544m loss posted in Q3. Oh dear.
In case there was any doubt (there wasn’t), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has conceded that the Fire Phone was an abject failure, but he also thinks the online colossus should be commended for having taken the gamble.
That’s the story over on NBC News, reporting words from Business Insider's annual Ignition conference in New York this week.
"People love to focus on things that aren't working. That's fine,” says Bezos. “But it's incredibly hard to get people to take bold bets. And if you push people to take bold bets, there will be experiments … that don't work."
Bezos reminds us of a number of Amazon experiments that have worked, including Amazon Web Services, Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets, and the Prime delivery service.
Furthermore, the follically challenged boss man warns: "Companies that don't continue to experiment, that don't embrace failure" might ultimately find themselves in trouble further down the line.
As for the Amazon Fire Phone 2, Bezos sighs: "It's going to take many iterations. I don't know. Ask me in some number of years.”