Jeff Bezos: Yeah, the Amazon Fire Phone was a failure, but at least we tried

Jeff Bezos: Yeah, the Amazon Fire Phone was a failure, but at least we triedFor 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.”

Read more about: Android

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5 comments

kitechker  Dec. 3, 2014 at 11:34

2 main things they overlooked...price (ridiculously overpriced) and a 'closed' source OS (being an android phone flexibility is a must)

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:05

That was not "a gamble" for which you should be applauded, Mr Bezos. In a "gamble" you have a chance. This thing was bound to fail on every level.

I also don't think pricing was the big issue. The thing doesn't sell NOW seriously discounted, either!
Compare it to HP sinking webOS! Those devices did sell well once discounted! And they had next to no app support...

wave  Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:04

If they'd just launched a cheap (~£100) phone running Fire OS, similar to the Moto G, they would have been onto an instant winner, plus they could have done it years earlier...

Also, if they'd launched a 3G version of the new Fire HD 6 tablet, with voice calling, I imagine it would sell quite well.

CTPAHHIK  Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:08

It actually sells pretty good at its new targeted price of $200. I would pick one up, but I don't want to bother with US shipping.

Let's see how many Nexuses will Google sell at their astronomical price.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 3, 2014 at 18:17

It actually sells pretty good at its new targeted price of $200. I would pick one up, but I don't want to bother with US shipping.

Let's see how many Nexuses will Google sell at their astronomical price.

Not too many, I'd say. But we'll never know ;) Google haz the right to be forgotten, right? :p

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