Yesterday Amazon put months of rumors to rest by unveiling the Fire Phone. It is the company’s first smartphone ever so its success is vital to the future of Amazon’s phone business. The company itself hasn’t said what its expectations are but a new report claims that Amazon may be looking to ship as many as 2-3 million units of the Fire Phone by this year’s end.
Now that might be an ambitious goal given the fact that Amazon Fire Phone is only being sold in the U.S. initially. Moreover its an AT&T exclusive which further limits its potential customer base since not everyone would consider changing carriers just to use its smartphone.
Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reports that Foxconn is going to build the Fire Phone units for Amazon, and that the company has placed initial orders for 300,000 – 500,000 units per month. Thus the aggregate estimate of 2-3 million units being by the end of this year. But even this is not an indicator of actual sales. We must wait to find out exactly how Amazon’s smartphone does in the market.
Sources who spoke to the scribe seem confident that the smartphone won’t be able to replicate the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, one of the main reasons would be the U.S.-only launch. The other is pricing, its not as aggressively priced against the competition as the tablets are.
Amazon Fire Phone is available for $199 with a two year contract on AT&T. An unlocked 64GB version costs $749 up front, a steep price that not a lot of customers are going to pay.