Most indications so far have been that Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Fire smartphone has been a dud in the market, but a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners indicates that Amazon may have sold only a few thousand units of the phone thus far.
Amazon's Fire phone
CIRP released analysis of buyer shopping patterns at Amazon.com for the third quarter. The data from CIRP's survey suggests that Amazon hardware devices have had mixed results in the market.
"Effectively zero percent own an Amazon Fire phone," said Mike Levin, a partner and co-founder at CIRP. "In contrast, approximately one quarter of U.S. Amazon customers have either or both of a Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle Reader, and about 5% report owning the new Amazon Fire TV set-top box."
Levin said in a statement that although anecdotal accounts suggest Amazon has sold a few thousand Fire phones, "none of the 500 recent Amazon customers in this quarter's survey reported owning one." CIRP based its findings on surveys of 500 U.S. subjects who made a purchase at Amazon.com from July to September.
Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Fire phone went on sale July 25, exclusively through AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) for $199 with a two-year contract or for 24 monthly payments of $27.09 through AT&T's Next handset upgrade program.
Reviewers generally found the Fire phone's main features are interesting but gimmicky. One of the phone's standout features is Dynamic Perspective, which recognizes where a user's head is relative to the device and lets users tilt the phone to scroll through information or get more details in apps. The technology uses four cameras on the front of the Fire Phone to constantly track the user's head. Yet reviewers found the feature to be mostly pointless.
Firefly is another key feature on the phone. Firefly identifies more than 100 million different items, including books, music and TV episodes, and lets users purchase them with the click of a button through Amazon. The feature has interesting functionality--letting users go to the StubHub app to buy tickets to a concert based on a song that is playing, for instance. However, reviewers found Firefly couldn't consistently recognize what's in front the phone's camera.
In early September, just weeks after releasing the phone, Amazon dropped the price of the Fire phone to 99 cents with a two-year contract with AT&T. Such price drops often indicate sluggish demand for a product.
Study suggests AT&T exclusivity is holding back Amazon's Fire phone
Amazon's Fire smartphone dinged by reviewers as gimmicky
Amazon's Bezos open to paying for Fire phone data through AT&T's Sponsored Data program
Amazon Fire smartphone gives users access to more TV
Amazon debuts shopping-savvy Fire smartphone exclusive to AT&T