Amazon Inc. has a Black Friday deal for you: It officially dropped the price of its Fire Phone to $199 unlocked and off-contract. The e-commerce company's first mobile device has seen abysmal sales since its launch in July, confirming in October that most handsets remained unsold despite several price cuts.
Most recently, Amazon slashed the price of the Fire Phone to 99 cents with a two-year contract and $449 unlocked ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Now, the smartphone, which features "Dynamic Perspective" 3D technology, is free with a two-year contract. To sweeten the deal, Amazon is offering customers a free year of its Amazon Prime package of shipping and other benefits, which usually costs $99. Those already registered with Amazon Prime essentially get the Fire Phone for just $99 unlocked and off-contract.
The Amazon Fire Phone was originally priced at $649 unlocked and $199.99 with a two-year contract, which Amazon's senior vice president of devices, David Limp, has since admitted was a misstep. Many expected the Fire Phone to come onto the market at a competitive price in order to shake up the industry; however, Amazon hoped to appeal to the premium market, with not only a high price tag but also an exclusive deal with AT&T.
Its high price and lack of availability is likely the reason why consumers have largely ignored the device, with it having reportedly sold about 35,000 units since launch. Amazon also announced in October it has taken a $170 million loss with the Fire Phone.
However, as it attempts to move latent units of the Fire Phone, Amazon says it's not out of the smartphone business just yet. The company plans to continue with a second iteration of the Fire Phone, and likely many more after that. Amazon's vice president of devices, Jorrit Van der Meulen, noted to the Guardian earlier this month that the first model of its Kindle e-reader was also not well received.