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Amazon’s Fire Phone might be an even bigger flop than anyone imagined

Updated Oct 15th, 2014 3:24PM EDT
Amazon Fire Phone Sales Flop

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Amazon’s Fire Phone is definitely 2014’s version of the Microsoft Kin and the Facebook-centric HTC First — in other words, it will go down as one of the most spectacular mobile phone bombs the world has ever seen.

RELATED: A flop for the ages — Fire Phone estimated to have sold 35,000 units at most

Now Consumer Intelligence Research Partners passes on some new data that suggests the Fire Phone’s impact on the mobile market has been literally nonexistent as even dedicated Amazon customers have avoided the device like the plague.

According to a recent CIRP survey of 500 Amazon Prime customers, literally none of them owned a Fire Phone. While you may just write this off as Prime customers only being interested in Amazon services and not hardware, CIRP did find that “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.” In other words, Amazon customers do seem somewhat interested in Amazon hardware, just not the Fire Phone.

The reasons for the Fire Phone’s failure are many: It’s an exclusive to AT&T, it costs as much on contract as the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5 despite not having either phone’s extensive app ecosystem, and it’s loaded with gimmicky features that aren’t that compelling differentiators.

Check out CIRP’s full press release below.

Amazon Prime Marches On, As Fire Phone Stumbles

Prime Membership Steady at 29 Million US Members; CIRP Can’t Find Phone Owners

CHICAGO, IL – Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) today released analysis of buyer shopping patterns for Amazon, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) for the July-September 2014 quarter.

This analysis indicates that Amazon Prime continues to attract members. In contrast, Amazon’s new hardware offering results are mixed. Amazon Fire Phone has achieved virtually zero market share, while Amazon Fire TV has gained some traction.

As of September 30, 2014, CIRP estimates that in the US, 41% of Amazon customers are Prime members, which translates to about 29 million Prime members.

“Amazon Prime membership continues to grow,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co- Founder of CIRP. “US members increased from about 27 million in the second quarter of this year to an estimated 29 million this quarter. For the last three quarters, over 40% of Amazon customers have reported having a Prime membership.”

Amazon Prime Marches On, As Fire Phone Stumbles

“Our data shows that Amazon hardware devices have mixed results,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Effectively zero percent own an Amazon Fire Phone. In contrast, approximately one quarter of US 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. Though 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.”

Amazon Visa cardholder participation has remained steady at 15-17% of total US customers. “This program also creates more loyal Amazon customers,” said Lowitz. “Participants in all of these different programs spend twice as much annually as other Amazon customers.”

CIRP bases its findings on surveys of 500 US subjects who made a purchase at in the period from Jul-Sep 2014.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.