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Could the Fire Phone be an even bigger dud than HTC’s Facebook phone?

Published Jun 20th, 2014 11:12AM EDT
Amazon Fire Phone Vs. HTC First

When T-Mobile CEO John Legere this week brutally compared Amazon’s Fire Phone to the HTC First, was he being optimistic? In a new video, popular YouTube gadget reviewer Marques Brownlee makes the case that the Fire Phone really might be as big of a dud as HTC’s Facebook-centric phone and might actually do worse because of Amazon’s pricing decisions.

“Not everyone has to make a phone,” he says. “Remember when Facebook decided, ‘We have to make a phone!’ and the HTC First was born? And how long did that last, really? So I’d be surprised if we saw this Fire Phone last as long as that.”

Brownlee’s reasons for being down on the Fire Phone are manifold:

  • He thinks the phone’s Dynamic Perspective 3D-like display will be seen as gimmicky by many prospective buyers… and it’s the major selling point of the phone
  • Given that the phone is basically a conduit for consumers to buy things on Amazon, why price it at $650 off contract, which is in the same price range as more well established brands such as the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5?
  • Similarly, why release it as an exclusive to AT&T, which will inherently limit the number of people who buy it, just like with the HTC First?

While it will be tough for the Fire Phone to be as big of a flop as the HTC First — remember, AT&T discontinued sales of that phone after little more than a month — we find Brownlee’s points to be pretty compelling.

Be sure to check out the full video below.

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.

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