Fire Phone Stories January 25, 2016

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Amazon has a “fail fast” mindset that results in them creating many services and then quickly shuttering them if they don’t succeed. According to a report from The Information, Amazon is having another go at smartphones, though this time without hardware and instead through software partnerships with OEMs, not taking the failed Fire Phone approach.

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Fire Phone Stories September 9, 2015

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In news which will surely be no surprise to anyone, Amazon is no longer selling the unloved Fire Phone. Head on over to the Amazon Fire Phone’s product page and you’ll notice the phone is “currently unavailable” in both the 32GB and 64GB storage flavors. Despite many attempts to get people to notice its first smartphone, it seems Amazon didn’t do enough to make it appealing. Amazon confirmed to GeekWire that “the company sold out of its inventory of Fire Phones in the U.S. and globally at the end of August.”

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Fire Phone Stories August 27, 2015

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A report in the WSJ suggests that Amazon is most likely abandoning plans to make any further smartphones after the failure of the Fire Phone.

In recent weeks Amazon has dismissed dozens of engineers who worked on its Fire phone at Lab126, its secretive hardware-development center in Silicon Valley, according to people familiar with the matter […]

The company told some smartphone engineers earlier this year that further phone development would be shelved, though one of the people said Amazon has shifted the effort to its hometown of Seattle … 

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Fire Phone Stories May 7, 2015

Amazon Fire Phone gets KitKat, Bluetooth LE support in update to Fire OS version 4.6.1

The infamous Amazon Fire Phone is getting a substantial update today, bringing the device from Android Jelly Bean (yes, Jelly Bean) up to the almost not-ancient Android 4.4 Kit Kat. With this version of Android, the phone is getting a plethora of new features that—almost—help bring it into 2015.

Fire Phone Stories December 17, 2014

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Amazon’s Fire Phone, announced in June, was a flop to say the least. Offering hardly anything that wasn’t already on the market, the device launched at a price of $199 on contract (and AT&T-only, to boot), but very soon became basically free (and $199 unlocked) after sales figures turned out to be absolutely depressing. But even with the device’s failures, Amazon is today pushing a relatively substantial software update to its flopped attempt at entering the smartphone market…

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Fire Phone Stories November 26, 2014

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It seems that Amazon is finally throwing in the towel with its Fire Phone. After the hype leading up to its launch, Fire Phone has been struggling to stay afloat. It’s best to think of the Fire Phone as a smaller version of a Kindle Fire tablet, but with a few extra gimmicks and features thrown in along with a free year of Amazon Prime.

The Fire Phone may have been a disappointment to the market, but Amazon isn’t giving up on its attempt to push it into the hands of consumers this holiday season. The Fire Phone can now be purchased unlocked and off-contract for only $199 (32GB Version)

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Fire Phone Stories September 9, 2014

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Amazon seems to have finally accepted that access to Amazon Instant Video still isn’t going to make anyone want to buy a Fire Phone. As of today, Amazon Prime members in the U.S. can watch Instant Video on any Android device using the updated Amazon app.

Prime members in the US can stream unlimited Prime Instant Video from inside the Amazon app using the Prime Instant Video player, including HBO shows The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Six Feet Under, and The Wire …

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Fire Phone Stories August 26, 2014

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According to numbers crunched by The Guardian‘s Charles Arthur and based on data from Chitika and comScore, it appears as if the Amazon Fire Phone isn’t exactly setting hardly anything on fire. In fact, if this report is to be believed, Amazon hasn’t sold more than 35,000 total Fire Phone units since the much-hyped unveiling of the device in June.

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Fire Phone Stories August 19, 2014

Amazon’s Fire Phone gets its first update, mostly things it should have had in the first place

Amazon’s Fire Phone didn’t get off to the best of starts, with most reviews panning it, but it just got a little better thanks to its first over-the-air update – mostly providing things it should have had in the first place.

Fire OS 3.5.1 provides a quick means of switching between apps, app folders, pinning of favorite apps to the home carousel, improved battery-life and more. To install it, swipe down from the top of the home screen to open Quick Actions, select Settings, then tap Device > Install system updates > Check Now to download. Once it’s downloaded, tap Install System Update and wait for the restart.

If the improvements are enough to make you consider a Fire Phone of your own, it’s available direct from Amazon from $649 outright or from $0 to $299 on contract.

You can read chapter-and-verse on all the improvements below. 

Fire Phone Stories August 6, 2014

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Microsoft announced today that its cloud-based OneDrive storage application is now available for the Kindle Fire and Fire Phone via the Amazon Appstore. Similar to Google Drive, Microsoft’s online storage solution lets users share photos, videos, documents and other items with other people directly from their smartphone or tablet.

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Fire Phone Stories July 29, 2014

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The reason Amazon’s Fire Phone has failed to impress is that it spent so much on the “gimmick” of dynamic perspective that it only had enough cash left to build an otherwise mediocre phone – the conclusion of a component analysis of a teardown of the phone.

Dynamic perspective allows the phone to detect and respond to head movements when viewing the phone’s display, but has been widely seen by reviewers as a novelty or gimmick.

Following iFixit’s earlier teardown of the Fire Phone, re/code has been given sight of a component costing following a separate teardown by research form IHS. This reveals that the total component cost of the Fire Phone is around $205 – more expensive even than Apple’s flagship iPhone 5S. The cost of the dynamic perspective technology left little room for anything but mid-range specs in the rest of the handset, says IHS …  expand full story

Fire Phone Stories July 25, 2014

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iFixit has added to the poor reception given to Amazon’s first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone, by rating it 3/10 for repairability. Even Amazon didn’t seem to have great confidence in the technology, its first ad focusing instead on the free 1-year Amazon Prime subscription you get with the phone.

Despite external, non-proprietary screws and no adhesive holding the casing together, iFixit found that simply removing the battery proved challenging, requiring a mix of heating and prying. After that, says the company, things only got worse …  expand full story

Fire Phone Stories July 22, 2014

Mis-Fire: Amazon’s first foray into the smartphone market fails to impress

Amazon has finally stepped into the ring to take on the current champions of the smartphone market with its own device, the Fire Phone. In what essentially boils down to a smaller version of the Kindle Fire tablet, the Fire Phone packs a custom-built operating system dubbed Fire OS, a “dynamic perspective” system powered by four front-facing cameras that allow you to control the phone and access advanced information just by moving your head, and more.

Tonight the first reviews of the Fire Phone have hit the web, and while many see some potential in the device, Amazon still has quite a few issues to covercome if it plans to truly put a dent in this market. Below we’ve compiled some excerpts from these reviews along with links to the full write-ups.

Fire Phone Stories July 17, 2014

Amazon shares its first ad for the Fire Phone

Amazon’s Fire Phone is officially set to be released on July 25th, but the company has just shared the first ad for the device. Instead of focusing on the device’s unique features like the Firefly button or Dynamic Perspective, the ad focuses entirely on the fact that the phone comes with a free year of Amazon Prime.

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