Amazon Slashes Price of Fire Phone

(The Seattle Times/MCT) -

Amazon has cut the price of its new entry into the mobile-phone business, the Fire Phone, from $199 with a two-year contract to 99 cents.

While the company hasn’t said how many of its new devices have been sold, the dramatic price cut suggests what analysts have speculated: The device isn’t selling well.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the phone amid much hoopla, with a stage show debut and hundreds of journalist, analyst and customer attendees. He played up new, differentiating features, such as a clever technology that identifies book covers, labels and bar codes to make shopping easier, and another that lets users tilt the phone to navigate websites rather than scrolling up and down by flicking their finger on the screen.

Reviewers have largely been unimpressed by the phone, which debuted on AT&T’s network July 25. And so too, it seems, have consumers.

In a news release, Amazon gave no reasons for the price cut. And its executives were not immediately available for comment.

The company said customers buying the new phone will continue to receive 12 months of Prime membership, which otherwise costs $99 a year.