Want to be one of the few people who own one of Amazon’s troubled Fire Phones? The company has slashed the device’s price to $189, down from the regular $449 (without a contract). The catch: It’s only available at that price for one day (today).
The Fire phone comes with one year free of Amazon Prime, which goes for $99. The Fire fire sale is an incredible savings, and perhaps an acknowledgement that Bezos’s brainchild is priced too aggressively. But it seems that the CEO may only have himself to blame.
For an in-depth look at what went wrong with the Fire Phone, check out Fast Company‘s latest cover story, which details how Jeff Bezos worked closely with secretive Amazon R&D division Lab126 on the device:
Bezos was closely involved with developing both the hardware and the software. “I would see him brainstorming wild ideas with the industrial design team, or discussing font sizes and interaction flows with the UI team,” recalls a former topflight designer at Lab126, who describes a demanding pace. “And I thought, This is a CEO who cares about design; what a wonderful place to be.” Eventually, however, this designer grew frustrated, as did others. “In essence, we were not building the phone for the customer—we were building it for Jeff,” this source says. With Bezos managing every critical decision, teams began second-guessing themselves trying to anticipate how he would react.
Wednesday’s deep discount could be a way to drum up interest in the phone, or it could be a test of whether customers show more interest at a lower price. Of course, if you’re willing to sign a contract, the Fire Phone is already going for a hard-to-beat 99 cents.