A Look at Amazon’s Own Devices


Jun. 20 2016, Updated 3:04 p.m. ET

Increased demand for Amazon’s own devices

Amazon (AMZN) has been highlighting the strong sales of its own devices on Amazon.com. During the recently concluded quarter, the company stated, “Amazon devices are the top selling products on Amazon, and customers purchased more than twice as many Fire tablets than first quarter last year.”

The company added that Echo, its AI (artificial intelligence) powered, voice-controlled smart speaker, also remains a major hit.

Besides Echo, Amazon’s other hardware devices, including its Fire TV Stick and its Fire Tablet, have also received good responses from customers.

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Fire TV is a device used to stream videos from content providers such as Netflix (NFLX), Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, and Hulu. It also comes with access to Amazon’s own Instant Video service and access to MP3s from Amazon Music, Pandora (P), and TuneIn. The Fire TV Stick is a smaller and slower version of the Fire TV.

Not all Amazon devices are hits

Amazon launched its Fire smartphone in the United States (SPY) with much fanfare a couple of years ago, but the smartphone failed to impress users, and the company had to bear a huge inventory cost.

Amazon’s smartphone had some innovative features, but the company made a few mistakes that led to the device’s failing to gain popularity. The company introduced its Fire smartphone for between $199 and $299 with a two-year contract on AT&T’s (T) 4G LTE (fourth-generation long-term evolution) network as well as for $649 unlocked. Amazon eventually launched the device on T-Mobile (TMUS) but not on Verizon (VZ) or Sprint (S).

Users expected something simpler and cheaper from Amazon. Two months after the launch of the Fire smartphone, Amazon started offering the device effectively for free with a two-year contract and for $449 without a contract. By that time it was too late, as the damage had been done.


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