Seattle -- Amazon has lowered the price of its fledgling Fire smartphone to 99 cents with a two-year contract, with a year of Prime membership thrown in.
In the U.S., the Fire is available exclusively through AT&T in stores or online, as well as from Amazon. The 32GB Fire is now 99 cents with a two-year contract or $0 down and $18.75 per month for 24 months through AT&T's NEXT 18 program. The phone hit the market with a $199 price tag for the 32BG model and $299 for 64GB. Amazon said nothing about discounting the 64GB model.
The Fire phone's sales have been weaker than expected, but analysts who spoke to TWICE in the run-up to the July launch predicted the phone would not sell in high volume due to premium pricing and a sparse initial app universe, among other obstacles.
Amazon said today the Amazon Appstore "has seen tremendous growth with the rate of app submissions to the Appstore, more than doubling in the weeks following the Fire phone launch in the U.S." The company listed recent additions including Fly Delta, Bank of America, MLB.com At Bat, Tetris Blitz, Uno With Friends, Venmo and World Series of Poker.
Commented Ian Freed, Amazon devices VP: “With access to all of the Prime content, Mayday, 32GB of memory and free unlimited Cloud storage for photos, plus the exclusive Dynamic Perspective and Firefly features, Fire is another example of the value Amazon delivers to customers.”