As Apple prepares to debut two new iPhone models at this afternoon's press event in San Francisco, another smartphone maker is apparently exiting the market...at least for the time being. As spotted by GeekWire this morning, it seems that Amazon has sold out of its 32 GB and 64 GB models of the Fire Phone. In addition, the shopping site notes that Amazon doesn't know "when or if this item will be back in stock."
Amazon confirmed to us that the company does "not plan to replenish supply at this time."
While the out-of-stock message alone was not a direct confirmation that the Fire Phone is gone for good, there was some speculation in that direction given The Wall St. Journal's recent report that the company is scaling back on its hardware ambitions. This included dismissing dozens of Fire Phone engineers and also, reportedly, plans to put phone development on hold, the report said.
Amazon has also now confirmed that the Fire Phone is sold out in the U.S. and internationally as of the end of August.
Amazon's Fire TV has also been unavailable since the middle of August, and features the same non-committal, out-of-stock message as Fire Phone. But in that case, industry observers believe that Amazon is poised to roll out a revamped Fire TV following today's unveiling of Apple's upgraded Apple TV box.
The Fire Phone - or to be more specific, that model of Fire Phone - may be gone forever, though.
The device, despite its bells and whistles which included 3D screen capabilities and face-tracking cameras, was largely a flop. As analysts pointed out, what consumers wanted from Amazon were inexpensive devices that are simple to use - not high-end phones with flashy (but also gimmicky), features.
In recent months, the phone has seen a series of price cuts as the company tried to move the inventory. It even dropped it to $60 this summer - a bargain, as it ships with a year of Prime (normally $99/year). Amazon also took at $170 million write down of unsold inventory in October, the Journal pointed out.