Amazon has slashed the price of its six-week-old Fire Phone smartphone from $199 to 99 cents, as long as you are willing to take out a two-year contract with AT&T.
While Amazon's previous forays into hardware with the Kindle ebook reader and the Kindle tablet have been seen as successes, the Fire Phone has been seen as a flop, with growth being painfully slow.
Three weeks following its release, online ad and tracking form Chitika put the North American web usage share of the Fire Phone at only 0.02 percent.
"Fire is now 99 cents with a two-year contract, plus customers get one full year of Prime included," said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Devices in a press release to ZDNet. "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."
Amazon's gameplan here is pretty clear. It's a "get people into the ecosystem as fast as possible—and at any cost" move. With the iPhone 6 so close, I sense that Amazon is taking some drastic steps to keep the Fire Phone in the game in the face of what is likely to be very stiff competition.