Amazon never releases sales figures for any of the hardware it builds, but that isn’t stopping others from making their best guesses as to how many units Amazon has sold of the new Fire Phone.
The latest estimate for the Fire Phone, which debuted July 25, pegs sales at no more than 35,000 during its first 25 days on the market — that’s nearly one for every four employees currently working at the e-commerce giant.
Charles Arthur at The Guardian crunched the numbers from two different data sets to come up with the one very rough estimate.
First, he used data provided by Chitika, which analyzed tens of millions of smartphone-based online ad impressions generated within its ad network. It reported that the phone made up just 0.02 percent of ad impressions from July 25 to Aug. 14. Then, he used recent comScore figures to calculate out how many phones had been sold, and even factored in whether the Fire Phone “over indexes” or “under indexes” when it comes to viewing online advertising.
It’s worth noting that Arthur did not really calculate how many phones were sold, so much as how many phones were still in use. In the end, he reasoned that 35,000 phone is a fair estimate for the Fire Phone.
In theory, sales could be much higher with lots of early adopters purchasing the device to see the phone’s 3D-like effects and product-scanning capabilities, but then preferring to use another phone for their everyday tasks.
The sales seem inadequate when put into the perspective of this one data point: how many employees work at Amazon. At the end of the second quarter, the company had 132,600 full-time and part-time employees, which would mean that if it sold 35,000 phones, less than one in every four workers bought one. (Note: The phone is only for sale in the U.S.)
While this data only provides a rough calculation of sales, it does match up with Amazon’s own list of bestselling electronics, which depicts poor and slowing sales.
Two weeks after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the device, I noticed the Amazon Fire Phone plummeted to the 61st best-selling electronic, far below its fourth-place position on June 18. As of today, it no longer makes the 100 top-selling list at any position.
The Fire Phone costs $199 with contract, $649 without. One reason for the lack of sales is that Amazon is offering the Fire Phone exclusively through AT&T, which Chitika previously concluded was holding back sales of the smartphone.
Amazon does not talk about sales is because it believes in focusing on a much longer time frame. At least, that’s what Amazon Kindle VP Ian Freed implied in an interview following the June 18 unveiling. He told GeekWire: “We are in this as like we would be in any multi-year, multi-decade business. That’s the way Amazon thinks about things.”