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Amazon admits Fire Phone was flawed, but is 'undeterred' about trying again

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A senior Amazon executive is now admitting that the Fire Phone's problems extend far beyond price. During an interview with The Guardian, Jorrit Van der Meulen — Amazon's VP of devices for Europe — offered a refreshingly frank assessment on what went wrong with the company's first try at a smartphone. "We’ve learned a lot on this one," Van der Meulen said. "We’re undeterred, but we’re not immune to the criticism either." According to Van der Meulen, Amazon has listened closely to feedback from consumers (the Fire Phone has an abysmal 2.5-star review rating) and journalists. "So might the second step be slightly different than our first step? Sure. I suspect that it will be," he said.

"Might the second step be slightly different than our first step? Sure. I suspect that it will be."

Amazon took an embarrassing financial hit on the Fire Phone, but it sounds as though the company has no plans of abandoning the mobile market and ceding it to Apple, Samsung, and other smartphone leaders. Van der Meulen highlighted the fact that Amazon has been in this situation before — many years ago with the original Kindle hardware. "If you look at version one of the Kindle e-reader it was pretty bad, like the reviews we received on it," reasoned Van der Meulen. "But we said we’re going to do keep going, keep investing and do this eventually, receiving many lumps along the way."

So the message here is clear: don't bet against Amazon. Just as it's done with Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets, the company will likely be back with a successor that's improved in every conceivable way. (Hopefully Fire Phone 2 will focus less on gimmicks and more so on a genuinely good user experience.) "The number of times we’ve been written off or received lumps because of short-term speed bumps — the list is really, really long," said Van der Meulen.