Back when Amazon was known as little more than an online retailer, few could have imagined that it would have had the sort of impact in the technology world that it has over the past few years. 

It's Kindle e-reader has been an unparalleled success, becoming the number one device in its category across the world – get on any commuter train these days and you're sure to see hundreds of them. 

After the success of the Kindle, it made its next move into the world of tablets. A much more competitive marketplace, tablets proved to be a tougher nut to crack than e-readers, but Amazon has still performed admirably. Its Kindle Fire HD is a popular choice, really only sitting behind the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tabs when it comes to success. 

The positives it has seen in these two markets has now also seen the retailer turn its attention to the most competitive tech sectors of all – smartphones. But has it finally bitten off more than it can chew? The worldwide release has yet to hit, so it may be too early to tell, but according to the company's actions in the US, the Amazon Fire Phone may not have been the success it was hoped to be.

When the phone launched just two months ago, buyers were asked to shell out $199.99 (£124) to get their hands on the 32GB version device with a two-year contract. However, it has since seen one of the quickest and most spectacular price drops in tech history. The smartphone is now available of the same two-year tariff for just 99 cents. 

Amazon has yet to comment on the reasons behind the phone's drop in price – the press releases merely seek to reiterate what incredible value the device represents – but a drop of this magnitude, making it almost free, would certainly suggest to most people that sales performance is not quite what Amazon had predicted. 

The real problems started for Amazon when critics laid into the device from the off. It received few real positive reviews since going on sale, a problem which meant it has failed to live up to the hype Amazon built over the past year. It means it has failed to really challenge the big hitters like Samsung, Apple and HTC so far. 

While it is by no means the end of the road for Amazon when it comes to the release of smartphones, if there are problems with sales, it could lead to the retailer looking to revamp its own strategy. 

The success of the Kindle and the Kindle Fire HD may well have lulled the company into a false sense of security when it comes to the release of new phones, but it will certainly need to make sure it steps up its game if and when it comes to the market with a new device.

Written by Mazuma

Mazuma Mobile is the UK's most trusted mobile phone recycling service.

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