When Amazon launched the Fire Phone earlier this year, it was launched as a US Only device, however it’s now rumored to be crossing the pond to hit shelves in the UK. Many of Amazon’s consumer products start in the US and then make their way over to the UK, like the original Kindle and the original Kindle Fire, shortly after their releases however, they were available on Amazon.co.uk. That’s essentially what we’re looking at here as well, the real question is however, whether or not the Fire Phone will burn a little brighter in the UK.
Both Gizmodo and the Financial Times are reporting that the Fire Phone is headed to the UK, to be sold on Amazon’s UK website as an O2 exclusive, with Gizmodo backing up the FT’s claims with their own sources. Straight away, I can hear alarm bells ringing. As a UK resident, I’m pretty happy to say that “network exclusives” are few and far between, and while it didn’t used to be like that, it’s a pretty great system we have over here, with every major phone release normally available on all the major networks over here. So, for Amazon to partner up with O2, a network that is often more expensive than others, with less data coverage than others, it’s hard to see the Fire Phone flying out of warehouses much faster than in the US.
Of course, the Kindle Fire has become an extremely popular tablet here in the UK, and many users that simply don’t care which phone they have – but love their Kindle Fire – might take quite nicely to the Fire Phone. When we reviewed Amazon’s first phone, we weren’t entirely taken with it, but if you’re willing to go without Google services on an Android smartphone, the Fire Phone could be for you. Overall though, Amazon is entering a highly competitive market in the UK, with the majority of people more willing to purchase their smartphone in store or at least from a network like Vodafone, Three or O2 directly, rather than a middleman.