Fire Drill: A look at the launch of Amazon’s new phone

Kimberly Surico |
 07/30/14 |
2 min read

With the release of the Fire Phone, Amazon made an entry into the hotly competitive smartphone market. With this exciting launch, I decided to use NetBase to monitor the pre- and post launch sentiment and social conversation surrounding this new product.

In the few days leading up to the launch the social conversation was dominated by the initial feedback from professional review sites. As you can see from the word cloud below, the majority of this conversation was about the phone’s unique feature set. In particular, the phone’s Dynamic Perspective (a sensor that responds to how a person holds, views, and moves the phone) seemed to grab most professional reviewers’ attention.



The professional review feedback was generally positive (70% positive) with some seeing the new features as an improvement on familiar smart phone concepts. However, several reviewers described some features in a more negative light calling them a “new gimmick.”

As the general public started getting its hands on the phone, the conversation began to change. Compared to the earlier conversation, people were no longer talking about features such as the Dynamic Perspective; instead they were discussing Amazon Prime perks that the phone ownership offers. This chatter contributed to an increase in the overall positive sentiment about the product.

However a new rise of negative sentiment came up from the current television advertising campaign for the device. People disliked the ad, which featured two young kids discussing the merits of the phone. The ad incurred the kind of indignation usually reserved for old men on porches telling the neighborhood kids to get off their lawn.

In any product campaign, it’s important to get the elements right. In case of the Amazon Fire Phone, customers dislike the advertisement and professionals gave lukewarm reviews to the Fire Phone. It remains to be seen if the Dynamic Perspective and a year of free Amazon Prime are enough to get people hooked on the Fire Phone.


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