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Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) - The smart phone market is heating up as Amazon dropped the price of its Fire Phone just days before the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6.

The Seattle-based company dropped the price of its Fire phone to 99 cents with a two-year contract. It was initially $199 when it launched in July.

"Fire is now 99 cents with a two-year contract, plus customers get one full year of Prime included," said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Devices, said in a release. "With access to all of the Prime content, Mayday, 32GB of memory and free unlimited cloud storage for photos, plus the exclusive Dynamic Perspective and Firefly features, Fire is another example of the value Amazon delivers to customers."

The phone is available exclusively on AT&T in the United States, and the 32 GB model is available for 99 cents and comes with free unlimited cloud storage for photos and  12 months of Prime membership for free. The phone will ship Sept. 30 in the United Kingdom, where it will be available on the O2 network, and Germany, on Deutsche Telekom.

According to at least one analysis of initial sales found the Fire has not been a strong seller. A report from research firm Chitika Insights, which tracked the number of times ad appear before a user on different devices, found that .02 percent of the traffic on a network of 350,000 websites were from the Amazon Fire during the first 20 days it was on sale, the report noted.

Analysts noted that part of the reason for the slow growth is that the phone is available exclusively through AT&T. Amazon does not release sales figures.

The Fire was the first big smartphone release of the summer. The iPhone 6 will be released Friday, and an updated Galaxy Note 4 will be released in October.

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