Amazon.com’s foray into the crowded smartphone market has apparently proven to be a dud. The company took a $170 million write-down in the third quarter largely related to its unsold stockpile of Fire smartphones as well as supplier commitment costs, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak disclosed on Thursday. The online retailer, which also issued a disappointing fourth-quarter outlook that sent shares down 9 percent in after-hours trading, ended the third quarter with about $83 million worth of Fire phone inventory. The Fire phone debuted this summer to both lackluster sales and reviews. Amazon touted the phone’s ability to recognize millions of objects at the press of a button and make 2-D images look like they’re in 3-D. Last month, Amazon cut the price of its phone to 99 cents with a two-year contract with AT&T.
— Reuters and NBC News staff