The Ultimate List of Amazon Failed Products and Services

The Ultimate List of Amazon Failed Products and Services
List of Amazon Failed Products

Naturally, one of the world's largest and most influential firms would prefer to sweep any rare mistakes and misfires under the rug and claim they never occurred.

Amazon originally started when founder Jeff Bezos began selling ebooks from his basement in Washington. It is presently the world's largest online marketplace. So, you can understand Jeff's desire to focus on his company's incredible triumph rather than explaining the occasional failure.

Jeff's failings are treated with refreshing candor. He's more than willing to discuss how he lost billions on failed business projects. It's all part of his vast master plan, and he doesn't think it's a big deal to take large chances that sometimes backfire. And, as the firm expands, everything has to double, including the magnitude of your unsuccessful trials, according to him. You won't be created at a scale that will genuinely shift the dial if the size of your flops doesn't expand.

That's great news since Amazon has had its fine dose of flops, turkeys, and wrecks over the years. But it's nice to know that none of them is causing Jeff any sleepless nights. So, let's look at Amazon failures:

  1. Amazon Fire Phone
  4. Askville
  5. Amazon Kindle on iPhone
  6. Amazon Destinations
  7. Amazon Local
  8. Amazon Wallet
  9. Amazon Local Register
  10. Amazon TestDrive
  11. Amazon Music Importer
  12. Crucible
  13. Amazon Spark
  14. Amazon Restaurants
  15. Amazon WebPay
  16. Amazon Dash Button

Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Fire Phone

With the launching of a new smartphone, you'd expect that a firm like Amazon would be on relatively safe ground, given its popularity with Kindle gadgets, tablets, and streaming devices. This Fire phone seems to be the natural next step amid a flurry of marketing hoopla in 2014.

The new device is described by Jeff as "beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated." The device's four front cameras worked in tandem to offer a broader view, which was one of the phone's best features. This effectively meant that the parallax effect was applied to your pics, giving them depth and a wonderful 3d feel.

So you could flaunt your plate of spaghetti bolognese at that hip new eatery. A similar approach might be used for Amazon products, enabling you to simulate that dazzling green mankini in spectacular 3d before making a purchase. Initially offered for $200 with a two-year contract. Sadly, it took several months for the rate to drop drastically to $0.99 cents, and Amazon still could transfer them.

Despite this, Amazon did not discreetly halt production, given the fact that the fire phone had shed 170 million dollars. So, what's the issue? Well, Amazon stunned the industry by charging top-tier pricing for Kindle tablets and Fire TV. Amazon had built an image for offering top quality at cheap rates. Not only was it good, but it was also cost-effective.

The Fire phone's upscale costs implied something was spectacular about Amazon's new device, but there wasn't; it looks tacky and a little unpleasant. Technically, the 3D stuff was great, but it was essentially a ploy. Amazon had arrived far too late to the game with an overpriced item that didn't offer anything novel or beneficial, making Amazon Fire Phone one of the biggest failures of the company.

This time, there wasn't such a blazing fire. It's more of a smoldering ember.

Amazon Failed Products -
Amazon Failed Products -

Over the course of the year, Amazon has made several really smart investments, as well as a few bad ones. They poured money into the disastrous's initial round of fundraising in 1999, yet only own 54% of the company. Simultaneously, the CEO of, Julie Wainwright, defined the corporate partnership as "a match made in heaven." When the dot com bubble burst a year later in 2000, became the most well-known victim.

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In the same year, Amazon put nearly $60 million into, a promising internet endeavor. Free one-hour shipping of DVDs, games, and books was made available via bicycle, van, and, most likely, skateboard.

Business insiders cautioned from the outset that the free shipping model would never be economically feasible for the firm, and it appears that they were true, as Kozmo did ultimately try to charge shipping costs, but it was too late to cancel the firm from going bankrupt, taking Amazon's $60 million worth with it.


Amazon Failed Products - askville by Amazon
Amazon Failed Products - Askville by Amazon

In 2006, Amazon released, which was one of the oddest Amazon products. Perhaps the loss of the Kozmo hasn't been thoroughly learned. This was a fresh collaboration with Kozmo co-founder Joseph Park, who had come up with a novel plan for a user-driven Q&A portal where users could pose and reply to pressing topics of the day.

The notion wasn't entirely awful, and it's a model that later evolved into flourishing groups on sites like Quora. However, the Askville method was a little cringe-worthy, as it assumed that the portal needed to be more than just faqs to retain users. They devised a fun gamification concept in which players win or lose XP points based on the merit of their responses. Players were also urged to acquire quest gold, which could be traded for Gift vouchers or Askville shop items.

Finally, the overly convoluted concept fizzled out, leaving the comment sections essentially blank and meaningless. “Why does Amazon continue sponsoring” was one of the last comments made on the site before the forums were permanently shut.

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Amazon Kindle on iPhone

Say you're using the Kindle app on your Android, and you're in the middle of an Amazon-Apple verbal battle. You peruse a list of intriguing books. You finally make up your mind about which book you'll read soon. You press the large, cheery buy now button, and the book is quickly installed on your phone. It's that easy. That's how apps were designed to work.

Now, imagine you're on your iPhone, surfing the Kindle app. You peruse a list of enticing books. You finally decide which book to read next. You press the huge cheery buy now button and are forced to halt since you are unable to proceed. There's no button because, in a bizarre twist of fate, you can't buy books inside the iPhone version of the Kindle app.

The issue began when Apple demanded a 30% cut of all orders placed through its apps. Amazon was not pleased with this because they also required a part in writer earnings from each eBook sale, and paying Apple a 30% cut wasn't gonna work. Sadly, the two business behemoths were unable to strike a deal.

Amazon attempted to avoid the app toll by embedding URLs to the Kindle app in their web-based Kindle store, ensuring that eBook purchases were not made inside the app.

When Apple tightened the regulations even more and disallowed external buy URLs, iPhone owners were put in the perplexing scenario of having to navigate and leave the app, seek the web edition of the shop, buy books, and then return to the app. On your iPhone, you can use the Amazon Kindle, which is insanely difficult and completely ludicrous.

However, given that the Kindle app was created to be a medium for acquiring and reading, the iPhone edition is among Amazon's lengthiest flops, failing to meet half of its purpose.

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Amazon Destinations

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Destinations
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Destinations

Well, here is a brief live experience on Amazon. There was a high chance of victory, but he was yanked so swiftly that they'd just lost out if he blinked. Amazon Destination was the firm's foray into the hotel reservation business, enabling weekend breaks and utopian escapes at regularly quoted costs.

Their hotel partners were ecstatic with the latest arrangement, noting a spike in traffic and reservations after using Amazon's novel tool. The pricing wasn't precisely bargained, but the notion was that Amazon's massive internet persona might help place regular hotel ads in front of a far wider public than ever.

Widely expected to be a big leader in the OTA business, Amazon appeared to be on the correct path with this latest product but then abruptly disappeared from the web a few months later, like it took a tragic trip into the Bermuda Triangle.

Nobody knows why Amazon has been unusually quiet on the topic. We can surmise that Amazon's new business was harmed by the rising presence of other key OTAs like Expedia. Some corporate analysts claim that a highly effective operator must devote their entire attention to the offering rather than being one of several other goods offered by the firm.

We'll never know why Amazon destinations tend to drop so soon because Amazon hasn't disclosed the numbers from this failed idea. One should probably post a query on

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Amazon Local

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Local
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Local

In 2011, Amazon developed a portal for localized discounts. The design was identical to Groupon and LivingSocial, both of which have struggled. Amazon stated in October that Amazon Local would close down on December 18th, 2015. It is one of the most disastrous failed Amazon products, highlighting the challenges companies may face when introducing new innovations to the market.

Amazon Wallet

Amazon shut down its digital wallet just six months after it was released in the spring of 2015. Users could save vouchers and loyalty cards on their phones to pay for in-store and e-shopping, but credit/ debit cards were not supported. Amazon still accepts electronic purchases through Pay with Amazon, but unlike Apple and Google, it doesn't offer a user-facing wallet. This closure marked one of the notable failed Amazon products in the company's history.

Amazon Local Register

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Local Register
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Local Register

Local Register was a new effort to assist local shops in accepting payments via a smart card processing system. It was similar to Square's and PayPal's, but it never gained traction, and Amazon announced in February 2016 that it would be discontinued.


Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Test Drive
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Test Drive

This service was launched in 2011 and allows customers to try new apps before acquiring them from the Amazon App. The initiative was shuttered by Amazon in April, claiming a drop in demand and the recent surge of the "free to play" biz paradigm. This move marked one of the instances where Amazon fails to sustain a service due to shifting market trends and customer preferences.

Music Importer

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Music Importer
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Music Importer

In 2012, Amazon introduced the Music Importer, which allowed customers to import any tracks they've saved to their PC and build an online collection. However, Amazon then developed Prime Music, a similar-to-Spotify-and-Pandora-style streaming site that rendered Music Importer outdated. In October, Amazon notified the end of Music Importer.


Amazon Failed Products - Crucible
Amazon Failed Products - Crucible

Crucible was a free-to-play team-based shooter game developed and published by Amazon Game Studios. It was officially launched on May 20, 2020. It was Amazon's first major original title published by their gaming division, which had previously focused on tablet games.

Several factors contributed to the failure of Crucible. Firstly, the game faced criticism for its lack of originality and failure to stand out in the competitive online gaming market. The gameplay mechanics were not well-received, and the game struggled to find its target audience. Additionally, technical issues and a lack of polish further hindered the player experience. The decision to revert the game to closed beta shortly after its initial release and ultimately discontinue it in November 2020 indicated that Amazon acknowledged the challenges and limitations of Crucible and chose to shift its focus elsewhere in the gaming industry.

Amazon Spark

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Spark
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Spark

Amazon Spark was a feature within the Amazon mobile app that allowed users to discover and shop for products through photos shared by other users. It was essentially a social shopping platform where customers could post pictures, write reviews, and engage with others in a social feed. It was launched in 2017 to replicate the influencer-driven social commerce experience of platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

Spark failed to gain significant traction and was eventually shut down in 2019 due to a combination of factors: lack of authenticity, poor integration, limited reach, inadequate moderation, and a changing social media landscape. Amazon's attempt to create a social media platform specifically for Prime members fell short due to its inauthenticity, poor integration with the overall Amazon shopping experience, limited reach to non-Prime members, ineffective moderation, and the rise of short-form video platforms that shifted user attention away from static image-based social commerce.

Amazon Restaurants

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Restaurants
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Restaurants

Amazon Restaurants was a food delivery service offered by Amazon. It allowed customers to order food from local restaurants through the Amazon website or mobile app, and the service would facilitate the delivery. It was launched in 2015 in Seattle and gradually expanded to other cities in the United States and internationally. The service aimed to leverage Amazon's vast logistics network and customer base to compete with other popular food delivery platforms.

Amazon Restaurants ceased operations in the United States in June 2019. The decision to shut down the service was attributed to intense competition in the food delivery industry, where other established players like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub dominated the market with a 75% share of the US online delivery market. Amazon did offer free delivery to Prime members and a selection of 200 dining establishments, but this was not enough of a competitive advantage. Amazon likely found it challenging to capture a significant market share and achieve sustainable profitability in the face of such competition.

Amazon WebPay

Amazon WebPay was a free-to-use online payment service launched by Amazon in 2007. It allowed users to send and receive money from friends and family, pay bills, and make online purchases. WebPay was designed to compete with other online payment services such as PayPal and Google Checkout. Amazon invested an estimated $10 million in WebPay in its first year of operation. The company hoped the service would attract new customers to its website and increase its share of the online payment market.

Despite Amazon's backing, Amazon WebPay failed to gain traction in the competitive online payment market. The service's high fees, limited features, poor marketing, and inability to keep up with the evolving industry landscape all contributed to its downfall. It failed to address customers’ requirements better than other services. In 2014, Amazon announced the closure of WebPay, acknowledging the challenges of competing in a crowded market and the importance of differentiation.

Amazon Dash Button

Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Dash Button
Amazon Failed Products - Amazon Dash Button

Amazon Dash Button was a physical, Wi-Fi-enabled device launched in March 2015 that allowed users to reorder specific products with the push of a button. Each button was associated with a particular product, such as laundry detergent or pet food. When pressed, the Dash Button would order that specific item through the user's Amazon account.

Numerous issues resulted in the discontinuance of the Amazon Dash Buttons. Vice President of Amazon Daniel Rausch agreed that the idea of physical buttons for reordering was a terrific first step toward the linked home but that having more than 500 buttons for different things created an enormous obstacle. The physical buttons became redundant when the Amazon Prime app introduced Virtual Dash buttons as a more convenient option. Appliance manufacturers incorporated automated replenishment systems through the Dash Replenishment Service, which removed the requirement for manual ordering. The final factor contributing to Dash Buttons' demise was Amazon's Subscribe and Save program, which offered discounted recurring monthly deliveries. Consequently, in February 2019, Amazon formally terminated the Dash Button program.


The real kicker is that Amazon is indeed bracing for more setbacks ahead. Jeff seemed to like the prospect of losing large sums. “If you feel that's a significant failure, we're planning on even greater setbacks presently, and I'm not joking,” he said when questioned about the Fire phone screwup.

In the latest shareholder letter, Jeff mentioned that if Amazon periodically experiences mega-dollar fails, the company will explore the ideal scale for a firm of its size, emphasizing the need to learn from and navigate through any Amazon fails. Of course, such tests will not be undertaken lightly. We'll try to place smart bets, but not all will pay off.

I'm excited to see what incredibly amazing Amazon failures the company encounters in the next few years, as it will provide me with more content to blog about and analyze.

That’s all, folks, for today.


What failures did Amazon endure?

Amazon Fire Phone,, Askville, and Amazon Destinations are some of the biggest product failures of Amazon.

What year was Amazon founded?

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994.

Who is the owner of Amazon?

Jeff Bezos is the founder and former CEO of Amazon; he founded Amazon in 1994.

What is Jeff Bezos's response to the failure of products?

Jeff Bezos responded that they are bracing for more setbacks ahead when questioned about the Fire phone screwup.

Why did Amazon Fire Phone fail?

One of the reasons Amazon Fire Phone failed is Amazon arrived far too late to the game with an overpriced item that didn't offer anything novel or beneficial.

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