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Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak disclosed on a conference call with investors Thursday that the company took a $170 million charge related to the write-down of costs associated with its smartphone. The struggle underscores the difficulty of entering the smartphone business, where Apple remains the lone player able to generate significant profits and even market leader Samsung has had difficulties. The smartphone was supposed to be one branch of Amazon's expanding family tree of devices, which has grown from a single e-reader to tablets, a media-streaming box and the smartphone.

The company earlier Thursday reported a third-quarter loss that significantly widened over a year ago and missed Wall Street expectations, while warning that its fourth-quarter revenue would also disappoint, The Fire Phone charge was a large component of the $437 iphone case outline million lost in the period, In July, Amazon released the Fire Phone, its first foray into the smartphone business, through an exclusive partnership with wireless carrier AT&T in the US, The phone has failed to make a dent in the market, and after two months, went from $200 to 99 cents with a two-year contract, In the UK it's free on various contracts from the O2 network..

Amazon touted the Fire Phone's unique ability to display 3D images and graphics, as well as its ability to scan certain products and media for additional information and purchasing options. While AT&T promised it a flagship slot in its stores, it was hampered by a competitive slate of alternative smartphones, as well as from consumers waiting for the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 4 instead. The Fire Phone, like the Fire tablets, also run on a heavily altered version of Android and features its own, more limited app store.

It was likely iphone case outline also hampered by its decision to sign an exclusive deal with AT&T in the US, At a time when most high-profile smartphones opt to go with multiple carriers, Amazon tied itself to AT&T in exchange for more prominent promotional positioning in the carrier's stores, "There are a lot of reasons it failed, but the key is that Amazon provided no good reason for consumers to buy it," said Avi Greengart, an analyst for Current Analysis, The Fire Phone charge was largely related to the cost of goods sold, Szkutak said, Roughly $25 million of the charge was related to international costs, with the remainder related to North America..

Amazon had roughly $83 million worth of inventory on hand at the end of the third quarter, Szkutak said. He declined to comment on how it would affect the company's forecast for the fourth quarter. Amazon shares fell 11 percent to $278.41 in after-hours trading. It closed its regular trading at $313.18. The company discloses that it had $83 million worth of unsold Fire Phones at the end of the third quarter. Amazon's Fire Phone is proving to be a pricey flop. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

Also in this tech-news roundup, CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes, Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead, Subscribe to the podcast via the links below, iTunes (HD) | iTunes (SD) | iTunes (HQ) | iphone case outline iTunes (MP3), RSS (HD) | RSS (SD) | RSS (HQ)| RSS (MP3), Download the audio version of today's episode, A new app from Facebook puts a twist on anonymous messaging, Apple stores still see long lines for iPhones, and Target takes on Amazon by offering free shipping..

In social media, anonymous messaging apps are growing in popularity. Whisper, YikYak and Secret mask your true identity, and now Facebook has jumped in on the trend. Facebook's Rooms app lets you chat without revealing your real name -- but there's a twist. Users create rooms, and you can only join a room if you know the invite code. Watch CNET Update to learn how it works. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

Microsoft on Thursday posted fiscal first-quarter earnings, reporting 54 cents a share, down 13 percent from 62 cents per share a year ago, Sales rose to $23.2 billion, up 25 percent from the same time last year, Central to the company's performance this quarter is handset maker Nokia, which Microsoft acquired in April for more than $7.2 billion, The phone hardware division has grown since Microsoft brought Nokia's Lumia line of smartphones into the fold, and Microsoft hopes it will help boost the popularity of Windows products and services across the board, But the acquisition has come iphone case outline with costly layoffs and high operating costs..