The logic behind that statement is sound -- Amazon priced the phone in line with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone. So, presumably, it will not only make money when people buy things on the device, it will make money on the device itself. That's actually counter to Bezos's stated strategy of We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices. Either Bezos has decided to satisfy his critics or we're missing something.
Amazon is all about volume. That's difficult for the love the company, hate the stock crowd to accept, but it has worked. It has generated a level of ubiquity for Amazon (and Amazon Prime) unmatched by any other consumer phenomenon of our generation. Even the now bygone Netflix (NFLX) red envelope can't match the omnipresence and staying power of the Amazon cardboard box.
Fire Phone breaks from that strategy. And that's not good.
Without volume, profit on the phone itself (assuming there actually is any) means nothing. And the e-commerce sales and/or Prime memberships the phone generates mean nothing. You won't be able to recognize that profit or revenue on the bottom or top lines. So what's the point? To have a $199 Amazon smartphone sit next to the wholly more attractive iPhone at the AT&T (T) store? Because that's exactly what Fire Phone will do -- just sit there.