"The hardware team is working hard, the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick, they're working hard to build enough to meet demand," Bezos said at Business Insider's IGNITION 2014 conference. Bezos noted that one of his jobs is to encourage people to be bold and though it's hard to get people to take bold bets he doesn't want to be in a position where the company has to make "Hail Mary" throws to fix it.
"It's going to take many iterations of the phone to get it right. Ask me in a number of years," Bezos said.
Initiatives like Amazon Web Services, the Kindle e-readers and tablets and the company's third-party marketplace are examples of mature businesses that are generating free cash flow and high return on invested capital, allowing Amazon to move into other areas by investing that cash and expanding. "It's like having a lemonade stand for 20 years and move into hamburger stand, hot dog stand and so on and so on."
Amazon noted Monday that sales of its Fire tablets were up three times year over year on Black Friday, and Kindle e-readers did even better, growing four times from last year.
In the third quarter, Amazon said operating cash flow increased 15% year over year to $5.71 billion for the trailing 12 months, and free cash flow nearly tripled to $1.08 billion for the trailing 12 months. The results included the purchase of Amazon's new Seattle headquarters for $1.4 billion.