Blu's Back: Smartphone Sales Resume at Amazon

The Amazon-imposed timeout for Blu smartphones appears to be over. After the retail giant halted sales of its phones earlier this week when spyware allegations resurfaced, Blu announced today (Aug. 4) that sales had resumed.
Blu R1 Plus is back on sale at Amazon along with other Blu devices. (Credit: Tom's Guide)Blu R1 Plus is back on sale at Amazon along with other Blu devices. (Credit: Tom's Guide)"After a false alarm, Blu device are now back up for sale on Amazon," the company tweeted.

That wasn't the case earlier this week, when Amazon stopped selling Blu phones in the wake of a security firm Kryptowire's report that some of the devices were collecting user data and sending it back to a server in China.

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That allegation first surfaced last fall and had seemingly been resolved, but Kryptowire said a week ago that third-party software from Shanghai Adups Technology was still collecting user data. That was enough for Amazon to pull the plug on Blu sales for the time being.

Blu denied the latest allegation, saying its phones performed "standard and basic data collection that pose no security or privacy risk." When we talked to Blu earlier this week, the phone maker told us that it expected the issue to be resolved and sales to resume.

That appears to be the case as of this evening, with several Blu models now listed as in stock at Amazon. Phones resuming sales on Amazon include the Blu R1 Plus, a $129 phone that Tom's Guide rated highly as an unlocked budget option.

Reached for comment, Amazon confirmed that Blu phones were back on sale. "If we receive information that could potentially impact our customers’ experience, we may temporarily make a product unavailable for purchase," an Amazon spokesperson said. "Based on communication with the manufacturer, BLU Products, we have resumed selling BLU devices on Amazon.com."

Still, not every Blu model appears to be back in Amazon's good graces. The Blu R1 HD had been an Amazon Prime Exclusive, but it was dropped this week around the same time Amazon halted Blu phone sales. The R1 HD is still missing from that list as of this writing. Blu had no comment on its status when we asked whether the phone would make a return to that discounted selection for Amazon Prime members.

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