Tag: amazon lab126

Amazon Fire mobile phone may be discontinued

This could follow a string of engineer layoffs from the Lab126 research and development lab.

Amazon recently let dozens of its Lab126 engineers go from its research and development facility, located in San Francisco, and it now looks as though its mobile phone will be the next thing on the chopping block.

The announcement of the discontinuation of the Amazon Fire Phone has not yet been made official.

That said, considering the direction of their R&D, many have speculated that the company’s in-house consumer electronics efforts may be going the way of the dodo, as well. The mobile phone released by the company has been facing considerable struggles ever since it was first launched in 2014. The Wall Street Journal cited “people familiar with the matter” in a recent article in which it stated that the online marketplace had “dismissed dozens of engineers who worked on its Fire Phone.”

This makes it clear why there is considerable speculation involving the cancellation of that mobile phone.

Mobile Phone - Amazon FireThose are the first layoffs that Lab126 has experienced since it first opened its doors 11 years ago, said the WSJ report.

Even though the Amazon Fire Phone did receive some very positive reviews when it was first released in July 2014, it never managed to scoop up a very large portion of the smartphone marketplace. Its initial launch price was $449.00, though that price tag dropped after the first few months. The operating system was a type of branch of Android, and it did receive some criticism based on the proprietary mobile apps that it contained that were clearly focused on the Amazon experience.

Despite the fact that the focus of the mobile phone on linking itself to Amazon in several different ways through its proprietary apps was supposed to provide the device owner with a considerable advantage when shopping, it turned out to be a primary obstacle. People started to view the device as being meant for a “single-purpose”, which was to continually direct shoppers back to Amazon in order to buy both physical and digital products. This criticism was one of the primary barriers to acceptance by many consumers who might otherwise have considered buying it.

Wearable technology to be developed in secretive Amazon hardware lab

There, various types of tech to be used as household devices is also going to be creation.

Amazon will soon be growing the size of its mysterious Lab126, its hardware operations unit, so that it will be able to develop and test out various wearable technology and household devices that will be created with the Internet of Things in mind.

The massive online marketplace will be boosting its hardware development hiring by 27 percent.

Reuters reported that this will bring nearly 4,000 additional people to the company and will direct $55 million more in funding to the company’s Lab126 division over the next half decade. That media source stated that it had discovered Amazon’s intentions through a “little known government document.”

Lab126 has been the source of a range of highly popular mobile technology devices sold by Amazon.

amazon - wearable technologyFor example, that department was what created the exceptionally popular Kindle ereader device, as well as the much more recent release of the Fire Phone smartphone. The media reports on this expansion of the company’s Lab126 reflects a very strong focus that it is placing on the Internet of Things, and that it is even in the midst of coming up with a WiFi connected gadget that would give consumers the ability to order everyday household items from Amazon, simply by pressing a button.

According to Reuters, the government document that it found also reveals Amazon’s intentions to come up with a range of different connected products that would, for example, alert consumers that it is time to schedule regular maintenance for various household appliances, or that they should be replacing their filters (which can, of course, then be ordered from the online marketplace).

As the company has seen a drop of nearly 20 percent in its shares, this year, and following disappointing sales figures of the Fire phone, Amazon appears to be looking to other mobile technology efforts to help it to remain relevant and to keep up its competition against Google and Apple, which are also looking into smart devices to be used in the average household for the Internet of Things.