Amazon lays off dozens of engineers at Lab126

By Friday, August 28, 2015 3 , , , Permalink 0

Recent reports suggest Amazon has decided to lay off dozens of employees from Lab126, the hardware-development division that develops products such as the Fire phone, the Kindle, and Amazon’s Echo.

According to a report coming from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has dismissed dozens of engineers at Lab126, specifically, the ones responsible for Fire Phone development and has halted a number of other hardware projects that were under development, including a stripped-down Fire phone; a smart stylus called Nitro, a projector called Shimmer; and a 14-inch tablet codenamed Project Cairo.

Lab126, however, is still working on a high-end computer for the kitchen, codenamed Kabinet, which would serve as the hub of an internet-connected home, and let users order things from Amazon using voice command, the report noted.

The layoffs are the first in the 11-year history of Lab126, which is located in Sunnyvale, California.

As per the report, these rollbacks are happening due to the failure of Amazon’s first smartphone dubbed the Fire Phone. Amazon launched the Fire Phone in June 2014, but within three months the e-commerce giant took a $170m charge on the device and was left with $83m in inventory, which it’s been clearing out with fire sale prices ever since.

It still remains unclear whether Amazon will continue its in-house smartphone development. While some Lab126 engineers told the WSJ that development would be shelved, another claimed it had been shifted to Seattle under Steve Kessel.

The size of the layoffs is yet to be determined due to nondisclosure agreements employees are required to sign. Lab126 employs about 3,000 people.

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