by Jason Snell
Amazon retrenches on consumer devices
Greg Bensinger at the Wall Street Journal:
In recent weeks Amazon has dismissed dozens of engineers who worked on its Fire phone at Lab126, its secretive hardware-development center in Silicon Valley, according to people familiar with the matter.
The layoffs were the first in the division’s 11-year history, these people said. But the precise toll on its roughly 3,000-person staff couldn’t be learned, in part because Amazon typically requires employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for severance payments.
I love my Kindle despite its outmoded software, and the Kindle Fire tablet is a good piece of hardware. Dan loves his Amazon Echo. Dan and I are both proponents of the Fire TV stick and Fire TV.
Then there’s Fire Phone, which was by any measure a spectacular flop.
What’s Amazon’s unifying vision for the future of its hardware offerings? It seems to be making smart moves in some places and stupid ones in others. I’m still not sure I really understand how Amazon fits into the future of tech devices.