Amazon reportedly lays off hardware developers at Lab126
According to this Wall Street Journal article by Greg Bensinger (if the link is behind the paywall for you, requiring you to register to read it, try searching for the title in a search engine):
Amazon is laying off “Dozens of engineers…”
The thrust of the piece is that, due to the disappointment of the
(that is the SmartPhone I use every day, but even I liked my Galaxy better), Amazon is moving away from consumer hardware development, at least in some areas.
Personally, I doubt that means the
or, and probably most importantly for readers of this blog, Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) or Fire tablets.
I think it’s more that they’ll consolidate their existing lines for now, rather than trying new things.
That could be better for us as consumers.
Concentrate on what works: the EBRs (although they probably don’t need both the Voyage and the Paperwhite, honestly), the tablets, the Echo, the Dash buttons…I’m thinking they may expand into home automation more, tied into the Echo. However, they don’t necessarily need Amazon branded hardware for that…they can let other people make the hardware, and concentrate on making deals for compatibility.
Other things, like a super stylus, might not make sense. I don’t know that we particularly want Amazon to pioneer hardware lines…making their own versions of existing lines, especially cheaper ones, is a good way to go. Amazon has not been able to position itself as a premium hardware maker.
Give us things that are less expensive, that tie into the existing Amazon services…that’s a good idea.
I think it’s also important to note that some of the development has moved elsewhere. My understanding is that quite a bit of the Echo “parse-onality” development (the Alexa Voice Service) is happening in the Boston area, for example.
Amazon Phase 2 (which is where I suspect we are now) does want to make a profit. Embarking on wildly speculative ventures is not a way to do that. Consolidating what you have and improving it…that can be.
I don’t want people to lose their jobs, of course…that said, I would be fine with Amazon focusing on improving things like the website itself…searching the forums, for example, is still not very robust. We could use much better content management, in the Cloud, on our devices, and at
It’s going to be very interesting to see where this goes…and I’m champing at the bit for announcements which are likely coming in September!
What do you think? What where would you like Amazon to focus its hardware development? Should they develop new lines? What improvements should they make to the existing lines? Is it important at all that Amazon be seen as a cutting edge hardware developer? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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