Amazon said to scale down Fire smartphone team

The company has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers who worked on the product

Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers who worked on its slow-selling Fire smartphone in recent weeks, according to a news report.

The layoffs come from Amazon's Lab126 hardware development center in Silicon Valley, the Wall Street Journal reported. The number of layoffs was not available, and Amazon.com representatives did not return a message seeking more information.

According to the Journal's article, Amazon has also reorganized Lab126, as well as scaled back and killed some other projects in the division, which was founded in 2004 and has developed a variety of consumer devices, including the Kindle family of e-readers, the Fire tablets and the Echo voice-activated speaker.  

The Fire phone, launched in July 2014, met with a tepid consumer response. The company began slashing the price of the phone that Fall, and despite continued and aggressive price cuts the product never gained traction in the market.

One reviewer called the Fire phone a "weird device."

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service
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