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Fire Phone flop pushes Amazon away from new hardware

by Jacob Kleinman | August 29, 2015August 29, 2015 10:00 am PDT

Amazon’s first smartphone flopped pretty hard, and as a result the company could be pulling back from a number of interesting hardware projects. The Wall Street Journal reports that the retail giant has fired dozens of engineers within its secretive Lab126 division in the past few weeks as it retreats from the more experimental corners of the consumer electronics market.

The report also details a number of intriguing projects that will now likely never see the light of day. That includes a larger-screened 14-inch tablet, a smart stylus for creating shopping lists called Nitro, and a projector codenamed Shimmer. However, it sounds like Amazon is still pushing forward with a device called Kabinet, which could sit in your kitchen and order products for you via voice command. Sounds a bit like the Echo to us.

WSJ notes that despite the Fire Phone’s failure, Amazon isn’t backing away from 3D technology. The company apparently has plans for a 3D tablet that allows the images to pop out at the viewer without special glasses. Remaining engineers at Lab126 are also allegedly developing a new Kindle e-reader capable of lasting up to two years without needing to charge.

As for the Fire Phone, development of a second-generation model has allegedly been pushed back indefinitely, suggesting the company isn’t in a rush to release a new handset.

WSJ

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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