Amazon's Fire Phone, the logical smartphone extension of its Kindle Fire tablet series, is a dud. A combination of lackluster reviews, carrier semi-exclusivity, and most of all being tied into Amazon's app and service environment have made it more or less a total failure. The company never publishes hard data for its hardware sales, but casual observation and constant discounts (sometimes more than $500 off of the original $650 off-contract price) imply that the product has been a wash.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon isn't eager to continue in the phone market. According to the paper, "dozens" of engineers in the Lab126 hardware team have been laid off. Read More
It's not easy being a chip and component maker in the smartphone industry and trying to turn a profit when competitors are driving the prices down to a point where an entire phone can cost somewhere around $50. It's even harder when the high-end market is being governed by a few players, the major one of whom decides to "dump" your chips and use their own for its flagship. That's Qualcomm's conundrum right now. The company, which has been a mainstay on the spec sheet of a grand majority of the Android phones we talk about here on Android Police, is hitting a rough patch — not enough to sound the alarm sirens, but enough to jeopardize the employment of thousands of its workforce. Read More
Gameloft is one of the most prolific and high-profile developers of mobile games, having taken an early lead with the rise of the iTunes App Store and continuing to release games at a rapid pace. But all is not well for the well-known developer: this morning reports have surfaced that the company has completely shut down its New York City studio and related offices.
A photo of Gameloft's Manhattan office posted to Glassdoor.com
Gameloft itself has refused to comment on the matter, but the company's lead programmer in New York, Kevin Chen, posted a public confirmation on Facebook after Gamasutra reported the news on an anonymous tip. Read More
Every major corporation has to fire people at some point. But Microsoft's plan to eliminate 18,000 jobs this year is, to say the least, a big deal. The company announced its plans on a blog post titled "Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture," written by new CEO Satya Nadella. Former Nokia employees will bear the brunt of this downsize, with 12,500 office and factory workers from the Finnish phone giant being laid off.
Microsoft gained approximately 32,000 Nokia employees with the acquisition earlier this year. Estimates placed Microsoft's total number of employees in 2013 at approximately 100,000.
We don't wish to downplay the massive impact of those lost jobs, but this is also a pretty dire harbinger for Nokia's current Android lineup. Read More
Update 4: OnLive has finally issued the following statement:
We can now confirm that the assets of OnLive, Inc. have been acquired into a newly-formed company and is backed by substantial funding, and which will continue to operate the OnLive Game and Desktop services, as well as support all of OnLive's apps and devices, as well as game, productivity and enterprise partnerships. The new company is hiring a large percentage of OnLive, Inc.'s staff across all departments and plans to continue to hire substantially more people, including additional OnLive employees. All previously announced products and services, including those in the works, will continue and there is no expected interruption of any OnLive services.