Amazon Laying off 3%; Apple Still Staffing Up for AR Headset; Foxconn to Quadruple India Production; Meta Kills Portal & Smartwatch ProjectPosted: November 14, 2022
The cuts will focus on Amazon’s devices organization, including the voice-assistant Alexa, as well as at its retail division and in human resources. The total number of layoffs remains fluid. But if it stays around 10,000, that would represent roughly 3 percent of Amazon’s corporate employees and less than 1 percent of its global work force of more than 1.5 million, which is primarily composed of hourly workers.
Apple is pressing ahead in development of their mixed reality headset, shooting for a 2023 release. Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter reports that there are job postings up for software producers and engineers…among others. The group is run by Mike Rockwell, VP of AR/VR, and Dan Riccio, former chief of hardware. Besides the mixed reality group, Apple is also bring back a former senior staffer to its self-driving car unit. Dave Scott had left along with some other car executives in 2021, but after a short run at a health related company, is back at Apple’s car unit, often referred to as ‘Project Titan.’
Meta has done a mercy killing on its pitiful Portal devices, and also its smartwatch project. Engadget.com notes that during the pandemic, there was a modest uptick in people buying the Facebook smart display, but the sales have now cratered. Meta had been focusing on trying to sell them to businesses lately. Still, the device never got over 1% share of the global smart display market. Along with putting Portal out of its misery, Meta has stopped development on a couple of smartwatches they had in the works. Some of the smartwatch team has moved over to the virtual reality hardware unit.
With the continued disruptions due to COVID lockdowns in China, Apple supplier Foxconn is turning to production in India. According to bgr.com, the iPhone manufacturer will quadruple the number of employees they have in India. They expect to be staffed up there in the next 2 years. Right now, Foxconn has 70,000 workers in India. Foxconn had been building the lower priced iPhones in India, with a lot of the production aimed at serving just that market, but now will be adding the other iPhones to their production lines as both they and Apple move away from being so dependent on an increasingly unpredictable China.
I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘technified’ for now.