A compact review is given of the development of the device performance of GaAs-based long wavelength diode lasers with emission wavelengths from 1.3 to 1.55 μm. The main focus is on GaInNAs quantum wells and InAs quantum dot lasers. However, the Ga(In)AsSb material system is also briefly considered. The latest results of the present authors are discussed in relation to the trends observed in the review. These suggest that Auger recombination is an important intrinsic recombination mechanism in both 1.3 μm GaInNAs-based quantum well and InAs-based quantum dot lasers.