Every year seems to bring a new innovation in technology. Somebody decides to invent a new and improved version of something, or they look to invent “the next big thing.”
What that usually means is that another product is going away. It doesn’t always work out. Remember New Coke? How about Classic Myspace?
Myspace led the way for social networking when it was launched in 2003. People came there for pictures and status updates. Then Facebook and Twitter took that over, and Myspace was basically forgotten. Myspace has been trying to reinvent itself and still exists today, but is oriented more toward music. The myspace web page says, “The Best in Music and Culture. All in One Place.”
Other products have just recently been discontinued, but you probably thought they were already gone. We’ll tell you five more of them:
1.) The VCR.
You used to record everything on a video cassette recorder. Instead of going to the drive-in or theater, you could rent movies to watch in the comfort of your own home. You could even record television programs on your VCR.
The New York Post reported that Japanese company Funai Electric would stop producing VCRs this year because sales were lagging and it was getting harder to obtain parts for the recorders. The first VCR was introduced in 1972, but lost popularity when DVDs came along in the 1990s. Then the Sony Betamax came along in 1975.
You probably didn’t realize it, but Sony was still making Betamax tapes up until March 2016. According to The Guardian, Betamax players and recorders stopped production in 2002, but the tapes had continued to be manufactured. Sony and the Betamax format had been fighting corporate battles with the Video Home System for nearly 30 years.
VHS tapes eventually won out because they were cheaper, and they lasted longer. Some credit for the success of VHS tapes was given to the porn industry, which chose them to release home videos.
Personal and Professional PalmPilots were first launched in 1997. These devices organized your household and office for you back in the days before Siri or Cortana were even a gleam in some inventor’s eye. But Palm Inc. was eventually defeated by the iPhones, Androids and yes, even the Blackberry.
Palm was sold to Hewlett-Packard for about $1.2 billion in 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal. HP reportedly sold the Palm brand and intellectual property to Wide Progress Global Limited in October 2014.
4.) HP TouchPad
This HP tablet computer really wasn’t given a chance to fail. The device was launched on July 1st, 2011, in the United States, and HP decided to discontinue devices running web OS 49 days later. The item was heavily discounted on August 19th and quickly sold out. Some sources said the TouchPad was vastly overshadowed by the iPad.
5.) Apple Newton
Business Insider reported that this item, introduced in 1993, was Apple’s first try at an organizer. It featured a stylus to help users make notes and organize their schedule. Theories about its demise included a writing recognition dictionary limited to 10,000 words and budget cuts from Apple.
Companies are always looking for the next big thing to hit the market. The items that drop in sales won’t be on the store shelves for very long. Actually, manufacturers are working on new models right around the time you drive out of the store’s parking lot with their latest device.