It’s been a rollercoaster year in the world of technology. Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter and the drama that unfolded afterward left everyone guessing about the social media giant’s future. ChatGPT delivered human-level texts, giving us a glimpse into the potential future of artificial intelligence. But over the past year, we’ve also seen many products and services leave us forever. Some will be greatly missed and others, well, forgotten forever. We mourn her passing and take time to think of her as the pages of the calendar turn.
While it didn’t come as a shock, the iPod Touch’s discontinuation had been on the cards for a number of years. The iPod, the legendary music player introduced by Steve Jobs in 2001, peaked in popularity when the iPhone debuted. Despite this, Apple continued to sell the iPod in various shapes and designs. The last remaining iPod Touch model closely resembles the iPhone 4, without cellular connectivity. As streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music became the norm of the day for listening to music, the $199 iPod Touch started to feel unnecessary. One wonders why it took Apple so long to discontinue the iPod Touch, which has barely been updated in recent years. The iPod Touch was a great entry-level device to experience apps and games, but only until the iPhone, which also had the same capabilities, became popular. The iPod brand may be dead, but Apple’s little music player will always be remembered for changing the way we listen to music.
When Stadia launched in 2019, Google laid out a disruptive strategy to take on traditional gaming consoles with a cloud-based gaming service. From day one, Google built the narrative that Stadia would stream AAA games to all of your devices. And we have all submitted to Google’s vision. The idea of being able to access the biggest blockbuster games without having to own a console was undeniably appealing.
But what was initially pitched and the end product was completely different. There was no clarity as to what type of audience was deemed appropriate for a platform like Stadia. The lack of notable exclusives was the problem from the start, but by the time Google started offering Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia, people either already owned those games on other platforms or were intending to buy them for the platform they were using already owned. Stadia was built on impressive technology, but like many of Google’s previous failed products, the Silicon Valley giant once again failed to understand the market it was trying to enter.
In early 2021, Google announced it would shut down its in-house development studios and instead offer Stadia as a platform for others to build on. In September 2022, as many expected, news of Stadia’s closure was officially announced. Many think Google shouldn’t give up on Stadia so easily, but the truth is that the company had already suspected that Microsoft could become its biggest competitor in the cloud gaming segment. The surprising success of Xbox Game Pass and Microsoft’s rising status in the gaming world could be clues as to the demise of Google’s Stadia.
Ladies and gentlemen…a 2 minute silence for BlackBerry. The year 2022 finally brought the end of the old BlackBerry devices. The Canadian company announced that it has shut down the servers needed for older BlackBerry devices to function properly. Beginning January 4, any phone or tablet running BlackBerry’s proprietary software “will no longer function reliably.” That means your old Blackberry device is nothing more than a paperweight without making calls or texting. Once synonymous with executives, BlackBerry has seen dizzying heights but has fallen victim to its own success. While BlackBerry has been declared dead many times in the past, this time the phones actually went into silent mode forever.
If you haven’t heard of Amazon Glow, you’re not alone. The Glow was Amazon’s failed attempt to create a video calling device aimed at children. The experimental video chat device had a built-in desktop projector. Children could video chat with their grandparents, and the device would project touch-responsive games, books, or puzzles onto the table. It was a one-of-a-kind, invitation-only product. But six months after its wider launch, Amazon stopped selling the device. The reason for Glow’s discontinuation isn’t clear, but delving deeper into Amazon’s current state, it becomes clear that the company has chosen to ditch experimental devices and instead focus on products and services that show the potential have to make profits in the long run. Whatever the reason for hiring, it’s sad to see a company kill uniquely positioned products when its priorities shift.
Apple Watch Series 3
Many had begun to label the Apple Watch Series 3 as “unnecessary” and “pointless.” No, Series 3 was not a commercial failure. In fact, it was the complete opposite. For over five years, Apple continued to sell the Series 3 despite the availability of an affordable, entry-level Apple Watch SE option. The Series 3 solved nothing other than being the most budget-friendly Apple Watch. The announcement of WatchOS 9 at WWDC and the lack of support for Series 3 confirmed the demise of the most successful Apple Watch model. The discontinuation of the Series 3 didn’t come as a complete surprise to many. The watch lacked a new-age design and its slower processor was starting to show its age. While the Series 3 is now gone for good, consumers can choose the Watch SE 2 as a replacement.