As quickly as new technology gives rise to innovative new consumer products, it drives the last batch of once-exciting electronics into obsolescence. There are plenty of gadgets around your house that are on their way out, as tech that once formed the basis of thriving products is replaced by newer and better innovations.
Nothing has made that cycle more apparent than the rise of the smartphone, an ever-improving staple for consumers who are always connected to the internet, digital media, and all kind of communities, both real-life and virtual, via social media. Many single-use devices, like MP3 players and cameras, have been replaced by apps and services that users can access on their smartphones or tablets. Read on for 10 tech products that seemed innovative when they were introduced but are on their way out.
1. MP3 players
Sales of MP3 players — and the most iconic product in the category, Apple’s iPod — have been shrinking for years. Since reaching 54.8 million in 2008, iPod sales began an overall decline as the iPhone was introduced. Because the iPhone could handle all of the functions of the iPod and more, there was a dwindling need for a standalone music player, and that continues to hold true as smartphones give users access not only to a local library of MP3 files, but to a growing array of apps that grant access to a cloud-based library of practically any song they could want.
Even for users who haven’t replaced extensive libraries of MP3 files with Spotify playlists and instant access to any artist, album, or song via a growing array of streaming apps, smartphones offer an ever-increasing amount of memory to store media locally. While iPods and similar devices still have limited appeal for athletes, children who are too young to need a smartphone, or consumers who don’t want to upgrade to a smartphone, the days of carrying both a phone and an MP3 player are over.