Nothing is permanent in this world, especially technology. This past year, as we saw some wonderful innovations that kept us connected to the outside world, we also lost a number of products and services from the past. Some of them had been on their deathbeds for quite some time, others slipped to sudden deaths shocking many. The discontinuation of a product, or service shouldn’t be seen as a complete failure, but it highlights the market forces at play. In a year that had its low and high points, we look at the tech that we lost in 2021.
LG brought in many firsts in the smartphone market, but called its quits earlier this year. A lot of this has to do with the confusing business strategy the Korean company followed for many years. But it also puts focus on the lack of acceptance of new ideas at the industry level. The South Korean behemoth introduced many smartphone models including the LG Wing but it never got the acknowledgment which it deserved. Some believe LG’s efforts came a little late and by the time it had innovative products to show, it was too late. LG was, in fact, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker in 2013 but in recent years it had struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung at the premium end of the smartphone market. The exit of LG from the smartphone market is a loss not only to the industry but also to the creative ideas and passion for products that are slightly edgy.
Although it didn’t come as a shock to tech insiders, Apple killing the original HomePod was always on the cards. The HomePod might not have been a failure, but it wasn’t a smash hit either. The problem with HomePod was not its steep price, but its positioning. The HomePod is a great speaker and it sounds wonderful but it’s not as smart as competitive products from Amazon and Google. The HomePod may have gone, but the HomePod mini exists and it’s a great little speaker. Siri still needs a bit of work, but is that enough for Apple to make a strong comeback in the smart speaker segment? Only time will tell.