Since the turn of the 21st century, technology has evolved at an astronomical pace. Just two decades ago, the mere thought of holding a supercomputer in your hand that could handle everything from making video calls to streaming movies would have sounded ridiculous.
The internet revolution that changed our world now looks like an achievement of the past, hyper-advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual reality (VR), and Visual Positioning Systems (VPS) are dominating the news cycle, and it almost feels like human society has failed to keep up with these explosive innovations.
As a result of these rapid advancements, many devices of routine use that seemed cutting edge only a few years ago are being discontinued.
The world of smartphones is no exception. All major companies, including Samsung, Nokia, and Apple, churn out astonishingly high-tech devices every year and discard even more. A simple Google search supported by a fast-paced and reliable connection like Spectrum Internet is enough to reveal the vast list of devices discontinued over the past 5 years alone.
This write-up is dedicated to listing down some of the unique devices that represented radical changes to the smartphone industry during their time but have now been made obsolete. So, without wasting any more time let’s jump onto our list.
apple 12 & 13 mini
The manufacturer of the most prestigious and (arguably) safe smartphones in the world has a habit of discarding older models as soon as new ones are launched. The manufacturer has several good reasons for doing this.
Firstly, all new Apple models build upon their previous variants and rarely depart from the signature design. So, to avoid confusion Apple stops production of older models as soon as new ones hit the market. It was only natural that the manufacturer decided to discontinue iPhones 12 and eventually 13 as soon as the 14th was launched.
But the abrupt discontinuation of the affordable mini-series can also be attributed to the lackluster response it received from buyers around the world. The 5.4-inch miniature devices represented a significant departure from the iPhone’s trend of ever-expanding screens by offering users a more compact smartphone usage experience.
But the devices failed to capture any significant space for themselves in the market. This is probably why Apple did not launch a mini version of the iPhone 14 and discontinued all previous mini versions. Very bad news for those who enjoyed having an iPhone that actually fit into the palm of their hands.
samsung galaxy series
Upon its launch, Samsung’s Galaxy series represented the cutting edge in smartphone technology. The Stylus Pen which pretty much came to define the aptly named Galaxy Note series offered a fairly unique experience to users and became an instant hit in the market.
But sales had been dwindling and even before the discontinuation of the series it was evident that Samsung had given up on it. Because the manufacturer failed to release any new variants after the launch of Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra in 2020. This is why the news of Galaxy’s discontinuation did not come as a surprise to many Samsung enthusiasts.
Luckily, even though Samsung has decided to give up on the Galaxy Note series it has not decided to give up on the Stylus Pen and plans to include it in newer versions like its latest Fold series. So, if you were hooked to the Stylus Pen, rest assured that it is not going anywhere any time soon.
microsoft & nokia lumia phones
The Lumia series was Microsoft’s biggest and perhaps only attempt to break into a smartphone market that has been dominated by its main rival Google. Microsoft actually went on to acquire a failing Nokia and re-vamp its production to create this niche classic.
The phone’s sleek design, it’s powerful camera, and unique user experience did help it achieve some initial successes in the market but in the long run, the Lumia series failed to garner significant traffic amongst users.
One of the major reasons underpinning the failure of the Lumia series was the limited app options it offered users. The Android and Apple stores had a head start which was almost impossible to compete with and Microsoft could not incentivize developers to make the shift.
As a result, Lumia phones offered very few features to users, apart from the built-in ones. Microsoft finally decided to give up on this pipe dream in 2019 and stopped providing software support to the Lumia series, which meant lights out for the Lumia.
Each of the three smartphones mentioned in the list represented a shift in the smartphone industry, whether it was their size, unique hardware, or software, these phones tried to do something which was never done before.
And while one of them was able to persist and change the smartphone industry forever, the other two failed to capture the imaginations of mass audiences, but still enjoy a legacy status in the imaginations of many smartphone enthusiasts around the globe.