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Ten gadgets that died in 2011

From tablets to cameras, a variety of devices met their end in 2011. But will any be remembered?
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1 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

With the release of devices like the iPad 2, Kindle Fire, and countless powerful Android smartphones, 2011 was a big year for technology. But with the success of some comes the failure of others, and this year showed that not all devices had what it took to last forever. While some devices were phased out and others outright killed, they all share one quality: they are all dead. Welcome to the gadget graveyard of 2011. 

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2 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

When Cisco bought Flip Video maker Pure Digital in 2009 for $590 million, few expected that the company's prized device would be dead just two years later. The Flip Video camera was, after all, an immensely successful product, more affordable than its counterparts and extremely simple to use. Sadly, the device met is end this year as Cisco announced that it was closing down sections of its consumer electronics division 

Why it died: Blame the smartphone. Like the GPS and MP3 player the dedicated camera is rapidly being replaced by power of devices like the iPhone. Of course, part of the blame also falls with Cisco, which has a track record of bad moves in the consumer electronics space. 

 

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3 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

A year after killing off the cassette-based Walkman, Sony did the same for its MiniDisc counterpart. Axed in September, the MiniDisc Walkman lived a long, surprising twenty-year product life. 

Why it died: Considering that Sony sold the device for two decades, its perhaps wrong to say that the MiniDisc Walkman died. Its time simply had come. 
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4 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Announced December 2010, the Logitech Revue was the company's first effort at incorporating the Google TV operating system. Sadly, it never really stood a chance, as Logitech announced less than a year later that the Revue had run out of time. Logitech's investment in Google TV had cost the company over $100 million and the company was cutting its losses. 

Why it died: Launched at $300, the Revue was far, far more expensive than sub-$100 devices that accomplished the same tasks. Buggy and dogged by limited functionality at launch, the Revue has been a key effort in Google's efforts to disrupt the living room. Those efforts continue.
 
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5 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Undoubtedly the most notorious entry in this list, the TouchPad is unique in that it had a greater impact after it had met its end. Discontinued in August, the TouchPad's life spanned just under seven weeks. HP marked its death by selling the device at a mind-numbing $99, sparking previously nonexistent consumer interest and catapulting the TouchPad into the iPad-dominated limelight. In addition to killing the TouchPad, HP also ended production of its other webOS devices, the Veer, Pre, and Pixi.  

Why it died: With the tablet market ruled by Apple's iPad, HP from the beginning faced an uphill struggle in gleaning consumer attention for the TouchPad. Of course, it didn't help that the device was sluggish and clunky. While HP has ended its webOS hardware ambitions the future of the OS is still up in the air. 
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6 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Released in October 2009, the PSP Go ditched the PSP's UMD drive and experimented with a distribution strategy based entirely off downloadable content. Perhaps a bit before its time the PSP Go met its end in 2011 -- except in North America. 

Why it died: While the PSP Go offered a number of compelling features,  those additions came with a big price tag. The device was originally sold for $249, a full $80 higher than what the PSP-3000 sold for. That, coupled with its smaller screen and inability to transfer previously-purchased titles, made the PSP Go a major no-go for many consumers. 
 
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7 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

While successful in the personal computer space, Dell has failed at grabbing that same level of success when it comes to tablets. For proof of this, look no further than Dell's Streak 5 and Streak 7 tablets, both of which met their end this year. Dead in August, the Streak 5 was followed a few months later by the Streak 7, which ended its run in December. 

 
Why they died: With it's 5-inch screen, the Streak 5 sat at an odd place between the smartphone and tablet, making it tough to advertise and slightly tougher to justify buying. The story is less clear for the Streak 7, though many reviews of the tablet criticized its buggy software and less-than-stellar build quality. While Dell never said why it axed either tablet, its a fair assumption that the company just wasn't able to sell enough of the devices. 
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8 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Amidst a slew of hardware announcements, the MacBook made its unceremonious departure in July, five years after it was introduced. Sold for $999, the device featured a 13-inch screen and was most well-known in its back and white variants.

Why it died: More phased out than outright killed, the MacBook's place in Apple's hardware lineup has since been taken up by the lighter MacBook Air, which sells for $999. Apple, however, still offers the device to educational institutions. 
 
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9 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Released in November 2009, the Nook 3G + WiFi was the first generation of the Barnes & Noble tablet. Offering 3G access via Wi-Fi, the device featured a separate color touchscreen, which was an early hallmark of the device. 

Why it died: Like most discontinued products, the Nook 3G met its end due to decreasing consumer demand. The device was replaced this year by the smaller Nook Simple Touch, and Nook Tablet -- neither of which, it should be noted, feature the 3G access offered by the original device.
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10 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Sharp announced in September that it was ending production of the 5.5- and the 10.8-inch versions, leaving just the 7-inch version of standing on its own. The move happened less than a year after the devices were announced. 

Why they died: Probably the most poorly-named line of tablets around, the Galapagos suffered from the iPad's market dominance. Sharp also severely hobbled the devices by preventing users from installing their own software and limiting e-book reading to its own software. Unable to compete on price or features, its not all that surprising while Sharp decided to kill off the devices.
 
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11 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Microsoft's answer to the iPod met its end in October, five years after its arrival. Called compelling and well-designed upon its release, the Zune nonetheless failed to capture a significant market share. Microsoft kiled off the whole line of devices, both large and small. 

Why they died:  While it wasn't exactly a surprise, the demise of the Zune does underscore one certainty: the dedicated music player is largely dead. Instead, Microsoft, like other companies, is focusing on mobile phones and taking the Zune brand into a more software-based future.

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