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Dying devices and technologies
Old 01-11-2014, 10:40 AM   #1
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Dying devices and technologies

On the Web, I have seen stories about how some devices are sun-setting. I would be worried if I worked at companies related to these technologies.

The ones most talked about are:

* Cameras: Most people just use their smartphones nowaways, or buy DSLR for serious work. The pocket point-and-shoot cameras get squeezed out. It was rumored that smaller companies such as Olympus are going under.

* Cable TV: More and more are streaming from Hulu and Netflix now.

* GPS: Made obsolete by smartphones. I will still keep my waterproof Garmin for hiking, and the GPS dongle for use with a netbook displaying big maps for RV'ing, but casual navigation is more convenient with a smartphone. I still remember paying $120 for a Garmin Europe map CD in 2007. For something like $2.99, one can get an app with Europe maps now for smartphones.

* DVD players: I found myself among the last here (I may be the only one left) who still checks out DVDs from the public library. I still have not subscribed to Hulu or Netflix, but it's because I do not watch much movie.

* Desktops and laptops: Let's face it, most people do not need a full-blown PC. Or if they do, one in a household may be enough. Sales of these have been going down. I am one of the few dinosaurs who still have several PCs in a home network, but they were used for work which I do not do anymore. I find myself not turning them on for months now. I do not see myself buying another desktop ever, but do not see myself without a laptop. In fact, I am typing this on a laptop right now. Tablets do not appeal to me at all.

* Land-line phones: I still have one but it is not the regular Bell-type phone line. The service is with the cable company who is also my internet service provider, so the connection is VOIP. I have been thinking about changing over to AT&T wireless but fixed-location service, but that only saves a few bucks. Maybe I should cut it out altogether, or go with cheaper VOIP alternatives. I have been too lazy to get on it, and my inertia is costing me a few hundred bucks a year.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
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Percolators. Does anybody perk their coffee anymore?
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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Correct, but I have seen some obsolete technology live on for decades. Sometimes companies can make large margins supporting obsolescence.

Interesting some of the new devices garmin is showing off:

http://garmin.blogs.com/pr/2014/01/g...l#.UtF4NCXnbqA


http://garmin.blogs.com/pr/2014/01/g...l#.UtF42iXnbqA

MRG
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:19 AM   #4
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Although I know they will repurpose content, I think it is sort of funny that newspaper firms are expanding into television (we still subscribe to a digital paper and watch some tv in real time, but we are dinosaurs):

Quote:
.... the company's evolution from a company dependent on dwindling revenue from its newspapers and into a formidable broadcast group that reaches an estimated 50 million U.S. homes.

Tribune Co. owns 39 TV stations with Local TV Holdings purchase - latimes.com
When we recently switched from the physical newspaper to the digital six days a week, DH reluctantly bought an iPad to read it with (the savings in the subscription price will pay for the tablet in 15 months). A week later he loves both the online reading experience (we read at the same time and talk to each other about the stories as we read) and the iPad.

I wonder if the qwerty keyboard will eventually phase out. And wired internet.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
Correct, but I have seen some obsolete technology live on for decades. Sometimes companies can make large margins supporting obsolescence.

Interesting some of the new devices garmin is showing off:

Garmin® Launches High-Definition Dash Cam with Automatic Incident Detection » Garmin News Releases


Garmin® Showcases new Infotainment Technology for Automakers Designed to Minimize Driver Distraction » Garmin News Releases

MRG
The leader of a technology past its prime can survive on niche products. For example, Canon seems to be OK due to its popular DSLR lines.

In the case of the Garmin products above, these are really new products and not the same as the old plain GPS. So, companies have to continue to re-invent themselves.

And speaking of dashboard cameras with recording abilities, my brother told me that these are popular in Russia, because insurance companies give a discount to drivers with them. I do not know if it would backfire if the recorded footage showed you were the one at fault.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
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Then there are the devices that have already gone the way of the dodo. It doesn't seem too long ago that I carried a pager around with me, and pager stores were all over the place.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #7
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While I still use a Garmin GPS because of its functionality and large screen vs. a smart phone ( I travel a lot on business), I am seeing e-mail disappear from use by young folks. My daughter hates it, granddaughter won't use it, and all their friends are thinking and acting the same.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:57 PM   #8
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Then there are the devices that have already gone the way of the dodo. It doesn't seem too long ago that I carried a pager around with me, and pager stores were all over the place.
Remembered statements from daughters when they both had Dad-supplied pagers:

"The battery died, so I never got your message.."
"I left it in the car......"
"I lost it...."
"Could not call you back because there was no phone near me"
"It quit working, I guess..."
"I lent it to my boyfriend and he lost it..."
"It fell in the toilet..."
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #9
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As technology evolves and what is at the forefront changes, the fortune of companies rises and falls. Although I was a technical worker, I now believe Buffett when he said he did not invest in tech companies because he could not tell which would have durable earning power. Perhaps there is none.

I still remember when digital phones first caught on in the early 2000s. Phone companies were raking in more than $1B a year selling downloaded ring tones. Yes, just dumb ring tones so people could personalize their phones. Good grief! Money was made so easily with trivial things compared to now.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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Here are my opinions on the devices mentioned by the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Cameras
Right! Never use one any more, other than my iPhone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Cable TV
Right! I have Cable TV, but have been seriously thinking about discontinuing it because it is becoming a rip-off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
GPS
I guess? Never had GPS. I seem to do OK with medieval technology (maps).
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
DVD players
Right! I have a very old DVD player that I use now and then for exercise videos, but when that one croaks, I don't think I will buy another. I can watch many of the same videos on my TV through Youtube, for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Desktops and laptops
NO!!! NONONONONONONONONO!!!! I love my laptop.

However, I do not plan to replace my desktop computer when it croaks.
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Land-line phones
Right! I plan to discontinue my land-line phone because, like cable TV, it has become a rip-off in recent years.

Besides that, does anybody actually use a built-in conventional oven any more, other than ladies baking mountains of cookies and pies? With all the great countertop devices (microwaves, electric grills, electric woks, toaster ovens, and more) I just don't think the built-in conventional ovens can compete, especially for those watching our weight.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:14 PM   #11
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I guess? Never had GPS. I seem to do OK with medieval technology (maps).
But there's a GPS in your smartphone. Come on, turn it on!

I have not fumbled around with folding and unfolding paper maps for so long, I cannot remember the last time I did it. And paper maps aren't cheap!

And the hassle of finding an address with a paper map by looking at the index. And then, where am I? Let's drive through the next few intersections to get a position fix. No, wait, we do not have a map for this city. Arghh! Where's the nearest Circle-K so we can get another map? ARGHHH!!!!

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...

Besides that, does anybody actually use a built-in conventional oven any more, other than ladies baking mountains of cookies and pies? With all the great countertop devices (microwaves, electric grills, electric woks, toaster ovens, and more) I just don't think the built-in conventional ovens can compete, especially for those watching our weight.
I do, but only for holiday meals when we cook for 20-30 people. Else, the toaster ovens (note the plural) are more economical and practical.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #12
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But there's a GPS in your smartphone. Come on, turn it on!

I have not fumbled around with folding and unfolding paper maps for so long, I cannot remember the last time I did it. And paper maps aren't cheap!
I know! I have an iPhone, too. I just never looked into the GPS function although I sometimes look at maps on it. Everything is so tiny on a phone, though.

I guess a conventional oven could possibly be useful when cooking for 20-30 people, you're right. I would tend to just use an outdoor grill, but I guess that is not possible in some climates.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:26 PM   #13
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Agree with declining market shares, but think it's more of an evolution in tech than extinction.

1. Cameras- Point-and shoot dig cameras are fairly inexpensive, most take MUCH better pic's (& often vid's) than even best smartphones, and better ones are expanding capabilities into historically DSLR territory. In most big tourist areas I see few DSLR's, but lots of P/S cameras. Smartphone pics seem mainly for 'fun shots' vs capturing those epic memories.
2.Cable TV. Still much more convenient (if you inc PPV options) than Hulu, Netfix, etc with OTA antenna for local shows/news. However I fully agree that increasing cable prices could easily cause death of the industry but on economic (vs tech) basis.
3. GPS. Smartphone GPS is 2nd rate to dedicated GPS units. I have a major GPS locator app on my phone & it's accuracy only seems +/- half city block. On every test run I've done on road trips my mid-level Garmin stays spot on through regions where my Samsung Galaxy regularly hiccups so bad it becomes useless for long stretches. And there will continue to be a major (recently increasing) market for GPS in outdoor fitness products where water & shock-resistance is critical.
4. DVD. Clearly losing market share to Blu-ray, but I think those physical discs (inc Blu-ray) will still be around for long time if only for archiving not only movies but pic's, data, etc. Players & discs are still a cheaper way to go for folks who don't watch many movies.
5. Desktops & laptops- Market share will decline but basal demand will remain if only for the big screens, faster computing capabilities, & larger on-site storage capacity vs tablets. While I have smartphone & mult laptops, I still prefer doing all my 'serious' computer stuff on my desktop. And I cannot imaging all the eyestrain that could result from clerical workers spending 8+hrs/day w#rking on tablets :0
6. Land-lines. Some market will exist for many years since mobile carriers still seem incapable of providing land-line level reliability to many major suburban areas, not to mention fringe areas. I would love to drop my LL, but after 15+yrs I still cannot get reliable cell coverage in my suburban home from ANY of the major US carriers.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:34 PM   #14
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Besides that, does anybody actually use a built-in conventional oven any more, other than ladies baking mountains of cookies and pies? With all the great countertop devices (microwaves, electric grills, electric woks, toaster ovens, and more) I just don't think the built-in conventional ovens can compete, especially for those watching our weight.
I love my oven, and I do not bake often. My roast turkey was wonderful at Christmastime, and was the basis for a whole week's worth of healthy meals at about $4 each. I love to entertain and often make a favorite casserole or lasagne. Oven roasted vegetables are great too. I have a microwave, a grill and a slow cooker, but the oven is essential for the above dishes.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:38 PM   #15
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1. Cameras- Point-and shoot dig cameras are fairly inexpensive, most take MUCH better pic's (& often vid's) than even best smartphones, and better ones are expanding capabilities into historically DSLR territory. In most big tourist areas I see few DSLR's, but lots of P/S cameras. Smartphone pics seem mainly for 'fun shots' vs capturing those epic memories.
I will still carry my P/S camera on my trips. However, my children have no interest in having more than what is in their smartphone. And these phones do take quite decent photos, much to my surprise. And HD videos too! The trend of having just the camera in a smartphone is reflected in the dwindling sales of P/S cameras.

Quote:
3. GPS. Smartphone GPS is 2nd rate to dedicated GPS units. I have a major GPS locator app on my phone & it's accuracy only seems +/- half city block. On every test run I've done on road trips my mid-level Garmin stays spot on through regions where my Samsung Galaxy regularly hiccups so bad it becomes useless for long stretches. And there will continue to be a major (recently increasing) market for GPS in outdoor fitness products where water & shock-resistance is critical.
I have not had much field experience with the iPhone GPS, but so far it often pinpoints the location in my home to the right bedroom! My Garmin occasionally has trouble locking on to GPS signal inside the home due to roof penetration attenuation, but this may be due to it being an older unit.

As explained earlier, I still keep my waterproof Garmin GPS for outdoor activities, and the netbook-displayed big map for RV driving. But most people do not have these needs.

Quote:
5. Desktops & laptops- Market share will decline but basal demand will remain if only for the big screens, faster computing capabilities, & larger on-site storage capacity vs tablets. While I have smartphone & mult laptops, I still prefer doing all my 'serious' computer stuff on my desktop. And I cannot imaging all the eyestrain that could result from clerical workers spending 8+hrs/day w#rking on tablets :0
Desktops and laptops will stay around for the predictable future. However, the sales for personal and residential usage will continue to go down, and that does not bode well for companies in this industry.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:01 PM   #16
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2013 was a bad year for PC sales, which fell by 10%.

2013 Was The PC's Worst Year Ever

I think there will be a market for PCs for the foreseeable future, but it has passed its peak.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:34 PM   #17
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does anybody actually use a built-in conventional oven any more, other than ladies baking mountains of cookies and pies?
DW loves (really loves) to make cookies, and is incredibly (way too) good at it. She knows not to leave too many at home for me, but takes them to parties where they are always a huge hit. She also makes fantastic pies. Both the cookies and the pies are always made from scratch (no mixes of any kind).

As for me, there are some exceptionally good frozen pizzas available at the grocery store these days, and I will often have one in the freezer. The time it takes to heat the oven and cook a pizza is approximately equal to the time to call and get one delivered (about 25 minutes) and I like the frozen kind just as well.

So our oven will be useful for a long time to come.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:41 PM   #18
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As for me, there are some exceptionally good frozen pizzas available at the grocery store these days, and I will often have one in the freezer. The time it takes to heat the oven and cook a pizza is approximately equal to the time to call and get one delivered (about 25 minutes) and I like the frozen kind just as well.

So our oven will be useful for a long time to come.
Same here. A real oven is very useful. And it keeps the house warm in the winter.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:00 PM   #19
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I'm not much of a cook, but I still use the oven for salmon, chicken, and the occasional frozen pizza. The toaster oven seems too uneven plus I can bake a potato or warm up bread at the same time.

I'd buy another laptop if mine crashed, likewise a DVD player because of my collection. I guess I could save them to my computer but it doesn't seem worth the bother and I often use my laptop while watching TV or a movie so I don't want to tie it up playing. I guess it'd be Blu Ray since I have a few of those, but I really really hate how slow they are to load.

My CD player, OTOH, I wouldn't replace. Everything has been ripped to mp3 format and that's all I buy now, as I listen to my mp3 player on the run or connect it to my stereo, or listen on my PC.

I don't even pull out my point and shoot camera at home. I think my new phone is better than my old camera, and it's not worth buying a new camera. I love having a camera with my phone.

Never had a dedicated nav GPS. I used maps, then my phone. It fails me in some remote areas where I don't get a signal, but I can live with it. Some of my running friends are using their smart phones to track their runs, but I still like to easily see my pace on my watch as I race.

I'll keep Dish satellite until I have a good solution for live sports. I know there are some solutions but it's far from complete.

I still have my landline. Coverage might finally be good enough to drop it where I live, but I haven't read very good reviews on those devices to run your cell through your house wiring. But I don't use the phone that much so a tinny sound wouldn't bother me too much. I'll probably look at this again this year.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #20
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I am a true dinosaur. I do not have a smartphone, and my flip phone pictures cannot be moved to another device. I have a 2mp digital p/s camera that I got 10 years ago as a gift. Its HUGE compared to current models, but it functions and since we don't travel much having a huge clunker of a camera is fine with me.

I do have an old Garmin GPS because I can get lost driving in a straight line and I don't have a smartphone.

I have a tv+internet+phone combo. No movie or special sports channels. Its a bit expensive ($140 / month after fees and taxes) but I'm too lazy to try and figure out how to get the content I want through Netflix, Hulu, Huluplus and the internet. Once I retire this will be a good place for additional cost saves.

I do have some modern technology. I have a Blu-ray player because when we downsized in August we replaced our 2 12 year old cube style tvs with flat panels. I have an inexpensive laptop ($400), an inexpensive tablet ($129) and a kindle ($69). The tablet and the Kindle were essentially free since I redeemed Visa card reward points to pay for them. I see myself keeping all of these going forward.

I do still use my full size oven. During the holidays I purchase and cook approximately a dozen 12 lb turkeys for 60-70 cents a pound. I purchase, defrost, roast, debone and freeze them (1/2 turkey per freezer bag). I have turkey for dinner two or three times a month for up to 6 months, with leftovers for lunches. Most of my other roasting is done in the toaster oven, which helps keep the full size oven clean LOL.

I also no longer have a stereo system. I generally use my mp3 player with a single cord to a mini boom box for external music, or I use my headphones.
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