Meta will no longer release any more Portal devices for consumers, according to The Information and Variety. The company is reportedly repositioning the smart display and home video line as a business product and discontinuing current consumer versions. Variety says Meta will sell all the remaining inventory of previously released models and will continue providing support for existing customers, but it will focus on business applications for future releases. Portal never quite sold as well as Amazon’s and Google smart display devices, but it enjoyed an uptick in sales after pandemic lockdowns forced companies to let their employees work from home.
According to the IDC research firm, Meta sold 600,000 Portal devices in 2020 and 800,000 in 2021, as businesses looked for solutions to make communicating with remote workers easier. Perhaps it was the knowledge that it was business customers that gave the devices’ sales a boost these past two years that compelled Meta to change the product line’s focus. We’ll just have to wait and see how Portals for businesses differ from their consumer counterparts. Meta released several versions of Portal in the past, including the Portal TV, which turns televisions into big smart displays, and the Portal Go that can be taken out of its charging dock and moved around.
In addition to killing off consumer Portals, Meta has also reportedly shelved plans for its long-rumored dual-camera smartwatch. Previous reports suggested that it was going to be an Apple competitor, but Meta has apparently decided to focus on developing other wearables for now.