Top 5 Gadget Stories Of 2016 – Forbes
2016 was a huge year for hardware gadgets. Here are some of the biggest stories that went down:
1. Exploding Galaxy Note 7s
Samsung was at the forefront of what is arguably the biggest consumer safety disaster in the history of the smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was supposed to be the companyâs crowd-pleasing, super-high-end new smartphone. But after its release, dozens of reports of phones overheating, catching fire or even exploding started to emerge.
Samsung voluntarily recalled the phones, and then the Consumer Product And Safety Commission issued its own recall. Samsung vowed to replace all the Note 7s that were out there in the U.S., but before long its replacement phones began to display the same defects. Samsung was forced to recall the Note 7 for goodâand is now in the process of rebuilding its brand to launch the Galaxy S8 in the spring of 2017.
2. Apple Kills The Headphone Jack
is known for being ahead of the curve on hardware. But one personâs annoying change is anotherâs visionary move. And this year, the big hardware change Apple made was ditching the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Instead, users must now listen on wireless Apple Airpod headphones, wireless headphones from a third-party provider, or use a separate dongle to hook up their still-corded earbuds through another port on the phone.
3. Fitbit Acquires Pebble
Pebble went from Kickstarter success story to Kickstarter consumer warning story in 2016. Pebble smartwatches were once the scrappy competitor to wearable greats like the Apple Watch, watches and Fitbits. But Fitbit acquired Pebble purely for its software tech and is killing off Pebble hardware from here.
While Pebble assured consumers that the 2 million Pebble watches out there will â continue to work as normalâ it also said âPebble functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future.â In other words, at some point Pebble owners could be out of luck in terms of keeping their watches functioning and up-to-date.
4. Google Gets Into Hardwareâ¦ Again
This October made a big commitment in the consumer hardware space and launched an array of new devices. The Google Pixel is the companyâs new Android phone that goes toe-to-toe with the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7. Thereâs also Google Home (Googleâs answer to Amazon Echo), Google Wi-Fi (its answer to Eero), and Google Daydream VR (its answer to Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR).
This isnât the first time that Google has dabbled in consumer hardware like smartphones. Google bought for $12.5 billion in 2012 only to turn around and sell it for just $2.9 billion two years later.
5. Snapchat Spectacles
Snapchat decided to become a hardware company this year too. It made the surprise move to rebrand itself as Snap, Inc. and release its new Spectacles sunglasses, which let you take 10-second snippets of video and upload them to Snapchat.
What do you think some of the notable gadget stories of 2016 were? Let us know in the comment section.