Why E-Readers, MP3 Players and Other Single-Purpose Devices Are Endangered Species

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Why E-Readers, MP3 Players and Other Single-Purpose Devices Are Endangered Species

by Jim Rapoza

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Long Gone: Word Processing Computers One of the first casualties of the personal computer revolution, stand-alone word processors were like typewriters with very small memories and even smaller screens.

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RIP: Personal Organizers Remember when the Palm Pilot first became big and everyone had to have a similar device? Now everything those old devices did has become core feature sets for even the most basic cell phones.

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Critical Condition: Portable DVD Players Take your movies anywhere! Watch them on the plane or while traveling! That's nice. But doesn't every laptop have that capability (plus the ability to run stored content)?

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Heading Out to Pasture: MP3 Players Sure, MP3 players are still a nice business, but the writing is on the wall. Apple has pretty much admitted that the future of iPods is limited and the ones it is pushing now are multifunction entertainment devices that do a lot more than just play music.

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We Hardly Knew Ya: E-Book Readers It may seem strange to declare the death of a product category that is just now taking off, but e-book readers have all the same problems as MP3 players plus some of their own. With smartphones and multifunction entertainment devices providing perfectly decent e-book capabilities, is it worth paying for and carrying an extra device just for e-books?

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Ready for Retirement: Digital Cameras

While high-end digital cameras will always have a place, simple point-and-click cameras (and video camcorders as well) are steadily being pushed out by phone-based cameras. They would have been gone already if smartphone makers were a little more aggressive about pushing up the quality of their built-in cameras.

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Not Looking Too Healthy: Handheld Gaming Devices

Devices such as the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP are regularly among the must-have gifts of the holiday season. But while they are cool, anyone who has played games on the latest generation of smartphones and entertainment devices can easily envision no longer having to carry these devices around (along with the annoying and easily lost game cartridges).

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