Meta has reportedly done away with another device, at least for us commoners. we have recently reported that it has postponed its upcoming smartwatch, due to be released next spring, and now, if The information reported first (via Variety), Meta Platforms will no longer produce consumer versions of its Portal devices. Instead, the company has decided that it will only make Portals for its business customers. Meta will continue to sell existing Portal models until they are out of stock, and it will continue to support its customers in the long run.
If you’ve never heard of Meta’s Portal devices, you’re probably not alone. These are in fact smart displays, which Meta released in 2018. Their main function was to be used as video calling devices, but they also provide access to Alexa and various streaming services such as Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime. You can also use them as a digital photo frame to display photos from Facebook and Instagram.
Meta’s Portals never managed to become popular among regular users. This is probably why the company has decided to stop producing them for the retail market. According to a source familiar with Meta’s strategy, the company sold many Portal devices to enterprise customers during the pandemic. Statistics from research firm IDC show that Meta shipped 600,000 Portal devices in 2020 and 800,000 in 2021. This was probably when the company saw the potential in its business users and decided to start producing Portal screens exclusively for them.
There is no information about whether or how the Portal business devices will differ from the devices we can currently purchase. However, if you’ve always wanted such a device, but never got one, now might be the time to buy a Portal smart display.