Meta takes Portal to the board room and scraps consumer product line

Meta’s Portal brand is set to be discontinued as a consumer product brand.

According to The Information and confirmed by The Verge, the Facebook-owner plans to move the focus of the brand away from video calling tech to a more corporate-oriented business with a focus on conference calling.

The Portal product line debuted in 2018 with an Amazon Echo Show-like smart display. The product however was far more limited than rival products from Amazon and Google, with the focus on video calling and limited functionality compared to its more lifestyle-focused competitors. 

Meta would subsequently release other Portal-branded products including Portal TV, which added a camera to users’ TVs. Much like its smart display counterpart however, Portal TV was found wanting compared to cheaper streaming sticks like Amazon’s Fire range or devices from Roku, with limited app support.

In its report, The Verge points to stats from IDC that showed Meta only shipped 800,000 Portal devices in 2021 and that it made up less than 1% of the global smart speaker and display market. 

Meta is currently undergoing a re-evaluation of its overall hardware plans in light of investor concerns that they have sunk billions into products which have yet to see much financial success. 

Looking forward, Meta’s primary consumer device ambitions appear to be in the Meta (formerly Oculus) Quest VR headset. The company is also working on ‘Project Cambria’ – a next-generation VR headset that will be, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a “completely new advanced and high-end product” that “seamlessly blends virtual reality with the physical world.”

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