10 obsolete consumer products for 2010

msn.com ran an article this weekend titled, “10 things not to buy in 2010.”  seeing as how the title immediately caught my eye, i had to read it.  in the column, they list 10 consumer products about to be considered obsolete.  here is their list:

  1. dvd’s – given the increase in affordable web-based / cable-based on demand movie rentals, dvd’s and dvd players have begun to go the way of the beta.  even blockbuster has said it plans to close 1/5 of its stores in 2010. 
  2. home telephone service – the increase in cell phone lines and web-based services (skype) has resulted in more than 1/5 of american homes no longer suscribing to land lines into their home.
  3. external hard drives – external hard drives are still an option for storing all those photos, videos, and music files, but they can crash. an up-and-coming alternative might be simpler and save you another transition down the road. online backup services, like carbonite and mozy, allow users to back up data over the internet.
  4. smart phones not called blackberry or iphone – they just haven’t generated the same buzz.  as a result, fewer developers are likely to create applications and other products that cater to those phones. today, the blackberry dominates the smart-phone market with 40% market share, followed by the iphone with 25%.
  5. compact digital cameras – given the rise in manufacturers of slr’s coupled with the increased quality of cell phone cameras, the compact digital camera is rarely needed anymore.  if you don’t know what an slr camera is, they are the fancy expensive ones that look like this: Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera
  6. newspaper subscriptions – in 2008, newspaper advertising revenues declined by 17.7% and the average daily circulation at 379 newspapers fell 10.6% from april through september 2009.
  7. cd’s – did you even know they still sold these?
  8. new college textbooks – used textbooks can save you 70-90%.  and now, the new growing trend is downloadable textbooks.
  9. gas-guzzling autos – i’m not sure i’d classify them as obsolete quite yet, but recent announcements by car manufacturers that they plan to mass-produce fuel-efficient cars could help push consumers away from gas-guzzling vehicles.
  10. energy-inefficient homes and appliances – not only do thse energy-efficient alternatives save you energy costs each month and/or offer you tax-incentives, the once high cost of these appliances continue to drop every year.  

so, what did they forget from their list?

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Jess says

    Physical books, it seems, with the rise of e-book readers and now the iPad. As much as I’m a minimalist in most ways, there are two things that I just cannot get rid of: regular ol’ books (though I use the library and services like PaperBackSwap to save money, space, and clutter) and analog planners. I don’t like the idea of everything being electronic. There’s something about the tangible experience that is crucial for me. With everything going “e-this” and “e-that,” I feel like soon completion and projects will only be mere concepts.

  2. nanasewn says

    I surely hope books dont disappear. There is nothing like getting OFF the computor and the ensuing cramped neck, sitting down in a wonderfully comfortable chair, and just….enjoy. Whether from the library, trade or elsewhere, I need them.

  3. says

    Books will probably not die until another world revolution in which almost all of mankind is wiped out. But, until then, we’ll have them and they’ll remain awesome.

    It’s my opinion that a real minimalist doesn’t want to digitize his/her life anyway. For most of us, we choose to get rid of things in order to live a more fulfilling and less distraction filled life, not so we can shun the simple pleasures that make us happy (like books, for instance).

    Always remember that you can actually go to far. A simple life doesn’t mean we need to make everything we own virtual and live in a shack in the woods, unless that’s what makes you happy! Even Chris McCandless said that happiness was not real unless shared, and I think he’d know better than most of us since he had to learn it the hard way!

    • di says

      Christopher McCandless was a hiker that ventured into the Alaskan wilderness with little food and equipment, hoping to live simply for a time in solitude. Almost four months later he died of starvation.

  4. Christine says

    I find this article to be mildly depressing. I don’t like everything becoming so “digitized”. When I want to read I want to hold a book in my hand. I like to buy CDs. I agree with Cameron – we need to remember that we can go too far with this whole simple living thing.

    • di says

      Hard to change the comfort of old habits.

      When I became disabled, I could no longer hold a book. I’m glad for the new options.

  5. LeeAnn Balbirona says

    #2 We are actually going back to having a landline for home telephone service after doing without for five years. We primarily use our cell phones but as our oldest child has now become of age to stay home alone or babysit her siblings, we prefer to have a landline to the house rather than buy her a cell phone.

    #7 We still buy music CD’s, although not many. Perhaps three or four in 2009. But we all share them–the kids download the songs on their iPod or mp3 player and then the CD’s are usually stored in the car for use on the van’s CD player. But perhaps we are unusual that way in that we listen to the same music our kids do–mostly Celtic or classical.

    #6 Enjoying our new subscription to the New York Times national edition this year. For years we had the local big city paper (Seattle Times) but the quality was just…eh. Now at least I’m getting better bang for my buck. I do like sitting down to read things on paper. Once I am on the computer it’s down to work. And now for some reason we get the Seattle Times for free on Sundays anyhow–must be the advertisers paying for it.

    #1 DVD’s we still buy quite a few each year, probably two or three a month on average. We play them in the van on longer road trips as well as in the house. We do have instant play Netflix but rarely use the service as the computers in the house aren’t accessible to everyone watching at once and the internet connection isn’t always reliable. This past year we bought a lot of Shakespeare movies for cheap (from Amazon) and some religious movies that generally aren’t available on Netflix.

    Some of those other things that have gone obsolete we never even owned to begin with!

  6. Mark says

    I disagree with #3. External hard drives are not going out of fashion. People still need a solid, tangible backup solution that isn’t based on the access to the internet. I agree, online backup tools are a good idea, but they should be a part of an overall backup scheme.

  7. Vivace says

    I wish #8 was an option for me, but my school often uses a specific, branded edition that’s only for our school. Not only do I have to buy them new 9 times out of 10, but the only place I can sell them back is the school bookstore – if they haven’t already decided to make a new edition. Arg.

    And I love my ebook reader – I have definitely curled up with it in bed, and it’s not at all awkward. If you want pages, I’m not going to knock you, but at least don’t make irrational and unsupported arguments against ebooks. They have their place for those of us who’d like to minimize what we carry every day as well as what we keep on our shelves.

  8. says

    I love collecting cd’s. Having the artwork and a physical thing to hold is important to me. Plus mp3 quality just isn’t the same. And books? Getting an old book from a used book store is an immense pleasure for me. I always go for the really old tattered classics. You know they’re well traveled.

  9. Melissa says

    E-Textbooks are not even close to a decent enough quality if its a book you will actually be using. I’ve used them for several classes and am generally extremely annoyed by their limitations. They’re not at all intuitive.

  10. sd says

    I also don’t believe that external hard disks are on the way out. “Cloud” backup may seem attractive, but puts you at the mercy of 1) a slow network connection to restore your data (even *slower* backing it up in the first place); and 2) whoever is hosting the service. When your hosting service is hacked and your financial records end up as semi-public information, or when the hosting service goes belly up and physical access to the host servers is lost — even for a little while — your own external hard disk backup (stored away from *your* home) will be what you can count on. Sure, an external can be stolen or lost in a disaster. But remote backup is not without *its* risks.

  11. George says

    I think that it is stupid to eliminate your landline. Cell phones sound terrible, they can get lost, broken, flushed, or discharged battery. You can make your landline bare-bones be eliminating long distance and home voice mail, for example, to reduce cost. The landlines, with hard-wired phones instead of cordless phones, still work in an electrical power outage, during which the cell phone may or may not have run out of battery. Having several extensions in your home, like beside your bed and in your kitchen, mean not having to remember where you left your cell phone, or not being able to hear it if it is in another room, or downstairs, or upstairs, or if it fell out of your pocket and is sitting on the driver’s seat in your car.

    • di says

      Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Depends upon what you want you find accommodating to your circumstance.

  12. Morgan says

    I love the 6yr old plug for the now-defunct BlackBerry – no mention of the burgeoning powerhouse that is Samsung

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