17 gadgets from the last 50 years that are already obsolete


In just a few decades, technology has gone from Walkmans that play cassette tapes to iPhones that play music and videos, make calls, connect to the internet, take photos, and perform countless other tasks.

The swift pace of progress means that some gadgets get left behind.

Here are 16 pieces of technology from the last 50 years that are no longer in use.

Sony Walkmans
A Sony Walkman on display in a museum.
Shuji Kajiyama/AP

This original portable music player was popular during the 1980s. The first model sold only 3,000 units in its first month of release in 1979. Clever marketing on the streets of Tokyo saved the personal cassette player, and sales soared the very next month. Sony stopped producing new Walkmans in 2010 after a successful 30-year run.


A pager.
Denis Apel/Wikimedia Commons

Emergency services still use pagers since they’re more reliable than cell phones during natural disasters, but they’ve otherwise vanished from popular use.

Motorola RAZR flip phones

Motorola RAZR flip phones
A Motorola RAZR.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

The Motorola RAZR was released in 2004 and became the best-selling flip phone of all time with over 130 million sold over four years. The iPhone made it pretty obsolete — a 2008 report found that 23.8% of iPhone users had switched over from the RAZR.

Nintendo Game Boys

Nintendo Game Boys
The original 1989 Game Boy.

The original Nintendo Game Boy was released in 1989. The small monochrome screen and modest onboard power didn’t stop this predecessor of the Nintendo 3Ds from outselling its better equipped competitors. The model was discontinued in the early 2000s.

“The Oregon Trail” for Apple II

“The Oregon Trail.”

The 1985 Apple II version of “The Oregon Trail” is considered the original by many who have played it. But the true original version of the game was released in 1971 for Teletype machines. Production of the popular video game ended years ago, but the gameplay lives on in a new tabletop card game and online at the Internet Archive.

Portable DVD players

Portable DVD players
A portable DVD player.

Panasonic produced the first portable DVD players in 1998. Now most laptops don’t even come with a CD drive.