5 cancelled tech products we wished had made it

From Nokia’s smartwatch to Tesco’s Hudl phone, here’s the tech we wished made it into shops

As news

reaches our ears of a Beats-designed Sonos-style speaker that was

cancelled by Apple, we’ve been thinking about other interesting tech products

that never quite made it to market.

There’s nothing as

tantalising as exciting products that never see the light of day. To

those emotionally invested in their potential, these are the ones that

got away. The blockbuster devices that would have revolutionised the

industry if they’d only been given a chance.

The truth of such

aborted products typically falls far short of such ideals, of course,

but it would be churlish to complain too much about a little optimistic

speculation.

Join us, then, as we wistfully consider what might have been.

Microsoft/Nokia Moonraker smartwatch

Another

recent revelation is that Nokia had a Windows-based smartwatch in the

works, but that the company’s new Microsoft overlords scrapped it.

SEE ALSO: Apple Watch vs Moto 360
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In

fact, as it turns out, the Nokia Moonraker was just weeks away from

launch when the decision to pull the plug was made. Instead, the house

of Windows went with its Microsoft Band idea – essentially a glorified

Fitbit.

Details of the Moonraker have emerged online, however,

showing off a plasticy device that resembles the Sony SmartWatch 3.

Which is hardly the most glowing comparison to be made, it must be said.

The

software is perhaps the most interesting thing here, with a ‘Metro’

interface that was clearly styled after Windows Phone, but with a number

of sensor-optimised functions to minimise touchscreen fiddling.

It’s

debatable whether we needed another smartwatch, but we

can’t help wondering whether Microsoft’s clean UI would have finally

found its natural home on our wrists.

Tesco Hudl Smartphone

Tesco apparently had an own-branded smartphone in mind for release until fairly recently.

You only really need to look at the two existing Hudl tablets to see why we’d be so interested in a Hudl smartphone. Against

all odds, Tesco came along with a really solid little tablet for a

scarcely believable price tag.

That was the original Hudl. The Hudl 2

was even better, boasting improvements to its design and specifications

without a massive price hike.

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It was around the time of the Hudl

2’s launch late last year that Tesco spoke to us about its smartphone

ambitions, confirming that it had scrapped plans to enter the market.

“We

just saw the bottom end of the smartphone market dry up. The Chinese

manufacturers, they have pretty much got it covered,” Tesco’s Group

Digital Officer Michael Comish told TrustedReviews. “So, we were able to

say, our customers are being served and that’s not a place we want to

compete.”

We can see where they’re coming from, but at the same

time, the rise of those Chinese smartphone manufacturers hasn’t resulted

in a flood of truly compelling, widely available devices into the UK.

We reckon there’s still a market for a solid Tesco Hudl phone.

Apple television

Just

to be clear, we’re not talking about the perma-delayed Apple TV

set-top-box revamp that reportedly missed its WWDC 2015 announcement

slot. No. We’re talking about something far more ambitious here.

One

of the juiciest bits of information to emerge from biographer Walter

Isaacson’s extensive conversations with Steve Jobs was the last major

project the Apple founder was working on.

SEE ALSO: Why Apple was right to ditch its TV plans
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That project was a

fully integrated TV set. According to Isaacson, Jobs “very much wanted

to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players,

and phones: make them simple and elegant.”

Jobs even told

Isaacson that he had “finally cracked it” – the ‘it’ being the elusive

issue of an intuitive TV UI design that didn’t relay on perplexing

many-buttoned remote controls.

Somewhere along the way, a

Jobsless Apple lost its appetite for building a TV – probably thanks to

the low-margin nature of the business and continued resistance to an

all-in-one solution from the powerful TV studios.

Back in May, it

was claimed that Apple had ditched its TV set plans some time last

year. As anyone who uses a modern ‘smart’ TV will tell you, that’s a

crying shame.

Nintendo Atlantis

There were 12 long years in

between the launch of the Game Boy and its proper successor, the Game

Boy Advance. That’s pretty much two console generations.

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(Credit: Engadget)

Nintendo

fans in the ’90s had to put up with successive incremental updates of

the crusty old original GameBoy technology, which felt somewhat dated

even at the time of its 1989 release.

But there was another, more

definitive follow-up planned around the time it might have been

expected. Around 1995, rumours of a Project Atlantis hit the specialist

magazines (remember those?) of the time.

At GDC in 2009, Nintendo

designer Masato Kuwahara confirmed that such a GameBoy successor did

exist, but never escaped its prototype stage. The GameBoy follow-up was

to mirror the portrait form factor of the GameBoy, but would have a much

more powerful 32-bit ARM7 CPU.

The trouble was, Project Atlantis

was HUGE. Images show a bloated caricature of the original GameBoy that

stretched the definition of ‘handheld’ just as it would have stretched

any pocket that could hold it.

It’s also been claimed that the Atlantis handheld’s graphics performance wasn’t quite up to scratch.

Whatever.

Discerning gamers of a certain age (around 30) will always look back on

that time and wonder what they might have been playing on the bus

instead of Pokemon had Nintendo got its hardware act together.

HP Pre 3

The

HP Pre 3 went one better than any other device on this list in that it

did technically see release – though only in the UK (commercially at

least), and it was essentially thrown on the scrap heap just a day after

it hit shops in August 2011.

We’re still happy to label the HP Pre 3 a cancelled device that left a lingering sense of what might have been, though.

Built

on the foundations of the Palm Pre and Palm Pre 2, which were hoovered

up in the HP acquisition of 2010, the Pre 3’s real promise could be

found in its software. All Pre handsets had at their heart webOS, a

brilliantly ahead-of-its-time mobile OS that made a virtue of online

connectivity, contact synergy, and card-based multitasking well before

they became integral to Android and iOS.

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While Palm itself went

the way of the dodo via its HP assimilation, webOS lives on in modern LG

TVs – a sure sign of its potential, if hardly the glorious end some

would have envisaged for it.

As for the HP Pre 3 itself, well, it

was a decent BlackBerry-like slider with a (for the time) great

3.6-inch screen and solid build quality. It’s a phone that could have

done really well under different conditions – and perhaps a year or two

earlier.

It’s tempting to wonder what might have been if things had

gone differently for Palm, and the Pre 3 had been properly supported

rather than strangled at birth. Would the modern smartphone market now

be a three horse race? We doubt it, but we can dream.