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An Internet appliance is a consumer device whose main function is easy access to Internet services such as WWW or e-mail. The term was popularized in the 1990s, when it somewhat overlapped in meaning with an information appliance, Internet computer, network computer, or even thin client, but now it has fallen out of general use.
Internet appliance was contrasted with any general purpose computer. The basic design idea behind Internet appliance is that it can be made cheaper and much more usable by narrowing its functionality and limiting available configuration options. Modern smart phones and tablet computers do approximately the same things, but are more powerful, more successful in the market, and generally not classified as Internet appliances.
The first appliances to be marketed successfully gave constant information on the weather or on the state of the stock market, by means of changes in colors or by using analog gauges. Internet appliances were promoted by a variety of technology companies during the 1990s but, as the price of full-featured computers dropped, never met the market expectations. Jim Louderback would later describe the concept as one of the "eight biggest tech flops ever".
Early in the 21st century a new breed of household devices, such as Vonage Internet Phones, PenguinRadio's Internet radio, and IPTV boxes, began to use the broadband connections in PC-independent ways.
- 3Com Audrey
- Amstrad E-mailer
- CIDCo Mivo/MailStation
- Compaq iPAQ
- MSN Companion
- MSN TV
- New Internet Computer
- Nokia 770 Internet Tablet
- Nokia N800
- Nokia N810
- Nokia N900
- Pepper Pad
- Sony Airboard
- Sony eVilla
- Sony Mylo
- Virgin Webplayer
- VTech Companion
- Bergman, Eric. Information Appliances and Beyond (Interactive Technologies). Morgan Kaufmann. pp. 50–70. ISBN 1-55860-600-9. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- Keen, Peter G. W.; Mougayar, Walid; Torregrossa, Tracy (1998). The business internet and intranets: a manager's guide to key terms and concepts. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press. p. 122. ISBN 0-87584-840-0.
- Martyn Williams 02 November, 2010 Sony's ten biggest flops, Techworld.com.au
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Internet appliances.|
- Linux-Hacker.net Community Page pertaining to getting Linux to run on older Internet Appliances