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June 18, 2019
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Mashable Technology

Facebook to launch new Portal devices this fall

In November, Facebook launched the Portal and Portal+ smart speakers — its first hardware products outside of VR. 

Soon, Facebook will double down on its home hardware push. Reuters reported Tuesday that the company plans to unveil new Portal hardware, including devices with new form factors, this fall.  

“We have a lot more that we’re going to unveil later in this fall, new form factors that we’re going to be shipping,” said Facebook VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth, during an interview at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

No other details about the new Portals were revealed.

I don’t have exact figures for Portal sales, but there are signs that it’s not selling all that well. Lack of buzz is one; the fact that Facebook dramatically reduced the price of Portal in April is another. Facebook’s “Payments and other fees” revenue category, in which VR and Portal revenue are hidden, was down $6 million in Q1 2019, compared to the same period last year. 

Bosworth did tell The Verge that the Portal sales were very good, but declined to say how many units the company has sold. 

Generally, as noted by many reviewers, the idea of having a physical Facebook presence in your home just seems a bit too much, especially due to Facebook’s long string of privacy issues in the last couple of years. 

Facebook seems to be aware of the concerns. Bosworth reiterated that the Portal is about “human connection” and “private conversation.”

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