Meta is apparently pulling the plug on smartwatch development, Portal smart displays

Facebook Portal Plus lifestyle
(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Meta is reportedly killing its Portal devices' business.
  • The company's upcoming smartwatch might not see the light of day.
  • The news comes after the recent mass layoff firing of 11,000 employees.

Meta was in the news lately for its massive layoffs last week. It laid off 11,000 employees, equivalent to 13% of its workforce, and is considered one of the biggest layoffs from the company ever. However, the layoffs aren't limited to its headcount and also extend to the company's products, too.

A recent report from Reuters says Facebook is exiting its Portal smart display business next to its ongoing smartwatch projects. The confirmation comes from the company's executives at an employee town hall meeting, according to Reuters.

Early this June, Meta confirmed that it would stop making new consumer-oriented Portal devices in favor of making them only business-centric devices. The latest update concludes that might not be the case as this could be an end to the whole Portal devices business altogether.

Likewise, Meta's first smartwatch, codename "Milan," was also shelved in June, citing alleged cost cuts. With its new smartwatch, Facebook planned to take on the best Android smartwatches and the wearables market, although, unfortunately, Meta is seemingly abandoning those plans.

Back then, the leaked first look of the alleged device featured a detachable watch face. And the interesting part of the alleged wearable was primarily the incorporation of two cameras: a 5MP and a 12MP sensor right on the wrist.

Other than the smartwatch, Meta has also been working on two other smartwatches, as noted by The Verge. One happened to be in an early stage, while the other was in the midst of development.

It is sad to see Meta killing products, especially after producing pretty excellent hardware like the Portal+ (2021). It certainly would have been interesting to see how various wearable devices from Facebook would have looked had they hit the market. 

Nonetheless, it is still understandable why Meta had to pull the plug on these devices to reduce costs cutting, given the company has recently seen a dip in its Q3 2022 revenue (compared to the same period from last year). 

Meta, however, is not killing all the hardware products altogether, as its AR/VR game is still on point despite seeing massive losses in revenue. Not long ago, it released Quest Pro, which our Nicholas Sutrich considered highly impeccable in terms of hardware in his review, which isn't much of a surprise given its high price tag.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.