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Top 10 Products That Killed Competitors

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Kurt Hvorup The free market can be a competitive place, where some products claim victory over others. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Products that Killed Competitors. For this list, we'll be taking a look at the products that overcame their rivals, either by taking over an established brand or by edging out a product from the same era. Special thanks to our user akt for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Products That Killed Competitors

The free market can be a competitive place, where some products claim victory over others. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Products that Killed Competitors.

For this list, we’ll be taking a look at the products that overcame their rivals, either by taking over an established brand or by edging out a product from the same era. Whether from a more recent conflict or one that played out decades before, these are the surviving products that withstood the odds. Just to be clear, the product that was defeated does not necessarily have to be dead and gone, just overtaken.

#10: Gmail
Killed: Hotmail

With the dust settled, Google’s electronic mail service stands tall. Yet this was not always the case; its competitor Hotmail, established in 1996 as one of the world’s first webmail providers, had a foothold for quite some time. Sporting integration with Microsoft-owned programs and being free to use, Hotmail certainly stood out... until April 1st, 2004, when Google Inc launched their simply titled Gmail service. With its more flexible interface, greater amount of storage space, and general polish, Gmail rose in popularity and left Hotmail to be slowly phased out.

#9: Dell
Killed: Gateway

The world of computer technology can definitely be a heated one. Such was the case with the conflict between Dell and Gateway, two companies competing for the computer hardware market in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While Gateway buckled under the effects of the dot-com bust, Dell thrived with its embrace of direct sales and customizing one’s PC to fit the consumer’s intent. Struggling to compete, Gateway scaled back its operations further and further. It’s at once sad and fascinating.

#8: Transformers
Killed: GoBots

Sometimes success can be a fleeting thing. Take for instance the GoBots line of transforming toy robots, introduced in 1983 by Tonka, the year before Hasbro launched the Transformers brand of toys. Despite being similar in design and themes, the Transformers proved to be the more enduring toy line while sales dropped for the Gobots after initial success. In the end, Tonka ceased production in 1987... four years before Hasbro would buy the Gobots brand altogether, integrating them into the Transformers franchise.

#7: Internet Explorer
Killed: Netscape

There was nothing quite like the browser wars of yore. In the 1990s, the world saw an influx of Internet browsers – with two of the most competitive being Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. For several years Netscape and Microsoft updated their respective browsers at a breakneck pace, though Microsoft’s greater resources and decision to make Internet Explorer free for Windows users eventually gave them the victory. Though Netscape’s browser code still lives on through Mozilla Firefox, it’s clear that Internet Explorer won its place in history.

#6: Smartphone Camera
Killed: Digital Camera

Cameras have always had their place – but the technology has seen its share of conflict. With the advent of the smartphone, people have taken to its plethora of features, including cameras with increasing quality of images. Thus, the digital camera has been overcome, in spite of being known for high-quality photography. It’s said that, from 2012 to 2013, smartphone sales rose to over 1 billion, while digital camera shipments fell by around 30%. It would seem the market has spoken.

#5: IBM
Killed: Commodore

Coming back to computers, there was a time when Commodore stood tall. From its establishment in 1954, Commodore International made a name for itself in the production of home computers, from the Commodore PET () to the Commodore 64. Unfortunately, its rival company IBM made strides in developing computing technology further than ever before, while Commodore was increasingly seen in the 1980s as the producers of cheap and disposable hardware. IBM’s constant evolution and rising profits, coupled with Commodore’s existing troubles, may very well have lead to the latter company’s bankruptcy in 1994.

#4: PlayStation 2
Killed: Sega Dreamcast

Sony and Sega – both innovators, both participants in the console wars. Sega’s final home console would be the Dreamcast, built to cut costs and contrast its more expensive predecessor, the Sega Saturn. While the Dreamcast started out with a strong launch in America in the late ‘90s, the public’s interest in the system soon faded... replaced by growing fixation on the then-upcoming Sony PlayStation 2. Sony’s eventual embrace of third-party developers and general financial security contrasted Sega’s financial losses and limited third-party support, leading the PS2 to succeed where the Dreamcast could not.

#3: Netflix
Killed: Blockbuster

Farewell, rental stores, your time has passed. Once upon a time, video rental chains such as Blockbuster cornered the market in terms of providing people with films, television and other media. However, that all changed with the 1997 founding of Netflix, initially a video rental service that transitioned into media streaming. The ease of viewing films and TV on Netflix, matched by a reasonable service fee, ensured the downfall of traditional rental outlets – including Blockbuster’s liquidation as of 2014.

#2: Facebook
Killed: MySpace

Two social media services enter, one service leaves. Acquired by News Corporation in 2005, Myspace stood tall as the world’s largest social networking site for three years, even briefly surpassing Google as the most visited website in America. That all changed with the rising appeal of Facebook, which was based around fulfilling of the desires and demands of users rather than sticking to a firm “portal” strategy. Contrasting with Myspace’s owner-mandated planning, this looser approach served Facebook well; their worldwide visitor count rose, while Myspace’s user count steadily shrank.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Call of Duty
Killed: Medal of Honor
- Snuggie
Killed: Slanket
- Oreo
Killed: Hydrox
- Playboy
Killed: Penthouse

#1: iPhone
Killed: Blackberry

Though the iPod’s triumph over MP3 players is certainly notable, it’s the iPhone’s success that draws our attention. For several years, Blackberry’s multipurpose devices had a strong foothold in the market, particular with their focus on email services. Yet when Apple’s iPhone device came on the scene with its sleeker interface and higher quality of design, Blackberry struggled to compete. While they did make efforts to challenge Apple, Blackberry’s share in the market fell while Apple rose to prominence. Truly, there can be only one.

Do you agree with our list? What competition-killing product interests you? For more productive Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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