As the year comes to and end, and we officially enter the 1st of January 2013, i.e. the new year we look back at the biggest tech flops of 2012 in a glimpse. These tech flops will range from gadgets, smartphones and related products to software and apps as well. These flops are in no order, but listed one after the other. You be the judge of which one’s the biggest flop, according to you. Additionally if there is something missing in the list and you think should be there, just drop a comment with the tech flop and why you think it is one.
Directing you Wrong: Apple Maps
Apple debuted it’s own Maps service, Apple Maps with it’s latest iOS operating system on it’s shiny new iPhone 5. When Apple Maps was introduced, users switched to using the service without thinking twice (and in the process, completely ditched Google’s Maps service). But it didn’t take long for complaints to pop up all over the internet ranging from a McDonald on top of a building to a man being guided thick into a desert with blocks of the world disappearing some places as well. At many places the view was warped and the images were low resolution (quality) as well.
Needless to say, people moved back to Google Maps in a hurry (and we are back to GMaps again).
Down, down, under: Facebook’s IPO
Facebook went public in 2012 with hopes to become a $100 billion company, a first for an internet IPO. At $38 a share, Facebook did end up with a value of a whopping $104 billion on day 1. That is a lot for a company who’s entire revenue in 2011 was only $3.7 billion. And so the IPO flopped.
From $38 a share the company tanked to about $26.90 within three weeks of the IPO. That’s $11.10 below opening price. Obviously the value of the IPO went down to some $70 billion straight down from $100 billion.
Where art thou? Blackberry 10
In 2011, we were told that RIM would launch devices based on their new Blackberry 10 OS in 2012. There was a promise of multiple devices, which in the year 2012 shrunk to just one device in Q4 2012. That of course didn’t happen. From 3 devices in 2012 to 1 device in 2012 to no device in 2012, RIM constantly kept the promise of BB 10 alive throughout.
There’s good news though, Blackberry 10 will arrive officially on 31st January, 2013. Phew, about time. It’s not a problem if RIM advertises a new product, it’s an issue with false promises which in turn makes people expect and when they don’t get that, they are disappointed and they write bad and mean things in articles like these. Well, at least we got to see 2 BB 10 Dev Alpha devices this year. Something’s better than nothing eh?
Bad Ball: Nexus Q
The $99 Apple TV and Google TV boxes had already set the stage. Then came along a mysterious ball, a (huge) black ball that looked so good even all the guys went gaga (I could under.. never mind) over it. This mysterious ball got the name tag Nexus Q. It really seemed like an orb from outer space.
Back on Earth, Nexus Q streams music and videos/movies
from to (see what I did there?) your Home Theater from one and only one source, Google Play. That’s it, no NetFlix no nothing. And that perhaps brought the downfall of the Nexus Q. Well, that and it’s exorbitantly high price tag of $299 (for a ball? Half the world won’t pay for it..).
Thankfully, Google realized what a (flop?) fail they were driving into. The company cancelled all orders for the device and generously gave the device away for free to all those who pre-ordered it. And now some lucky (?) households across the world have a shiny black (ball) orb lying in their living room, waiting to rise again (okay enough of spooky writing!).
No Game? PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation Vita was launched on February 22nd, 2012. Before I write anything else, I would like to mention that the Vita isn’t really a huge flop as a device, it’s just the timing.
Little did Sony know that something called smartphones would take over the world ever since their first introduction with the Apple iPhone in 2007. Since then smartphones have grown exponentially in power, performance and features. So much so that by the time the PlayStation Vita launched for $299 with state of the art features like a quad core CPU, quad core GPU, 5″ qHD (960*540) resolution display and (not so great) 512 MB of RAM, it was already in the era of phones packing quad cores.
Around that time devices like the HTC One X and later on the Samsung Galaxy S3 were introduced (Galaxy Note II) which packed HD (1280*720) displays instead and at least 1 GB of RAM as well. Although those devices costed much much more. But not for long. Google entered the market with their new Nexus 4 smartphone, and for $299 suddenly it makes almost no sense to buy a dedicated handheld gaming console.
That alone isn’t the reason that the Vita flopped. Crappy and un-optimized ports, lack of titles and a not-so-great push from Sony’s side (who’s still concentrating on the PlayStation 3, and also might have their resources spent in the upcoming PlayStation 4) has led to the Vita being a sad device to own.
That concludes our list of biggest tech fails. If you think there are more things to be added to the article, do so via comments and we will make a Part 2 of the same with more content, and fails!
Happy New Year
Buying a new phone? Or a tablet? Need help with something everyday-tech related? Ask me and I’m sure to help!
— Preetam Nath (@hipreetam93) April 18, 2013