The Biggest Tech Fails of 2012

The tech world has adopted a cycle of introducing products to the public in an almost predictable fashion. Every year, tech companies excitedly announce the “next big thing” that’s supposed to take existing gadgets or ideas to the next level. Some fly off the shelves to marketplace success and universal acceptance after a highly publicized launch. On the other hand, there are also a handful of tech announcements that became highly-publicized flops. You might consider selling your fail gadget and buy a new one, like sell your tablet pc or sell your ipad. You will find out why after you read the whole article. So, keep going!

 

Apple Maps – The Service Fail

GPS and maps are essential to the smartphone and tablet experience and when Apple Maps was released, people did not expect something so bad from a company with perfectionist standards. For any iOS that relied heavily on this service, the experience was horrible. Towns and landmarks were labeled incorrectly. People were even directed to cross lakes or oceans. In Australia, some people were stranded in the desert instead of being led to their destination. As a result of this fiasco, Apple CEO Tim Cook had to issue an apology. It made rival Google Maps one of the most quickly downloaded apps with 10 million people downloading it within 48 hours of the Apple Maps’ release.

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…or maybe they just want to show how the movie “Inception”inspired their map creation.

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Nexus Q – The Gadget Fail

Google also had its share of fail for 2012 in the form of an orb called Nexus Q. It was hyped up at the Google I/O conference as a super fancy music streamer designed to work with You Tube and Google Play. However, its high price and limited functionality spelled its doom. The project was halted even before it was scheduled for mass release. Those who pre-ordered were given their money back and a free Nexus Q as well. Those who didn’t won’t miss out on much as there are a lot of music streamers that are cheap or even free.

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…what I see/think when I saw the Nexus Q

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A Pockemon Ball

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A bowling ball

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An octopus (lol)

Facebook IPO – The Investing Fail

Services and gadgets that flopped are not the only notable fails of 2012 for the tech industry. In fact, this could be the year of the worst initial public offering, courtesy of Facebook’s IPO experience. Initially, investors and the industry alike thought that this IPO would be as successful, or even more so than Google’s. However, after stock prices increased for a few hours on opening day, they slid back to the opening price of $38 and continued with that downward trend for the next few months. The stocks have since stabilized but still haven’t gone back to their opening day price.

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Instagram – The Terms of Service Fail

 

Most users do not read the terms of service for email, social networking, or other web-based services they use. But “most” doesn’t mean “no one” as Instagram found out when it felt the backlash of its users after they released their new terms of service. Users who did read the fine print noticed that the new terms of service were worded in such a way that could mean users’ photos could be used for ads without compensation or prior consent. This news quickly spread and within the same week, Instagram had to revert to the original wording of the terms of service to appease thousands of angry users threatening to deactivate their accounts and take their photos to rival apps.

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Just saw this one on the web, very creative!

BlackBerry – The Company Fail

It seems the Canadian smartphone company cannot catch a break. First, early in the year, various departments and bureaus of the federal government, one of the company’s biggest clients, started dropping their BB subscriptions to switch to iPhones. Then, their initial foray into the world of tablet PCs, the 7-inch PlayBook was a dud with both tech critics and consumers. And if those aren’t enough,

What people see as the company’s last saving grace, the BlackBerry 10 operating system, has been delayed time and again. Now that the BB 10’s release date is (finally) confirmed in the last week of January, we can only hope this product can get the company out of the quicksand it is slowly sinking into.

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Bait-and-Switch Fail: Microsoft Surface

A lot of people were pretty excited about the Microsoft Surface when it was hyped months before its market release, and one of the reasons could be the Touch Cover of the device. Coming in bright colors and used by just a snap onto the device for convenient typing, shoppers were made to think this would be a great alternative to current hybrid tablets like the Asus Transformer series that although were a hit, were also pretty boring, color-wise.

However, a lot of excited shoppers stopped dead on their tracks when they found out they had to shell out an additional $119 for a colored cover/keyboard. On the bright side, you can have $19 off if you want a black cover. But then, it cannot be denied a lot of eager shoppers were disappointed when what they thought was included in the gadget already turned out to be sold. No wonder the Microsoft Surface is not faring that well in the market!

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As long as tech companies stay away from making ridiculous decisions and keep close tabs on what their customers really want, here’s hoping this year’s mistakes won’t be as major as 2012’s.

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