The 15 Biggest Tech Flops In 2011

jim balsillie

[credit provider=”AP”]

Another year is just about done, so we’re looking back at the biggest flops in the tech world for 2011.Our list is made up companies, products, or features that launched between November 2010 and November 2011, and failed to make a dent.

The one consistent theme to our list? It was a bad year to try to beat the iPad.

Read on to find out why …

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[slide
permalink=”15-the-daily-didnt-set-the-world-on-fire-1″
title=”#15 The Daily didn’t set the world on fire”
content=”The Daily was a victim of its own hype. It was announced at a huge press conference with Apple executives and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. The iPad-only newspaper was supposed to be the wave of the future. It didn’t happen.

That said, it’s not a total failure. The Daily was the third highest grossing app in the App Store for the iPad in 2011, according to Apple’s ‘iTunes Rewind,’ which is a look back at the year in apps.”
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permalink=”14-the-gmail-iphone-app-was-weak-2″
title=”#14 The Gmail iPhone app was weak”
content=”There was a lot of hype around the introduction of a Gmail app. Google was finally going to have an iOS app that was good. Well, that didn’t happen. Instead it released a crappy app that was mostly just a copy of the web. Google had to pull the app the day it went live because it was so buggy.”
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[slide
permalink=”13-the-motorola-atrix-laptop-dock-is-ahead-of-its-time-3″
title=”#13 The Motorola Atrix laptop-dock is ahead of its time”
content=”Motorola introduced the Atrix, an Android phone with a killer twist: You could use it to power a laptop. It’s one of those ideas tech people think is cool in theory. One small gadget to power all your gadgets. While the world might be moving towards something like this, it’s not there yet. The Atrix laptop dock was a flop.”
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[slide
permalink=”12-the-palm-veer-was-too-small-4″
title=”#12 The Palm Veer was too small”
content=”When HP introduced the TouchPad, it also introduced a tiny little phone called, ‘Veer.’ Tiny phones are cute, but no one wants them. Why pay full price for a phone and data plan and only get half the screen size?”
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[slide
permalink=”11-facebook-deals-were-not-good-enough-5″
title=”#11 Facebook Deals were not good enough”
content=”Facebook saw what was happening with Groupon and LivingSocial and thought to itself, ‘We should get in on that!‘ It quickly realised that it’s not as easy as Groupon and LivingSocial make it look. After a four months, Facebook pulled the plug on its Deals.”
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[slide
permalink=”10-jawbone-up-was-almost-instantly-recalled-6″
title=”#10 Jawbone Up was almost instantly recalled”
content=”The Jawbone Up was supposed to be a fitness gadget. You wear the bracelet and it gathers data for your health. It was a beloved product, but it had one flaw: It broke easily. The band would just turn into a brick. Jawbone admitted the problem and offered an unconditional return to all Up owners. Even if you kept the Up you could get your money back from Jawbone. That’s a pretty awesome way to deal with a flop.”
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[slide
permalink=”9-color-had-one-of-the-worst-product-launches-in-history-7″
title=”#9 colour had one of the worst product launches in history”
content=”colour was supposed to be a photo sharing app that used highly advanced technology. It was supposed to create spontaneous social networks and find the best photos by analysing a batch of photos taken at the same time of the same thing. It was just a confusing mess, and the product fell flat on its face. It’s now a video-sharing application.”
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permalink=”8-windows-phones-are-still-not-hot-products-8″
title=”#8 Windows Phones are still not hot products”
content=”For Microsoft and mobile, it’s a familiar phrase: There’s always next year! This year Windows Phones didn’t do anything to halt Microsoft’s sliding market share in the mobile world.

Next year it will be all in with Nokia. In theory that should help change the market share equation. We’ll see what happens …”
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[slide
permalink=”7-google-chromebooks-are-irrelevant-9″
title=”#7 Google Chromebooks are irrelevant”
content=”Google’s latest attempt to disrupt Microsoft’s Windows monopoly is the Chrome operating system, which is light weight and web-based. How is it working out for Google? Not well! Google’s partners are only going to sell 30,000 Chrome-based notebooks this year, says DigiTimes.

The reason they’re not selling well is that they’re not very good and they’re overpriced.”
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[slide
permalink=”6-the-dickbar-from-twitter-was-a-disaster-10″
title=”#6: The #dickbar from Twitter was a disaster”
content=”For March Twitter tried to stuff its crappy trending topics down users’ throats with a black bar across the top of its iPhone app. The bar was dubbed the #dickbar because it was a jerk-y thing to do to users. Twitter gave up on the #dickbar quickly.

It just revamped its iPhone app. Some of us hate the new design. It will interesting to see if Twitter backs down, or if sticks with the new look.”
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[slide
permalink=”5-facebook-email-what-happened-11″
title=”#5 Facebook email — What happened?”
content=”Facebook’s email/messaging product had a big product launch in November of 2010. Since then, we haven’t heard a thing about it. It didn’t change messaging. It didn’t marginalize email. It didn’t do anything.”
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[slide
permalink=”4-the-motorola-xoom-was-not-an-ipad-killer-12″
title=”#4: The Motorola Xoom was not an iPad killer”
content=”Remember when Motorola ripped Apple as the new Big Brother in its Super Bowl ad for the Xoom? That didn’t work out so well. The Motorola Xoom is another failed tablet. It’s barely selling after getting huge hype from Motorola and Google to start the year”
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[slide
permalink=”3-the-hp-touchpad-basically-killed-palm-13″
title=”#3 The HP TouchPad basically killed Palm”
content=”HP’s TouchPad was only on the market for seven weeks when HP decided to kill it, along with all the other WebOS-based hardware it was producing. HP is now going to open source WebOS and hope someone does something interesting with it.”
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[slide
permalink=”2-qwikster-from-netflix-died-before-it-was-born-14″
title=”#2 Qwikster from Netflix died before it was born”
content=”Oof! Netflix decided to split its business in half, offering DVDs through a new service called Qwikster and streaming movies through Netflix. The decision was widely ridiculed, and Netflix quickly abandoned the idea. By that point, much of the damage was already done. Netflix stock was popped and it never recovered.

The smoking Elmo became the symbol for Qwikster because it was the avatar of Twitter user @qwikster, which Netflix didn’t bother to secure.”
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[slide
permalink=”1-the-blackberry-playbook-is-a-symbol-of-all-thats-wrong-with-rim-15″
title=”#1 The BlackBerry PlayBook is a symbol of all that’s wrong with RIM”
content=”This is the biggest flop of 2011. It’s not just because RIM had to take a massive charge on the unsold PlayBooks. It’s not just because the company was hyping the PlayBook.

It’s because the PlayBook is perfect symbol for the demise of Research In Motion. It’s just not good enough to compete with Apple, Android, or even Amazon, and the PlayBook, which is based on its next-generation operating system is a terrible sign for the future of the company.”
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[slide
permalink=”what-are-we-missing-16″
title=”What are we missing?”
content=”What were the big flops in 2011 that we missed on our list? Let us know in the comments.”
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[slide
permalink=”dont-miss-20-things-that-didnt-fail–17″
title=”Don’t miss 20 things that didn’t fail …”
content=”The 20 Best Startups In 2011 →
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[/slideshow]