The Biggest Flops In Tech For 2011 (So Far)

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Photo: All Things D

Since we’re half way through the year, we decided to take a look at which big products/companies/ideas have been flops so far.There’s still time for some of these to catch on before the end of the year, but we’re not expecting it to happen.

Most of these launched this year, but some of these came out at the end of last year.

Despite having a few months in 2010, and half of 2011, to gain traction, it’s clear they’re just spinning their wheels.

#10 Verizon iPhone opening day lines

Sales of the iPhone at Verizon came in pretty strong: 2.2 million in 6 weeks. So, the Verizon iPhone was not a flop. However, the launch of the Verizon iPhone was a flop. It was sort of sad to see Apple set up stanchions and bring on extra employees only to find out no one was coming to the store.

#9 David Einhorn's attempt to fire Steve Ballmer

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn wants Microsoft to fire Steve Ballmer because he says the CEO is a drag on the stock. Einhorn owns 9 million shares of Microsoft. He picked up 1.39 million last quarter. Since his most recent purchase Microsoft is down.

Einhorn can moan all he wants about Ballmer, but it's unlikely to do much. Unless he can talk Bill Gates into firing Ballmer, it won't amount to much.

#8 UberMedia's dream of clobbering Twitter

UberMedia was going to buy TweetDeck, gaining access to its power users, which would give it a way to put more pressure on Twitter and potentially build its own rival service. Uber screwed up the deal. Twitter owns TweetDeck, and UberMedia is going to have to figure out plan B.

#7 The BlackBerry Playbook fizzled

Did anyone really think the PlayBook was going to be a big success? The reviews of RIM's tablet were pretty brutal. And sales have been tepid at best.

#6 Facebook email isn't changing our lives yet

Facebook email has not caught on as far as we can tell. We haven't ever received an email from someone at, the Facebook email address. Maybe this one is a slow burn, but for now it looks like it's not catching on.

We asked Facebook about the product and all it said was, 'hundreds of millions' of people are already upgraded to Facebook Messages,' but it wouldn't share any usage stats.

#5 3D is dying

3D televisions and movies were getting a lot of hype at CES this year. Too bad consumers don't want anything to do with 3D. The glasses are goofy to wear in the home. The TVs are expensive and don't offer much. Same can be said of the movies. This fad is starting to break down.

#4 colour was a victim of its own press

When mobile photo sharing app colour launched in March with $41 million in funding it sent the tech world into a frenzy.

Our theory for why: It checked all the boxes for a hyperventilating press worried about tech bubbles. A lot of funding? Check! A mobile app? Check! ANOTHER photo sharing app? Check!

The attention paid to colour could have been a good thing if the product was decent. But it was a confusing app to use and it turned off many users. We just hopped back into the app for the first time in a long time and it was a ghost town.

#3 Windows Phones aren't gaining traction

Microsoft launched Windows Phone at the end of 2010. So why is it flop this year? Because we thought there would be some signs of life or momentum around the platform. We're not seeing it.

Microsoft had to partner with Nokia, paying a pretty hefty price tag. And it's unclear if Nokia will help. It has its own serious problems.

#2 The Daily didn't change media

News Corp's iPad newspaper started with a bang and a whimper.

The bang: Rupert Murdoch, along with Apple executive Eddy Cue, launched the The Daily in New York City in February.

The whimper: When people went to download the newspaper they were greeted with an unfocused publication that was riddled with bugs and long download times.

The Daily didn't really recover from the whimper, and it has hardly had an impact on the media world.

#1 The Xoom (and other Android tablets)

Since Android is kicking Apple's butt in the smartphone world, you can assume it's going to kick Apple's butt in the tablet world, right? Wrong. So far, Android tablets have been duds. Sales are paltry and the software is getting bad reviews.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, so Google shouldn't be too worried about the short term flop. But for Motorola and Google, the Xoom is a pretty big disappointment. Both companies hyped the heck out of it.

BONUS: The #Dickbar

After we posted this someone reminded us that Twitter had its trending topics splashed across the top of its Twitter app. It was dubbed the #dickbar because it was a dickish addition to the app. Twitter yanked it a few weeks after launch.

How does these compare to 2010's flops?

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