The tech industry is continually changing with a stream of new products introduced onto the market on an almost daily basis. Some of the most successful products we’ve seen include the Apple iPad, the walking device FitBit and the much loved, wireless speaker. In contrast to all the successful products we’ve seen, many tech failures don’t quite cut it. There are many reasons why tech products become a failure. They may be an initial hit, but they just eventually lose their appeal.
In some cases, competitors swoop in with better products and take over, or the products are just not what consumers are seeking. Tech failures are more common than you probably think, and there are some you may not have heard of, or you might have forgotten. These are some of the biggest tech failures in history.
If you were around at the very start of social media, you might remember MySpace. MySpace was the first social media platform, but Facebook quickly superseded it. As a very basic social media platform, this is still on the go (believe it or not), but it is extremely basic compared to the others. There are so many other options these days that it is challenging to create something that comes close, and MySpace doesn’t achieve this. It is worth taking a look, though, even just for nostalgic reasons. You may be able to access some of your previous data if you have an account set up in the past.
Another social media platform that lost out to Facebook, Bebo, was one of the first of its kind, and although a basic format, it was popular in its time. It did fail quite dramatically when Facebook launched, though, and it has never been resurrected in its original form, although you may be able to access it for old photos. Bebo was a great hit, but didn’t quite keep up with the kind of features users were looking for.
Sony Playstation Vista
Nintendo appears to be the only company that will ever produce products that will compete with smartphones when it comes to gaining the attention of gamers. Even Sony couldn’t quite hit the mark with the Sony PlayStation Vita, which tried hard to appeal but failed and, consequently, went out of production. While enjoyable, it just couldn’t keep up with the number of games or standard of the Nintendo handhelds, such as the DS and the Game Boy Advance. A good product, but just not good enough to be missing from the tech failures list. You might not even have heard of Sony Playstation Vista, if you’ve only really used Nintendo for handheld gaming.
If you have ever seen the classic series of Back to the Future movies, you will probably remember how awestruck you were when you saw Marty flying through the air in a hoverboard. The hoverboard gave us much anticipating for tech products in the future. I’m sure most of us conjured up ideas of flying through the air onboard someday. Although it seemed like the 21st century was some kind of space-age future, the future is happening now. If you dreamt of self-lacing trainers and hoverboards, you would have been jumping for joy at the prospect of seeing these tech products on the shelves. Both of these were released (the trainers come with a hefty price tag!). The biggest let down was the hoverboard.
The futuristic tech products were taken off the market entirely, as they were going on fire and became known as unsafe. Hoverboards are one of the significant-tech failures in recent years. The self-lacing trainers haven’t driven as much attention as would have been anticipated. Maybe the timing was just wrong with these tech products.
The original mobile phone for business people, BlackBerry was a handheld, which was one of its kind, but it didn’t last long when other products entered the market, and it quickly became a tech failure. You’d probably laugh at anyone who still used a BlackBerry (if they still exist.) Also, the phone was quite challenging to use; it wasn’t exactly user-friendly. iPhone soon took over from these phones and similar, and the BlackBerry and you’d struggle to find one of these nowadays. BlackBerry is a perfect example of how a seemingly great product can take over when new tech advances hit the market.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Creating a product that doesn’t quite live up to the expectations of the tech world is one thing. It’s quite another to create a product which ends up being dangerous. Similar to the fire-starting hoverboard; the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was an initial hit; until it started exploding. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recalled and replaced with other parts, which caused the same issues. The defunct product even caused an evacuation of a plane, and unsurprisingly, Samsung decided to discontinue the product soon after. Samsung is still hugely successful with their other products, but they probably wouldn’t want to be reminded about the tech failure that was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
If you are a tech enthusiast, you were probably excited by the release of Google Glass, a much-anticipated tech gadget that came in the form of smart glasses, which should have replicated smartphones, complete with the hands-free format. Google Glass was released in 2014, with a hefty price tag of $1,500, and it didn’t quite set the tech industry on fire. Not only did Google Glass violate privacy laws, but it also looked a little creepy. Not the sort of tech gadget you wanted to be wearing on the streets. It wasn’t aesthetically pleasing either. Some industries are still using it, but this is a small market.
It’s hard to think about life before Google, but it did exist and in the form of Alta Vista, the original search engine. Alta Visa was poorly managed, though, and ended up failing as other, more advanced search engines reached the market, including Yahoo and then later Google, which completely dominates the market. It is unlikely that any search engines will enter the market now that can compare with the functionality of Google.
If you look around, you’ll see QR codes on many different items, but do you ever take the time to use them? Probably not. QR codes are barcode-like symbols that you can scan to find out more information about an item, for instance, in a museum exhibition. Although these are no doubt extremely handy, they haven’t taken off for one reason or another. In some countries, QR codes are popular, but in some, they are a tech failure. They are not particularly attractive or alluring, so this might be a reason why they haven’t achieved their expectations.
There was much excitement about the introduction of Siri. It was new, it was intelligent, and it promised to help you get things done quickly. Siri has been somewhat disappointing, though, especially when you consider the more advanced tech products on the market, including Google Assistant and the popular Amazon Alexa. Siri had problems understanding some accents and was much less efficient than some of the similar, new products on the market. It was appealing when it came out, but it is now one of the biggest tech failures.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Although the prospect of wearing a headset and enjoying the moving images seemed like an appealing prospect, virtual reality headsets have never really taken off in a big way. The experience is generally clumsy, and the user experience is a bit of a letdown. Virtual reality headsets can be expensive, but most of them don’t live up to expectations. They are another example of tech products that don’t live up to their expectations.
Social Media Platforms
Although social media has transformed our daily lives, you could also say that it has been a tech failure in many ways too. Facebook has faced security breaches, while Twitter seems to have turned into a platform of hate. Social media has been a let down in many ways, and this is why many people are switching off. As many as 50% of social media users had deleted one of their social media accounts in the last couple of years. Is social media losing its appeal and becoming a thing of the past? Watch this space!
A slightly more controversial one, there is no doubt that Apple iPhone is one of the most successful tech products of all time – but it is also one of the significant failures. With spiraling costs for devices, inadequate cameras, and other features, it is no wonder that people are slowly turning their backs on the iPhone in favor of less expensive, more advanced devices. It may be that Apple iPhone has not lived up to the functionalities of other smartphones and may soon be taken over by other models.
Amazon Fire Phone
The Kindle Fire is one of the most successful products of our time. Most avid readers own a Kindle, whether they prefer the real thing or not. While Kindle fires are a much needed and enjoyable tech product, the Amazon Fire Phone didn’t entirely leave the same impression. You could say it bombed! The Fire phone set out to be a copy of the Kindle Fire and to hopefully have the same effect, but sadly, this was not to be. Even reducing the price by over $100 wasn’t enough to entice buyers, and the Amazon Fire phone is no more.
Google TV was launched back in 2010, with the allure of making the TV more active. Unfortunately, this is another example of tech which didn’t cut it, especially as it wasn’t as user-friendly as you might have anticipated. Google TV was taken over by Android TV in 2014, which is a much better interface and more popular than Google TV.
It is likely that it will go down in history as one of the most unsuccessful social media networks of all time. Path was launched after Facebook in 2010, with the aim of becoming a public journal type of platform. It didn’t work out the way the creators might have expected though, in fact, the outcome was more than a little grim. The social media platform faced privacy issues and ended up fined a substantial amount of money, it subsequently sold, and the end was neigh after that.
Joo Joo Tablet
When it comes to tablets, it’s difficult to compete with Apple. Unfortunately for the creators of the Joo Joo Tablet, Apple decided to release the iPad not long after, and this seen the little interest in the tablet plummet. Not only did people find it overpriced, they felt it didn’t offer much. It discontinued in the same year the Apple iPad was released, and despite efforts by the creators trying to sell another similar product, the iPad prevailed.
The creation of a tech product that does well is no mean feat, especially in areas where there is so much competition. There tend to be several tech companies who take over the market, but that’s not to say they don’t create tech failures. Some companies have released hugely successful products, but have also been responsible for their demise. One thing it does show is that many big players in the tech field have tried a range of products, some providing immense success, others being catastrophic fails. Have they given up?
In most cases, no, they’ve just released other products until they’ve found that golden product that everyone loves. The tech industry is continually evolving, and much-loved products now could quickly be a thing of the past. It is, therefore, important for tech companies to focus on developing new products and enhancing other products. Otherwise, they could find themselves in trouble. Tech products are exciting, but creators need to ensure they pay close attention to the market before they decide to release their products. Otherwise, they could find that they don’t enjoy as much success as anticipated.