We are in the golden era of technology. With innovations delivered by the IT giants, we have become spoiled for choices. Their successes are so great that they managed to overshadow their failures and shortcomings. But, the sad reality is that they too have stumbled many a times. Only, their misses continue to inspire us in understanding what went wrong. This way we are more informed before making any purchases and investing our hard-earned money into it. In this blog, we shall be focusing on the top 10 biggest flops of IT giants.
Missing The Mark: IT Failures
For this blog purposes, we shall be featuring the big Trio. Google, Apple and Microsoft. Read on to know what were their companies biggest failed products.
Google has always been the dream company for any computer engineer. They are known to be just employers and have a very open and fun way of working. Their innovations have made connectivity easier. But, behind all these successes are a few flops. Just goes to prove that even the best of the best fumble from time to time.
Branching out as a social media platform, Google tried to give Facebook tough competition. ‘Tried’ being the keyword here as this portal was a major flop from the get go. The basic reason behind its failure was the forced integration of the users. They had to log in to Google + before they could access other Google services. Most importantly, YouTube. This strategy resulted in a lot of backlash from the public on various social media pages. While this platform in itself was innovative, but its users were basically being forced to use it. Also, it is important to note, that at the time of its release in 2011, Facebook had the giant’s share as THE social media site of the masses. It was a tough ride from the get go! Alas, while still running as a service, it is the biggest stain on Google’s profile.
- Google Wave:
Not many are aware, but way back in 2009, Google first tried its hands at a social media platform. Before there was Google +, there was Google Wave. it was supposed to be an ‘all in one’ deal. No more opening a separate site for emails, messaging and social media pages like Facebook. With Wave, one could do all three and more. After all, it was providing all these services in real time. But, the reality was that the end product was so complex that is was hard for the everyday user to understand! This platform failed because it was an engineer’s dream and a layman’s nightmare. Ahead of its time, Wave was point blank difficult to understand. It was officially discontinued in August 2010.
- Google Glass:
Launched in early 2013, Google Glass created quite a market buzz at the time of its release. But, this buzz didn’t quite reflect in its sale. Merging augmented reality with real life instances, this product had all the potential to kick start a new revolution in the world of wearable tech. Translation, live recording and information from the internet. These 3 things were right before your eyes in a matter of seconds. But, was there any need to create a gadget so cumbersome to wear when one could do the same with their cell phone? The usability of the product did not justify its high cost (US $ 1,500) The nail in its coffin was that forensics experts claimed it was compromising the security of others as it had the capability to detect the passwords of smart phones around it!
Steve Jobs has done many things right in his life. He has been a pillar of support for the Apple company when all hopes were almost lost. He was the spearhead behind the iPhone. From that moment, that awe inspiring, legendary launch, Apple has only gone from strength to strength with the launch of every version. But, behind the glitz and glamour there have been some notable failures that were quickly pushed under the rug and the focus was shifted on to the next big thing from Apple’s kitty! Few of their failures have been mentioned below.
- iPhone 5c:
Launched on 20 September 2013, the iPhone 5c has a rather checkered history. Beating the best of the best in the market in terms of sales, the iPhone 5c is still considered Apple’s failure. This industry buzz began simply because Apple tried to do something different. Firstly, it gave the users the options of colors. At the time of launch, there were revered as innovative albeit they were ghastly to look at. Canary yellow and lime green in particular were downright unsightly. Additionally, the outer body of this phone was pure plastic! Secondly, it was in immediate competition with their own, far superior and professional looking iPhone 5s. The 16 GB version of iPhone 5c was selling at US $ 99, the iPhone 5s retailed at US $ 199. Suspecting that the iPhone 5s had something additional to offer, the sales of it, skyrocketed as Apple customers have always wanted the best of the best. Coming back to the colors, Bleh!
- Bandai Pippin:
Back in 1993, Apple launched a gaming console. This was about 10 or so months before Steve Jobs made his comeback in Apple. This product was made in collaboration with a Japanese company. Hence, the ‘Bandai’ in the name. The concept behind this collaboration was sharing of tech and then creating a console that was modernized. This product was such a massive failure, that is was discontinued with the year. The reason was this was simple. Nintendo and Sega had the lion’s share in the market. The only one that had managed to break into their ranks was Sony with its widely popular PlayStation. In an already tough market, they priced it at US $ 650. That was just double of the PlayStation’s price!
- MOTO Rokr E1:
Motorola and Apple had a tie up in 2006! Back in the day, these 2 companies launched a series of phones, and then ended this tie up within a year. This was because, the collaboration resulted in a phone that tried to harp in on the 2 big brand names but failed to deliver. It had a limited access of iTunes (storing only 100 songs) bad camera quality and a poor design. Due to this, this particular product failed. What was surprising that iTunes on the phone became one of the bestselling features of the original iPhone that was launched in 2007. Many believe that the MOTO Rokr E1 was merely a refurbished Motorola E398. this year long collaboration resulted in a line of phones, which had only borderline success. Guess Apple should face the market by themselves. Partnerships don’t seem to be their cup of tea.
Aah Microsoft! No office, home PC or laptop is the same without your presence. Many heads have been shuffled to decide who shall wear the crown. Currently this glory has been bestowed to Mr. Satya Narayana Nadella. We can hope that under his administration the overall layover rate of Microsoft goes down and duds like the ones mentioned below become a thing of the past.
Oh Zune! It’s not your fault. You were put head to head with Apple’s iPod. Of course, you were going to flop. Where Apple made a killing of US $3.37 Billion in the last quarter of 2008, Zune managed to scrape the barrel at US $ 85 Million. The bridge was so wide between the two that it seems like comparing real apples to wax ones! A classic case of too little, too late eh.
- Windows Vista:
Following in wake of the grand success of Windows XP, Vista just failed to meet the mark. While XP was very popular with its users, Vista was quite the opposite. It was slow, the coding was so different from XP that majority of the software were not compatible with it. To top it all, Mac was running a rather successful TV ad campaign against it at that time. Concealed under the tag, ‘I’m a MAC’, it basically trash-talked the Vista.
Smart Personal Objects Technology or simply SPOT was Microsoft’s attempt at making a smart watch. It relayed the temperature around the wearer. Additionally, it also gave out info about the stock market! The down side of this gadget was that. It had a rather hefty fee attached to it. US $ 60 was charged monthly for one SPOT service. While this was a good attempt by Microsoft to bring about Net connection on a wearable, the steep cost was a no go for many. Another one bites the dust!
There you have it folks. The epic failures of the biggest IT companies. Goes to show that even the big boys have a bad day. The lesson here is one moves on from these failures and strives for another win the next day till they get it right!