The 20 Biggest Tech Flops of the 2010s
Google Glass Google Glass is the embodiment of a product ahead of its time. Few in the tech world doubt that augmented reality wearables will eventually be big, but if the world isn’t ready for them in 2019, it most definitely wasn’t back in 2014. Google Glass was an awesome concept, but the hardware was simply too sluggish, cumbersome, and creepy to ever catch on. Windows Phone Breaking into the smartphone market is notoriously difficult, even more so when you’re trying to create a new platform altogether. Microsoft had a head start over both Apple and Google, what with the prevalence of Windows Mobile in the PDA era, but it just couldn’t catch up to Apple and Google’s Rampant success. Though many thought Microsoft might eventually try making another Windows Phone, the fact the company adopted Android for its upcoming Surface Duo phone makes it clear the company has given up on bringing Windows to your pocket. Fire Phone Amazon had the potential to be one of the biggest players in the smartphone market, but the company bungled its first attempt so badly, it stopped trying. The phone‘s pseudo-3D parallax screen was a gimmick, forking off Android was a bad choice for app support, battery life sucked, and it had no compelling features beyond helping you buy stuff from Amazon. And make no mistake: the phone‘s main purpose was to get you to buy stuff from Amazon. HTC First AKA the Facebook Phone Remember that time Facebook kinda sorta tried to break into the smartphone market with its ‘Facebook Home’ interface? Yeah, me neither until I came across it again for this article. Coolest Cooler The Coolest Cooler is the epitome of crowdfunding gone wrong. It once held the record for most crowdfunded Kickstarter project ever, at over $13 million. And yet five years after launch, there are still backers waiting to get their unit – units which turned out to be pretty mediocre. Worse, the company announced this month it had run out of money and would not be able to deliver the remaining units or refunds – which apparently includes a third of the original backers. Google+ No social network has come as close as Google+ once did to legitimately challenge Facebook. Google+ launched to massive momentum thanks to a clever system that gave you more control over who to share information with and excellent photos support, not to mention Google’s clout. But it was also a bit too complicated to use and like so many Google projects, the company bungled its long term execution. It was unceremoniously killed in 2018 after a massive security oversight led to an estimated 500,000 accounts being compromised. MoviePass Once upon a time, MoviePass offered film aficionados the ability to pay $10 a month and see almost any film as often as they’d like. It seemed like it would revitalize filmgoing for a new generation. As it turns out, you can’t make a profit by allowing people to see unlimited movies for little over the price of an average single movie ticket every month. MoviePass promptly ran out of money, angered its few remaining subscribers by constantly changing its benefits and pricing, and at one point already shut down because it couldn’t pay its creditors. Wii U While part of me is remiss to call the Wii U a ‘flop’ given a few excellent titles like Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros 4, and both Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild, the console just never caught on the way the Xbox One and PS4 did. The relatively poor graphics…
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