11 tech product flops and service fails in 2013

11 tech product flops and service fails in 2013

Summary: Some of 2013's most anticipated products and services may have drummed up support in the months prior to launch. But on opening day, it was nothing but stress and hassle.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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  • SimCity servers stalled; launch was a complete disaster

    There's nothing like cranking out a new game to play for the first time, especially if you've been waiting months — years, in some cases — for its release. Unfortunately for millions of SimCity fans, they were forced to wait a little bit longer, and then some.

    Because SimCity was cloud-run and server-based, a platform shift away from previous games, the sheer number of users overwhelmed the back-end systems. Gamers weren't even able to log in half the time, and those that were part of the select and lucky few could barely do anything when in game-play mode. In some cases, large amounts of their created cities were lost, according to user reports

    Users lambasted the game's maker for requiring an Internet connection to play as a result of the connection catastrophes. And when the city-making game landed on the Mac, many weren't surprised when they themselves suffered a similar stuttery state of affairs.

    Image: Electronic Arts (via CNET)

  • Samsung sparked sexism storm at Galaxy S4 show

    "Tone-deaf and shockingly sexist," former CNET executive editor Molly Wood described Samsung's launch of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone in March. It was by all accounts an hour-long parade of stereotypes and awkward references that felt like the Korean giant was surreptitiously slapping us all gently on the backside while telling us not to "worry our pretty little heads" about the whole thing.

    Somewhere in there, a phone was announced. It was hard to spot, truthfully. Critics and supporters alike panned the event, and Samsung was forced to issue an apology. Twice, in fact. Because only days later, the phone maker's South African subsidiary paraded scantly-clad women on stage under the notion that's what half the world's population (and Samsung's demographic audience) are interested in seeing.

    Image via CNET

  • MySpace relaunch aimed to start afresh... by deleting everything

    Once the darling child of the modern Internet, Myspace began tumbling down from the popularity pedestal under the News Corp. days. Things looked up in late 2012 when the site relaunched for what seemed to be the bajillionth time in an effort to catch up with the better-established social networks that overtook the social pioneer during its heyday.

    Once the "beta" phase began to wane, the company saw most of its troubles as the site relaunched once again in June with a splashy new design that put musicians and artists at the forefront of the new service. Except, the decisions to shut down the games platform, and to delete almost every shred of existing content from 'classic' Myspace without consultation led to thousands of furious users. It even led to threats of legal action to get, in some cases, years worth of posts back.

    Image: MySpace/YouTube

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • What about the biggest flop of them all?

    I'm talking about Google Chromebooks. The loneliest spot in any Best Buy is the Chromebook display.
    Sir Name
    • Chrome Books have an audience

      They are doing quite well in schools. The problem is that consumers don't want an always on device, but schools, they work rather well for.


      Best Buy being a consumer business, no one cares about the, but I think the Microsoft Surface devices are far lonelier than the Chrome Books could ever dream to be.
      nucrash
      • Numbers

        See : http://www.zdnet.com/latest-idc-figures-show-chromebooks-continue-to-struggle-7000023000/
        cld9731@...
    • Don't know about that

      I went in one week with chromebooks on the display and customers there, then the next week and there were no more and big signs that said "don't worry more on the way". However, you wonder if microsoft has any say in what goes on in these stores.
      You could argue the mac area at best buy is lonely, but every non-gamer I know now seems to have a macbook for their personal laptop. Windows only seems to be stuck on every business PC, because you 'have' to use it.
      drwong
      • That's odd, DrWong

        since they ALWAYS seem to be on display at the Best Buy's I've been in, and the Staples stores.

        What's even odder is that nobody is ever around those displays, but they're at the Apple and Microsoft ones.

        So that's a very odd statement coming from you.

        Oh wait - no it isn't! :)
        William.Farrel
      • OH really?

        Windows PCs are on my desks because I want to use them... both for work and play. Considering the % of the market share Windows/Mac computers populate... I very much doubt that everyone you know has a Mac.
        MelbourneTweetr
    • and...

      certainly RT is a bigger flop. You really shouldn't be bringing up chromebooks, a relative success that will keep growing.
      drwong
      • re:

        Windows RT outsells Chromebooks.
        Sir Name
        • I haven't heard about any 900 million

          loss for chromebooks. All I see is more companies starting to put them out. RT - lost all its OEM backers.
          drwong
          • Because you can't / don't want to understand much?

            Lets see, Acer CEO fired for backing Chromebooks, HP recalling Chrombooks, others sitting on shelves.

            Now seeing that Surface was from a single company, and Chromebooks are spread out over several, do you think the total write offs between them all will be equal to the original Surface writedown, or will each company cut their loss on a "non newsworthy" scale, as each company made them in limited quanties, (which MS should have done)?

            I know, when logic is used, your posts have a hard time standing on their own, which is why I guess you always lose.
            William.Farrel
          • Its not a competition!!!

            I heartilly wish that you and all your buddies who see these discussions as a competition to see who can slag whose product choices would just bugger off and let the adults discuss the tech.
            Your constant attitudes of self-indulgence pretty well ruin the site for the big boys.
            radleym
          • you have the same mindset as the outgoing

            Steve Ballmer. He himself has even admitted he is part of the problem and that's why he's out.
            drwong
        • Magic 8 ball says

          "Doubtful"
          WhoRUKiddin
          • That's what I was going to ask you

            WhoRUKiddin?
            William.Farrel
  • But wait, Shutty says lots of companies want to use Ubuntu on their phones

    Of course he can't tell us who they are.

    I knew Ubuntu Edge was dead the moment he couldnt get any big investors to invest in the project.
    otaddy
  • Right on target

    On the iPhone 5C I could not agree more with this:

    "Expectations were simply way off base to reality, even if the price point was still a little too high."

    In reality, it's really the high-priced data plans that get US customers, at least. The off-contract prices could have been lower, that's granted, but Apple's a business driven by hardware sales and profit, not so much by fermium services - yet. So, yeah, the expectations, not Apple's execution, are what need to be questioned.

    Great points on all the other flops!
    chrisanderson1973
    • In Europe

      the 5c costs more than a Galaxy S4, HTC One or Nokia Lumia 920 off contract.

      Good, on contract, they all cost 99c, so there isn't much difference, and the iPhone 5S starts at around 90 Euros. But most people I know use PAYG SIMs or a 19 Euro a month flat rate (mobile, landline and data flats) and buy the phone off contract.

      When a low end Nokia or Samsung costs a hundred Euros, it isn't really a wonder that the 5c is struggling with its 600 Euro price tag.
      wright_is
    • In Europe

      the 5c costs more than a Galaxy S4, HTC One or Nokia Lumia 920 off contract.

      Good, on contract, they all cost 99c, so there isn't much difference, and the iPhone 5S starts at around 90 Euros. But most people I know use PAYG SIMs or a 19 Euro a month flat rate (mobile, landline and data flats) and buy the phone off contract.

      When a low end Nokia or Samsung costs a hundred Euros, it isn't really a wonder that the 5c is struggling with its 600 Euro price tag.
      wright_is
    • Hmmm

      They're building about 1 million 5c phones a week (150,000 a day), that's 52 million a year (and about 1/3 the run rate of the 5s), I'd hardly call that a flop. That's more iPhone 5cs sold than Nokia Lumias over the same period.
      rbgaynor
      • no flop?

        So why don't you buy it? I'm sure you don't :)
        ambek