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Verizon Galaxy Nexus
In October of 2011, during the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich at CTIA, many of us were happy to hear about the release of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the United States on Verizon.
Here, was the state of the art in Android handsets, a pure "Google Experience" device running on the latest Android 4.0 OS, and running on what was arguably North America's best 4G wireless network.
Those of us who bought the device and were expecting rapid updates to Google's latest Android goodness and patch releases soon discovered that while this device was branded as a "Nexus" the complications of having it introduced on Verizon meant that it contained proprietary CDMA/LTE code the Global GSM/HSPA version did not have, and thus lagged far behind its European and Asian counterpart in terms of support.
To add insult to injury, contract negotiations with Verizon precluded the inclusion of Google Wallet on the North American version. Verizon Galaxy Nexus customers waited months for basic bugfixes after the European version, and got its "Jelly Bean" update 2 months after the GSM version as well.
As if this wasn't bad enough, the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus was plagued with an inferior wireless transciever to the GSM edition, resulting in bad reception and data connectivity issues.
In terms of delivering on Google's promises for an "Experience" device, the Galaxy Nexus was a fail.
Nokia Lumia 900
The Nokia Lumia 900, which was released with tremendous fanfare by the Finnish handset manufacturer as their flagship Windows Phone 7 product was effectively abandoned seven months after its North American launch in favor of newer Windows Phone 8-based devices.
Sales of the Lumia 900 since announcing the replacement phones have been abyssmal, and the company is facing severe financial problems which could impact the future of the company as a result, among other contributng factors.
Existing Lumia 900 customers got a software upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8 which has some minor improvements which includes a Windows Phone 8 UI "facelift", but the phone is now "Osborned" given that the 820 and 920 models have been released as its replacement.
Research in Motion
What's there to say about RIM that hasn't already been said?
The entire company essentially imploded in 2012. This included a management shakeup that resulted in the ouster of both of its Co-CEOs, what essentially amounts to zero growth in sales of ther BlackBerry 7 handsets and a channel full of unsold inventory, running the company under a huge operating loss and missing all of Wall Street's revenue estimates, and engaging in what could eventually amount to be thousands of layoffs for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.
Look up the word "Beleaguered" on any tech news site, and the words "Research in Motion" are almost certainly going to accompany it. That's how dire the situation is with the company now.
If any company would take the top "Turkey" position on this list in 2012 it would have to be RIM. But hope is on the horizon.
While the company has missed its initial target to release its next-generation, QNX-bassed BlackBerry 10 handsets in 4Q 2012, we should be seeing them early next year, short of another crisis brewing that we aren't aware of yet.
If the user experience is as good as the demos have shown, and the apps are there, then the company could very well experience a turnaround.
But RIM's got a very steep hill to climb when the market has already 3 other compelling mobile platforms which have significant developer attention as well as consumer and enterprise mindshare.