2012 in Review: Tech Turkeys of the Year

2012 in Review: Tech Turkeys of the Year

Summary: And now, for your reading pleasure, the very worst from the tech world in 2012.

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  • 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.

  • Advanced Micro Devices

    While there are other companies that made the list for being Tech Turkeys, such as Research In Motion and Nokia, both of which are also in dire financial straits, AMD distinguishes itself for its pure lack of innovation in the semiconductor space.

    Once able to outclass Intel on price and performance on PC desktops and on servers, the company has been reduced to an also-ran that has mismanaged its technology acquisitions (such as ATI) and has been unable to adapt to the changing Post-PC era.

    The financially desperate chip manufacturer has recently had to slash prices on its desktop chips in order to move a glut of microprocessor inventory, close down its Open Source development laboratory in Germany as well as axe approximately 400 staff in its Austin, TX headquarters. 

    While the company recently announced new 16-core x86-compatible Opteron 6300 server processors (which are still not expected to compete with Intel's current generation of Nehalem server chips on performance) and has also announced plans to produce low-power server chips based on the new ARM50 architecture, it isn't expected to deliver on this promise for at least two years, assuming the company is still an going concern by that timeframe.

Topics: Hardware, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Software, Tablets

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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66 comments
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  • What about....

    The iPad 3 and 4
    iPhone 5

    they sold unit but in terms of innovation and making products that apple see as "revolutionary" they suck crap
    Benjamin Ong
    • That they sold unit...

      Pretty much eliminates them as turkeys.
      jperlow
      • He has a point about iPad 3

        Using the same logic you used for the Lumia, iPad 3 is a Turkey too. It was discontinued only 6 months into its life cycle. For consistency sake, if your logic is at all sound, iPad 3 must be added to the list.
        gomigomijunk
        • iPad 3

          Got an iOS 6 upgrade and is still supported. Lumia 900 was orphaned.
          jperlow
          • Not exactly true

            Lumia 900 gets the WP7.8, which Apple would call WP 8, but with little asterisks that list which features don't work.
            gomigomijunk
          • Wow resizable Icons

            That's one hell of an upgrade. I find it funny the Microsoft trolls hae two seperate standards: If Microsift screws over current customers, it's the customer's fault. If Apple is percieved to do something close, then Apple is Evil!
            Troll Hunter J
    • Agreed

      Although successful, in terms of amounts sold, the ipad3, iphone 5, and iOS6 (esp. apple maps), have started to change peoples opinions (that is consumers) of Apple. Id call that a turkey. Or maybe Tim Cook could be the turkey?
      lisport
  • Such a troll article.

    My oh my, I bet beardy also walks around art galleries thinking he has a clue there as well.

    Watch out for him if you're ever in one. He walks up to you, and talks utter drivel to you, whilst scratching his beard whilst wearing a smug look on face, totally oblivious to all those around him whom consider him clueless, and rather annoying.
    Bozzer
    • Beardy...

      That's a good one. Original as well.

      FWIW, my family has been in the art business for over 50 years.
      jperlow
    • Dude

      Honestly man, trying contributing something worthwhile instead of this type of spiteful post.
      radsdau@...
      • Some people just don't like it when Android gets thrown

        in the trashed bin of 2012.

        You would think he was insulting a loved one.

        Or maybe he was...
        William Farrel
  • Android ICS

    Fastest-growing version of Android to date.
    ldo17
    • ICS and Firefox don't belong on this list

      Safari goes on the turkey list way before Firefox.
      Nothing wrong with ICS, put the fragmented mobile carriers on the turkey list.
      warboat
      • Firefox is a turkey

        First, crappy decision to go on very fast incremental release numbers which originally broke add-on compatibility.

        Second, it really had stability problems, though it ain't as bad now as it was a few months ago my browser still hangs for up to 1 or 2 minutes now and then for no apparent reason and after opening and closing several tabs it becomes so slow I've got to close and reopen it to make good again... I'm running in on a Core2 Quad 2.5Ghz with 8GB of RAM with plenty of it free, Win7 64bit so the computer is not the issue.

        As for ICS, the issue is more with OEMs promising ICS and never delivering (HTC promised ICS for my Incredible S in February, my carrier promised it in July and everything got cancelled in August... So I'm still on Gingerbread even though I wanted to upgrade... Not important anymore, I'm switching to WP8 soon!
        lepoete73
  • Carrier-Specific Nexus Device?

    Sounds like a contradiction in terms. Maybe the real turkey in this case is the entire US mobile market?
    ldo17
  • ICS

    My Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with dual core Exynos 1.4ghz processor, Super Amoled Plus display, was and is the flagship Android tablet that also was available with Verizon. My international 3g version received regional updates in Malaysia ONlY. iCS was released for the aversion version, but Samsung abandoned the rest of its customers around the globe.

    This fragmented approach of upgrades with headline teased upgrade announcements with No DATeS just underscores why Apple reigns supreme in its ability to serve its customers.
    flyguy29
  • Motorola Mobility

    Was resurrected from the dead with the android. Quickly became a "B" player and started losing money each quarter as Samsung and HTC'S prospered through growth with multiple handsets on multiple carriers.
    Motorola released a half finished Xoom product and since put ALof its chips into the Verizon basket by subjugating its remaining Jewel of a brand, Razr, underneath Verizon's Droid. Stranding its best handset and brand on Verizon, who seems to be more interested in promoting HTm Samsung, Nokia and now RIm in 2013, Motorola just doesn't seems like it wants to make money.
    They recently announced that keeping Razr exclusive to Verizon is a good business model. Check your earnings for the past 2 years, Motorola.
    flyguy29
  • Nexus Fail

    No wonder Google went with LG on Nexus 4 AND with T Mobile
    flyguy29
  • RIM

    RIM is, by far, the biggest Turkey with everyone, dumb and smart, betting against their often delayed BBOS 10 handset. When it launches, the world will wonder why they threw money away on poisoned fish
    flyguy29
    • And yet

      The the version 10 Balckberry will outsell Windows phones. So what's the biggest turkey?
      anothercanuck