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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  • Apple iOS6 Maps

    The release of the iOS6 operating system brought forth a number of changes, the most significant of which was Apple Maps, which replaced Google Maps in previous versions of the operating system. Among other competitive improvements, 3D map views of detailed cityscapes was supposed to be one of the features that distinguished it from Google's offering.

    It was expected Apple's Maps was going to be on par with Google's offering in every other respect. But when the iOS6 update was released and the iPhone 5 came to market, it was quickly found out that directions and GPS points of interest were wildly innacurate, and the 3D renderings showed buildings and major landmarks in a distorted form that looked like something out of Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory". 

    In what is now referred to as the "Map Flap" Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology over the software, stating:

    "At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers"

    When your CEO has to apologize for a botched product release, it's a Tech Turkey.

  • Electronic Wallets

    This year, both Google and Apple embraced the concept of Electronic Wallets in an attempt to try to use technology to solve a problem that didn't really need solving: Money and Credit cards.

    In theory, Near-Field Computing and Electronic wallets are nifty ideas -- instead of pulling out your wallet and cash or credit cards to pay for something, you pull out your smartphone or other mobile device, and the vendor/merchant uses a scanner (barcode or NFC) to deduct payments from your credit card or loyalty program of choice.

    So far, Google Wallet, which has been out for almost a year has been a dud, as has been Apple's Passbook which was recently introduced in iOS6. Few apps have been optimized to take advantage of these new payment systems and NFC infrastructure at the majority of brick and mortar merchants is severely lacking. Apple's iPhone 5 completely lacks NFC hardware, so it had to use barcodes instead.

    While there is some hope on the horizon for NFC payments on Android phones with the recently announced ISIS alliance between wireless carriers, the new electronic wallet app is only useable in Salt Lake City and Austin so far, in limited locations.

  • Apple Mac Pro (2012)

    Apple came out with a whole bunch of great products in 2012, but the "revised" Macintosh Pro was not one of them. Pressured into a new release of the high-end graphical workstation after 18 months without any improvements, the 2012 version of the Mac Pro was underwhelming, to say the least.

    Retaining the big, bulky PC tower design of its 2010 version, as well as nearly identical parts, the "new" version of the Mac Pro still started at $2499 and included a minor speed boost on the 6-core Xeon CPUs and had SSD drive options. With no graphics processor improvements or even the ability to interface with Apple's Thunderbolt Display, the Mac Pro is a dinosaur among highly evolved Apple desktops such as the current generation iMacs.

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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  • 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