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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.
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.