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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  • SONY PS Vita

    The PS Vita, heralded by SONY as the true successor to their PSP (Playstation Portable) was supposed to be the most important video game product release of the year. The release of the new handheld gaming device was particularly critical for the beleaguered Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, which has been encountering a whole bevy of financial problems in recent times.

    The PS Vita launched in late 2011 in Japan with only 25 titles, and while initial sales were brisk to the tune of several hundred thousand units, it quickly tapered off, and even the previous generation and less expensive product, the PSP, which has a much larger game library began to outsell it globally by February of 2012.

    Although the unit has impressive technical specs and has garnered good reviews, the product lacks significant developer support and is an expensive product for a $249-$250 device that only plays games, and is already outstripped in terms of speed, graphics and overall game titles by the iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch as well as numerous other Android devices.

  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich

    Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, or ICS, was announced at the CTIA conference in Hong Kong in October of 2011. Sales of the first widely-avaliable ICS handset, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus began in November 2011 in Europe and North America. 

    As an attempt to unify the tablet and smartphone versions of the Android OS, Google had ambitious plans to get it on as many handsets as possible, in order to reduce the amount of platform fragmentation that has been plaguing the mobile OS ecosystem since its launch in 2007.

    As of November 2012, one year after its release, ICS accounts for about 25 percent of all OSes installed on Android phones. But it pales in comparison to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which occupies over 53 percent of the installed base and is four generations behind the current build of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2.

    OEMs have struggled to update Gingerbread-based dual-core handsets and tablets to ICS, taking as much as a year to do so, and some, such as Google's Motorola Mobility division have even had to abandon their efforts due to the technical complexities involved.

    As if this wasn't bad enough Jelly Bean, version 4.2, has been on the market since late summer and is already in the crosshairs of OEMs looking to release new handsets and tablets. Like version 3.0 "Honeycomb" before it, ICS it seems was a yet another transitional operating system release with a limited lifespan.

  • Motorola Mobility

    Motorola Mobility failed on so many levels in 2012 that it's hard to quantify the extent of their incompetence.

    Not only have they consistently failed to innovate after being acquired by Google, the company released a number of Android handsets of questionable quality, stability and performance, that have been mired by shovelware and awful user interface overlays.

    The company has also reneged on its promises to upgrade an entire generation of dual-core handsets released in late 2011 to Ice Cream Sandwich, effectively leaving many of its existing customers in the lurch.

    Motorola, what the hell happened to you?

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


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.
      • 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.
        • iPad 3

          Got an iOS 6 upgrade and is still supported. Lumia 900 was orphaned.
          • 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.
          • 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?
  • 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.
    • Beardy...

      That's a good one. Original as well.

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

      Honestly man, trying contributing something worthwhile instead of this type of spiteful post.
      • 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.
    • 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.
      • 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!
  • Carrier-Specific Nexus Device?

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

    No wonder Google went with LG on Nexus 4 AND with T Mobile
  • 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
    • And yet

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