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20 worst-named tech products, ever

Common sense tells you that the key aspect of selling a new product is in the name. And this is where many companies have failed miserably.
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By CNET Staff on
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Companies agonize over what to name a product, and we certainly recognize how difficult a process it is to come up with a good name.

Over the years, we've seen lots of good ones; the Palm Pilot, the Motorola Razr, TiVo, the Flip cam, are just a few.

But today we're not here to celebrate success. No, let us to rejoice in failure and admire some of the truly bad--and, in some cases, truly awful--names that have come along in the last 10 years or so.

Here's the newest addition to the list. Netflix's sudden plan to split the company in two and change the name of its DVD delivery service to Qwikster didn't go over so well, and the company quickly nixed the name and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

While it may be a little hard to separate the name from the ill-conceived launch, any way you slice it, Qwikster just feels off--and not in a good way.

In this gallery, we'll list the top 20 worst names as chosen by CNET editors - and identify the top 5 chosen by CNET's Brian Cooley.

Captions: David Carnoy CNET
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We begin the countdown of the five worst names with a tie for number 5. Cool names? not! The Cool-er stood for cool e-reader. It wasn't so cool, but it did come in a lot of colors.

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Also at number 5, Cuil was a search engine that forgot to find a good name.

Caption by David Carnoy

 
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Samsung's Smiley phone actually had the famous smiley-face emoticon in its name. Ouch. Bad idea all around. We're number 4.

Photo by: Samsung

Caption by: David Carnoy

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Never a good idea to put a * in a name. Guess it stands for artist or whatever. It's number 3.

Photo by: Pentax

Caption by: David Carnoy

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The mRobe ranks as the second worst-named product of all time. Once again, we think something got lost in the Japanese translation. The word was, an Olympus executive liked the idea of a product that you could come home to and slip on like a robe. (There was some comfort factor involved, if memory serves correct.)

Photo by: Olympus

Caption by: David Carnoy

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There have been lots of poorly named MP3 players over the years. (Samsung Yepp, anyone?) However, Germany-based TrekStor's iBeat Blaxx may go down in history as one the most unfortunately named tech products of all time after people accused the product of being racist. It made number 1 on our list.

Shortly after it launched, TrekStor CTO Gil Szmigiel, apologized for the misunderstanding and renamed the product the TrekStor Blaxx.

Photo by: TrekStor

Caption by: David Carnoy

 

 

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Apple has a dud every once in a while, and Ping makes our list.

Screenshot: Apple

Caption by: David Carnoy

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Casio's line of ultrarugged G'zOne offer a lesson in the hazards of playing around with Caps key on the keyboard.

Photo by: Casio

Caption by: David Carnoy

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Cisco's business tablet is pronounced see-us. Some might pronounce it more like tschuss, which means goodbye in German.

Photo by: Cisco

Caption by: David Carnoy

 
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By George, we actually liked the Chestnut Hill Sound George when we reviewed it a few years back. It has a detachable remote that mimicked the iPod's interface and sounded good, too.

We're not quite sure why it was called the "George," but we seem to remember one of the company reps mentioning something about being the first of its kind and a George Washington connection.

Photo by: Chestnut Hill

Caption by: David Carnoy

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The Gizmondo was a portable gaming device that never quite made it to market but spent a lot of time in trade show booths, which featured models wearing white Gizmondo T-shirts.

Caption by: David Carnoy

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Three Es all in a row do not make for a great name. Maybe if they capitalized one?

Photo by: Asus

Caption by: David Carnoy

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The iMuffs are a Bluetooth headset.

Caption by: David Carnoy

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A few people queued up online to preorder the Plastic Logic Que e-reader. But they never got it because it never came to market.

Photo by: Plastic Logic

Caption by: David Carnoy

 

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Sony's Slingbox competitor actually worked pretty well, but "Location-Free TV" didn't quite make sense as a name.

Caption by: David Carnoy

 

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Sorry, Sony, for putting so many of your products on the list, but you make a lot of tech products. We're not sure what the Muteki name is supposed to evoke, but it kind of sounds like mutant tech. If that's what you were going for, bravo.

Photo by: Sony

Caption by: David Carnoy

 

 

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Qriocity did not kill the cat. It is Sony's streaming-movie and -music service.

Photo by: Qriocity

Caption by: David Carnoy

 

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Sony's break-dancing Bluetooth speaker, the Rolly, is pretty amusing to watch the first 10 times you see it in action. As a name, the Rolly isn't as bad as some on the list, but it has never been quite clear how to pronounce it. (Is it Roll-y or Rollie, like Rollie Fingers?)

Photo by: Sony

Caption by: David Carnoy

 

 

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Oy vey, it's the Tivoli iYiYi.

Photo by: Tivoli

Caption by: David Carnoy

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