Apple Watch And Microsoft Zune Make List Of Biggest Tech Failures Of Past Ten Years

There have been a lot of groundbreaking tech products over the past 10 years. The iPhone is one, and the Surface Pro is another. But even Apple and Microsoft can screw up at times and fall behind the tech game. However, it doesn’t take a big-name tech company to make a product flop. Here is a list of the five biggest tech gadget failures of the past 10 years.

5. Apple Watch (2015)

The Apple Watch isn’t as big of a tech failure as the other items on this list. But it is just as much of a failure when we talk about the expectations that the Watch failed to live up to. The Apple Watch is enjoyed by some, but considered the beginning of Apple’s downfall by others.

Even though CNET gave the Watch three-and-a-half stars, it was a rating that was lower than any other Apple product during the past year.

“The Apple Watch is the most ambitious, well-constructed smartwatch ever seen, but first-gen shortfalls make it feel more like a fashionable toy than a necessary tool. That may change with a big software update later this year, though.”

One of the biggest shortfalls that helped make the Watch such a tech failure is its dismal battery life. Let’s hope the Apple Watch 2 can make us forget about Apple’s most recent letdown.

4. Palm Pre (2009)

In 2009, Sprint thought they had a smartphone to compete against the iPhone (AT&T had exclusivity with Apple until 2011) and would rule the tech world. The Palm Pre caused a lot of excitement. However, after the Palm Pre was released in June of 2009, it became one of the most botched smartphone launches ever. Many customers had to return their Palm Pre devices several times due to multiple dead pixels, easy screen cracks, dead batteries, and just about everything else. Palm was soon purchased by HP after the major smartphone failure.

3. Blackberry Playbook (2011)

RIM had everybody drooling at CES with their new tablet, the Blackberry Playbook. At the time, it had a better screen than the iPad and appeared to be an amazing multimedia device. There was one huge flaw in the Playbook when it was released in April of 2011 — the software wasn’t ready! It was like taking a half-cooked pizza out of the oven, taking it out, and trying to enjoy it. The review from Infoworld in April of 2011 was horrible.

“This week, RIM began shipping the 7-inch tablet. After spending a couple days with the final product, it’s clear that the PlayBook is a useless device whose development is unfinished.”

The review added that the Playbook was even worse than the worst tablets. Soon after this tech failure, the Blackberry Playbook was put on sale for very cheap prices, and it still couldn’t walk off shelves.

2. Samsung Q1 UMPC (2006)

Before Samsung had major tech successes with their Galaxy line of smartphones and their curved HD television sets, they had plenty of failures. One of those was the first Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) that hit the market in May of 2006, the Q1. The idea was that if you put a full Windows desktop PC in the shape of a seven-inch tablet, people would go crazy. Those who bought it did go crazy, but not in the way Samsung or Microsoft expected. The battery life was awful, and using desktop apps on a 7-inch device proved to be a daunting task. Apple learned from the UMPC tech failure and put a mobile operating system on the iPad in 2010.

1. Microsoft Zune (2006)

In 2006, Microsoft decided to take on the iPod (bad idea!) and came up with a similar product called the Zune. The product became such a spectacular failure that in the tech world, when companies say they don’t want to ruin a product, they say, “Don’t Zune it!” It wasn’t that the hardware was so bad, but it wasn’t what it needed to be — unique. The fact that barely any record labels got on board with Microsoft was its true Achilles heel. The product actually improved within the next couple years. By 2009, the Zune HD was one of the best multimedia players around. Unfortunately, the fire had already burned, and it was too late to save the Zune, which — in some circles — is known as the biggest tech product failure in history.

[Image via Daryl Deino]

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