Nintendo’s Wii U has been a disappointing seller.
Biggest tech flops of 2013, so far
- Article by: Salvador Rodriguez
- Los Angeles Times
- September 10, 2013 - 3:26 PM
In technology, companies are unveiling new products almost every day, touting each as if it were the one device that will truly change the world. (Hello, Apple.)
Rarely is that true, and for every big hit there are many misses.
For whatever reason — perhaps a steep price, lack of interest or just uselessness — some products never catch on and turn out to be big flops. And halfway through 2013, there have already been quite a few of these cases.
The Chromebook Pixel is a great little computer. It has a crystal-clear screen, beautiful design and numerous useful features, but at the steep price of $1,300, this Google laptop has failed to generate sales the way other Chromebook computers have.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, was hoping to push back into the U.S. smartphone market this year with the BlackBerry Z10 as its crown jewel. But so far neither the Z10 or any of its other new devices have gained ground on Apple and Android. And now, BlackBerry has announced that it is considering selling itself.
After years of rumors of a Facebook phone, Mark Zuckerberg and crew finally delivered with the HTC First. The device ran Facebook Home, a version of Android tailored to keep you within Facebook’s social network at all times. Facebook thought this would be a popular concept, but it soon learned some users did not want so much Facebook all throughout their smartphones. As a result, AT&T struggled to sell the device and quickly lowered its price from $99 to 99 cents.
Twitter scored a major hit this year when it released Vine, but its other app release, Twitter Music, has failed to catch on completely. The service is supposed to help users discover new music, but unlike Vine, which now has more than 40 million users, Twitter Music never built any momentum.
The Surface RT was released in late 2012 as Microsoft’s response to Apple’s iPad. But despite the company’s commercials that show the Surface RT outperforming the iPad thanks to some unique features, the Surface RT has had poor sales. Ultimately, Microsoft had to take a $1 billion charge against its earnings because of unsold devices, and earlier this summer the company began slashing the Surface RT’s price.
Similar to the Surface RT, the Nintendo Wii U has also struggled to sell. Though it is the successor to the ultra-popular Wii game system, the Wii U has sold so poorly that in July Nintendo reported a $50 million loss in net sales.
Twice this year Microsoft has tried to release a working version of a YouTube app for its smartphones, but twice YouTube has had issues with the product and forced Microsoft to remove the app from its app store. Bickering between the two companies has left Windows Phone users without a way to watch YouTube natively through their smartphones.
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