2012’s Most Disappointing Tech Moments

This year has been interesting in terms of technology. There have been some great moments and there have been some major disappointments. From marketing failures to faulty devices, these five moments are the biggest tech disappointments of 2012.

5. GoogleTV

The concept of GoogleTV makes sense. Integrate web technologies with your television experience to provide an enhanced experience and improved functionality to any home theater system. It sounded so good, that both Sony and Vizio jumped on board and started integrating services with a variety of their products.

However, after a few minutes of using to service it is easy to see why it is struggling to gain popularity. From a cluttered and complicated user-interface to a cumbersome remote, the benefits just fail to overcome the sheer frustration of the service in its current state.

4. Maps for iOS 6

Before the release of iOS6 and the iPhone5, Apple was claiming that Maps would bring a navigation and mapping experience to the mobile market that was untouchable by current apps. Then the app was released.

Within minutes, the web was brimming with reports of inaccurate driving directions, missing cities, strange visual artefacts and a host of other issues. Within days, Apple was changing its story and recommending their competitors for GPS and mapping features until Maps’ issues could be resolved. Though it did not seem to substantially impact the sales of the iPhone 5, it certainly tarnished the reputation of this innovative company.

3. Google Nexus Q

The Nexus Q promised to revolutionize the home media experience for Android users. The little orb had a plethora of connections for integrating into your existing home theatre setup. A simple tap of your phone would then activate the device and allow you to stream music, movies and mobile games to your television. The ability to sync with multiple phones and tablets provided an interactive experience that would be great for parties or family use.

However, there was one small problem. The device was unstable, buggy and overpriced. Shortly after its release, Google canned the Nexus Q and send it back to the drawing board. It has not been seen since.

2. iPad Mini

Looking to capitalize on the niche tablet market that the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 had created, Apple released the iPad Mini. It was described to be the latest generation iPad in a smaller form. The main problem was that this was far from true.

The iPad Mini lacked a Retina display. While the 4:3 display ratio was great for browsing the web, it was awful for watching videos. Even worse, the pixel density of the screen was far below its competition. Add in the fact that the device is priced more than 50% higher than the competition and it is easy to see why the device has failed to create the buzz for which Apple was hoping.

1. Microsoft Surface RT

When the details of the Microsoft Surface were first released, the tablet world was in a frenzy. A fully functioning tablet with built-in keyboard and Windows based interface sounded like a great way to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. Through press releases and hands-on videos, it seemed that the Surface might just make a splash in the market.

Microsoft then announced two models, the Surface RT and Surface Pro. However, it failed to clearly market the major differences in the models. The RT version featured lower specs and a mobile optimized version of Windows 8 that relied on apps. The Pro, for a higher price tag, included a full version of Windows 8 and respectable specs.

Upon launch, buyers snatched up Surface RT units expecting to install their favourite programs, only to find that there locked into a woefully under populated app store. Needless to say, the buyers were not happy. In the end, the Surface Pro may help to fix this. However, this has already left a sour taste in many buyers’ mouths and does not help the adoption rate of the already struggling Windows 8.

About the author: Steven Chalmers has written for the tech industry for many years. When he’s not writing you can find him working with Intercall on their video conferencing services or playing catch with his two young sons.

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