Seven Biggest Tech Failures In 2014

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 24, 2014

failures

While 2014 has seen some major breakthroughs in technology and tech products, it has also been a harsh year for a number of the big names in the industry, giving rise to failed products and services. Here’s a list of some of the biggest tech failures in 2014.

iCloud: It’s been a rather sad year for Apple’s iCloud service. The company’s major plans of launching unlimited photo storage in iCloud dampened just after it was hit by a major scandal after hundreds of revealing pictures of female celebrities were leaked overnight after being stolen from their private collections. Apple said it was a phishing attack, but the service has been criticized for being unreliable and confusing.

iOS 8.0.1: Apple released a software update for the iPhone that became a disaster. Those who rushed to download the software had their cellphone temporarily ruined. Apple however is a smart brand and it quickly pulled the software to launch another update that fixed the problem.

Facebook Slingshot: Facebook launched its app Slingshot, which critics termed as a blatant copy of rival Snapchat, aside from what the company said as the ‘boomerang effect’. While it was a relatively small investment by the company, in the long run, it is evident that Facebook lacks the creative spark to create dynamic new products. And the company needs a serious rethink.

Twitter’s stock: Twitter’s stock fell about 85% this year as the micro-blogging site failed to grow its user base. However, critics were still optimistic, as they believe two years ago, Facebook’s IPO was one of the biggest flops of the year. But, the stock skyrocketed making Facebook one of the biggest brands in the world. The same could happen for Twitter, some think.

Microsoft’s Band: Microsoft released a fitness tracking gadget, surprising everyone. However, the buzz around the new fitness gadget died out in no time. As New York Times reported, “the band is uncomfortable to wear with the screen on top of the wrist. It feels like trying to fit a round wrist into a square band.”

Samsung’s smartwatches: Samsung launched a range of watches and there were no buyers. While Samsung thought it will make up for the losses through its smartphone business, sadly that did not happen. The smart watches dragged Samsung’s profits down by 60%.

Amazon’s Fire phone: Amazon launched a new phone but made it evident that it won’t be enough to woo the iPhone and Android fans. Re/Code’s Ina Fried  notes that With the Fire phone, Amazon hasn’t really shaken up the economics of the traditional cell phone business at all. If Amazon believes that the commerce opportunities the device creates will afford it greater pricing flexibility, the company’s not letting on.” In short, critics believe with so many impressive smartphones currently retailing for that same price, the Fire phone’s likely to go unnoticed, as it didn’t do enough to make the features stand out.

There are of course many more misses in the world of technology but as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on his Fire phone we need to “Stay tuned” and hope for the best in the coming year!

Thoughtpot: What other tech failures would you add to the list?