As the year comes to an end, we decided to wrap up with several “top 2011” posts. Today we’re presenting you with top failures of the year.
In no particular order, here are the entrants for the infamous “Top failures of 2011” list:
We’re sorry to see HP failing to meet expectations. They were super bullish when they acquired Palm, with the idea to mimic Apple’s iPhone success. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we had a chance to play with the Palm/HP Veer, Pre 3 and the TouchPad, none of which managed to capture customer’s hearts and minds. It seems to me HP failed to execute on its plans and we had to wait for too long for the official launch of the first webOS 3.0 device. What’s more, they also failed to attract major global operators on board, resulting in sluggish sales.
The Finnish giant went through quite a year. Its new CEO changed the course of the company, effectively dumping two platforms – Symbian and MeeGo, first of which was Nokia’s cash cow for the past few years. Instead, they adopted Windows Phone, getting some serious cash from Microsoft in exchange. As I’m writing this, stock holders aren’t seeing any benefits from the change but the hope is that once first Nokia Windows Phones hit the stores around the globe, the sales will return. And while the Lumia 800 is apparently selling like hot cupcakes on a cold winter day, we’re not sure that’s enough to satisfy the ever-greedy share owners. Next year may easily be crucial for the company…
The first and most-likely the only MeeGo-powered device was released this year – Nokia N9. However, the Finnish company doesn’t seem committed to drive this project forward, prompting Intel to react with the statement it will pursue MeeGo even without Nokia. And when we know Intel already tried that out with its Moblin platform, we can’t help but conclude that these may be MeeGo’s last days. Sure, the N9 rocks — it has an awesome UI and it’s pretty slick. However, without a major handset maker on board, there’s only so much Intel can do about it. And so far all other major players seem focused on other platforms, most notably Android and Windows Phone.
To make things even worse for the MeeGo’s prospects, the Nokia N9 is super expensive. It costs more than 600 EUR, which is a lot of money considering its hardware — the same cash get you a faster device equipped with a dual-core processor.
Sony Ericsson was the only major handset maker that hasn’t launched smartphone with dual-core processor this year. We’ve seen that Xperia Duo and Xperia Arc HD from “in the wild” photos and as far as we know that could be the same device. However, it wasn’t announced yet and I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for early next year to see the first dual-core smartphone from Sony Ericsson officially announced. The company will most likely use the upcoming CES in Las Vegas or Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to unveil the new phone.
This failure to execute most likely made Sony buyout Ericsson and starting from the middle of 2012, new Android smartphones will only wear the Sony brand. Hopefully this will also mean that the new company will be faster to bring new products to the market. We’ll see…
Finally, RIM’s first tablet was at one point touted as the iPad killer. Needless to say they failed miserably having moved a symbolic number of units. Developers didn’t (and still don’t) like it, too, prompting the Canadian company to allow Android apps to run on the PlayBook. I won’t go in details here, Simon knows much better about “everything BlackBerry” and I’m sure those of you caring about the subject followed the demise of RIM’s tablet from his posts.
Now I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Have I missed some company or product? Do you think someone else deserved a place on the Top failures list?