From a classic American photography company on the brink of extinction to a mobile mapping system that can barely map a users requests the biggest tech turkeys of 2012 have angered customers and investors while leaving the future of at least one cell phone manufacturer hanging in the balance.
Apple’s Ping Music Network
When it was launched in 2011 Apple claimed that Ping would become the Facebook of music discovery and social networking. The company banked Ping’s success on its tie-in with iTunes software. The network allowed users to post status updates, subscribe to user feeds and view those notices directly from inside the iTunes software on a users desktop or iOS based device.
The biggest problem faced by Apple was its lack of artist support. While Apple attempted to lure musicians to the social music network they instead fled to Twitter and Facebook where they were able to communicate with fans who did not need to launch a separate program outside of their web browser.
Realizing its misstep Apple instead chose to pair its iOS system with deep Facebook and Twitter integration.
On September 30 the Apple Ping program shut its doors.
Kodak Files For Bankruptcy
While Kodak has not disappeared off the face of the earth it has shuttered its digital camera business and it is in the process of firing thousands of workers. Kodak has also been unsuccessful in selling its patent portfolio. In a first attempt at selling off its patent portfolio bids were only 20% to 25% of the $2 billion Kodak has hoped to bring bring in.
In its bankruptcy filing Kodak lists $5.1 billion in assets and $6.75 billion in debt.
The only improvements Kodak has seen in 2012 has been from its overseas markets where revenue is actually increasing.
Apple receives the double dip distinction thanks to its iOS 6 mapping solution. Google was caught off guard when Apple suddenly removed Google Maps from iOS 6 but it was Google with the last laugh.
First Apple Maps led some users to the wrong destination, then entire venues were marked with incorrect information and in the final straws streets looked warped, satellite imagery looked like 8-bit video games from the eighties and entire roads were missing.
The Apple Maps failure was so monumental that Apple has since started recommending third-party replacement applications.
Apple will surely come back from this latest snafu but in the meantime the company’s giant 2012 tech failure has helped customers realize exactly how much they rely on the largely accurate and user friendly Google Maps software.
Nokia Lumia 900
Nokia and Microsoft teaming up seemed like a recipe for success. Shortly after the Lumia 900 was released however it quickly became clear that users were not interested in the device.
Shortly after being released to the public a software glitch was discovered which caused users to abandon the phone before massive adoption could be achieved.
Customers who purchased the phone quickly received a $100 credit and the phone was dropped to $99 with a two year contract. Stock prices at Nokia fell by nearly 50% following the monumental failure of the Lumia Windows Phone.
From entire company failures to tech that was obviously not tested properly prior to launch, we have seen plenty of tech turkeys in 2012, enough in fact to make us question what has happened to quality control in the tech sector.