Despite all the hype, some products simply fail to live up to their expectations – and there was no shortage of flops in recent months.
The iPhone Smasher?
This Windows-based smartphone was once hailed as a serious iPhone contender, the flagship offering from a new venture between Nokia and Microsoft. But a software glitch detected soon after its April 2011 release led to plummeting sales. Customers received a $100 credit at the same time the company dropped the phone to just $99 with a contract – basically, free. This phone flop goes to…the Nokia Lumia 900.
“After the initial problems with the phone it was very clear that it was going to receive very poor adoption,” says Ashley Allen, managing editor of 247wallst.com. “As a consequence the stock price started plummeting and earlier this year a class action lawsuit was brought against the company for effectively misrepresenting the value of this phone. The action suggests that the phone was going to buoy the company’s fortunes and in reality the stock price has fallen by almost fifty percent,” he says.
Failed to Fit
Sticking with tech, this ultra thin notebook line intended to compete with the Macbook air, but is far from the 40-percent market share its CEO vowed it would hit this year – the Ultrabook from Intel.
“The problem is consumers don’t know what it is,” says Allen. “The reality is most people have a notebook or a PC that for the most part they’re happy with and at this point there looking for something that’s even more portable like a tablet or even these highly equipped smartphones and so, the Ultrabook is a product looking for a market and… simply doesn’t have the cache to pull it off.”
A Disney Flop
Despite decades of box office wins, this 2012 Disney movie went down as an epic fail. The media titan announced a $200 million write-down, making John Carter, one of the biggest Hollywood flops ever.
“The hopes were high for this movie because the studio wanted to believe it was going to be a magic bullet. While Andrew Stanton, the director, has a pretty awesome pedigree with Wall-E and Finding Nemo under his belt, he was effectively given free reign to run up a budget that … after marketing costs…was $350 million. Unless you have a success like Avatar it’s just too much money to afford,” says Allen.
“Dangerous” for Kids
While this toy was intended for adults, the Consumer Product Safety Commission thought it would find favor with kids and be too dangerous, posing a serious choking hazard.
That was bad news for the New York-based inventors of BuckyBalls and BuckyCubes, tiny, tinker-style magnets. The CPSC filed a lawsuit, and many retailers have voluntarily pulled the product off shelves.
Hailed as the “it” product of the Consumer Electronics Show in 2010, this tech invention failed to win over consumers and by 2012 was considered a has-been. You guessed it: 3D TVs. By some estimates, they are in roughly 3 percent of U.S. households – far fewer than expected, largely due to what analysts believe are big-ticket prices, a shortage of 3D content and those bulky glasses, which make for an awkward user experience.