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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Flops and disappointments

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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Flops and disappointments
Today's tech giants invest considerable amounts of time and money in research and development. After all, doing so is an essential step towards delivering products that a given group of consumers would like and buy. Unfortunately, failure is something that no one is immune to, not even the most powerful companies in existence. In fact, sometimes a seemingly promising product may turn out to be little more than a flop and a major disappointment. And with the third post in our PhoneArena Awards of 2013, we'll give you a few great examples, which demonstrate how even good ideas may yield underwhelming results if not executed optimally.


HTC's UltraPixel camera


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Flops and disappointments
Much has been said about the HTC One; mostly good things, for that matter. That it is a great-looking and well-made high-end smartphone is something we can't argue with. But the One has a weakness and that's the UltraPixel camera situated on its back. Developed by HTC itself, the snapper features a "breakthrough camera sensor" with larger pixels for improved performance, especially in low light. Well, we've done plenty of testing already, comparing the One's camera versus its rivals, and it just doesn't live up to HTC's promises and our expectations. Sure, it is good, but far from as good as it should have been. The HTC One is a high-end smartphone after all, and a camera that takes mediocre photos doesn't seem fitting for it. 

BlackBerry and its BB10 smartphones


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Flops and disappointments
2012 was already a pretty tough year for Research in Motion (now known as BlackBerry). The company kept on losing both market share and consumers' trust as it struggled to compete with its fierce rivals. But then came the BlackBerry 10 operating system and the new BlackBerry smartphones powered by it. They were expected to bring the company back on its feet, making it once again relevant on the smartphone market. Sadly, they didn't change much. In fact, BlackBerry is still leaking money, as one can tell after reading its recent financial report. BlackBerry's operating loss for Q2 reached nearly $1 billion because of a pile of BlackBerry Z10s collecting dust in its warehouses. Eventually, BlackBerry's CEO Thorsten Heins was given the sack – a move that probably won't lead to BlackBerry becoming the major player it once was.

Smartwatches


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Flops and disappointments
A smartwatch is, in theory, a pretty neat gadget, and a fair amount of new members of the species were introduced over the course of 2013. But in reality, they're still nothing more than a niche product with limited functionality – a product that only a hardcore geek would spend money on. Speaking of which, smartphones are still pretty expensive for what they can do, with high-grade models carrying a $300 price tag. That's just too much for something that displays your notifications and weather updates, all the while sparing you from the "effort" of taking your smartphone out. And besides, the battery life of most smartwatches is disappointing, to say the least, and having another gizmo to recharge overnight can be frustrating.

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This story is part of: PhoneArena Awards 2013(10 updates)

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posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:35 29

1. Sauce (unregistered)


Glalaxy Gear definitely a flop, yet a kickstarter in terms of pushing forward.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 15:12 5

31. androiphone20 (Posts: 1521; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Good show PA, jolly good show

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 20:10 4

70. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1291; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


The price is what made the Galaxy Gear a flop. If it was priced at $100 no one would be complaining about battery life. If it was priced at $50 people would call it the best smartwatch on the market. Anything and everything could be a flop if priced incorrectly. If Chromecast was priced at $100 I bet it would be on this list. But at $35 it's a bargain. Technically the iPhone 5c is a flop because it's priced to high and for $100 more you will get a phone worth the premium. But if it was priced at $250 off contract it would have sold a lot more.
I would like Phonearena to do a mock review of the Galaxy watch if was priced at $100. That would be interesting. And knowing Samsung I see this watch dropping price big time in the upcoming months. I would buy it at that cost. Not a penny more.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:38 12

2. Finalflash (Posts: 1903; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Yea smart watches definitely and BB definitely. The ultrapixel was a failure more because of the execution rather than the concept.

posted on 28 Nov 2013, 00:07 1

78. Mittal (Posts: 443; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


ya its odd how hTC tested and approved it.
Keeping concentration on low light pics, they forgot all about bright lights

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 01:20 1

91. willard12 (Posts: 886; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Somehow, I suspect that when the iwatch is released, it will be on the PA Most Innovative list, even though it will do a lot less.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:41 34

3. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Where's the iPhone 5c?

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:44 4

4. Sauce (unregistered)


Say what?

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2013/11/27/iphone-5s-5c-76-percent-of-japan-october-sales/

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:49 27

5. MrKoles (Posts: 330; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


It´s their stupidity, not Apples glory.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 17:36 8

58. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)


You're pathetically condescending. Listen to yourself. People buy it only because they are stupid? I consider people with narrow views like you to be the height of stupidity.

posted on 28 Nov 2013, 08:25 1

82. MrKoles (Posts: 330; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


Please don´t be so hippocratic. If somebody buys iPhone C, definitely doesn´t have a clear mind. It has nothing to do with my nature even if it´s condescending.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:52 7

7. tedkord (Posts: 5261; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Not that I'm agreeing its a flop, but that story was about both three 5s and 5c, and only one small country. It doesn't address his comment.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:58 1

8. Sauce (unregistered)


Le sigh. Read the article.

posted on 28 Nov 2013, 10:16

85. tedkord (Posts: 5261; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Le sigh. I did, my point stands.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:59 3

28. mikelemon (Posts: 93; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


Japan has one of the largest economies in the world. Not small by any means.

posted on 28 Nov 2013, 10:13 1

84. tedkord (Posts: 5261; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Large economy, small population.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:01 5

10. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Not talking about the 5s. Look at your own article, it says that sales of 5s were 40% higher than the 5c. And that's already in the US. I doubt you'll find many people with the 5c in other countries.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:04 8

11. Ninetysix (Posts: 1679; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Should we list every single smartphone that the 5C beat in sales as a flop? It's going to be a very long list.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:20 18

15. Finalflash (Posts: 1903; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


We could list every phone that beat the 5C, it would be an even longer list.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:23 11

16. Sauce (unregistered)


Look at all the arch enemy fan boys gathered round in a circle. Truly a PA thanksgiving :)

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:38 2

19. androiphone20 (Posts: 1521; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Awww :D

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:41 2

20. Ninetysix (Posts: 1679; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


How is that relevant to the flops and disappointments list?

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:43 1

22. androiphone20 (Posts: 1521; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


ugh, I know right

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:48 10

24. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Obviously the 5c was a flop, even in Apple's eyes. Not only did they fail to report its sales figures, they also cut the 5c's production.

Here, have a read:http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/11/alleged-cuts-to-iphone-5c-orders-cited-as-apple-supplier-pegatrons-profits-disappoint

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:54 3

26. Sauce (unregistered)


Too bad you're too busy worrying about Apple. If people didn't feel threatened or jealous of Apple, Apple would be closer to dead by now.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 19:05

67. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


Samsung may bring the S5 due to sales of the S4 sales so by that standard.. the S4 should be on the list..

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 19:28

69. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Posting after a very long time?
How become you don't post like befor...... ?
Where's Remixfa....? Same like you, he dosen't post...

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 22:50

75. Jobayer (Posts: 152; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


bitch plz

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 15:01 5

29. darkkjedii (Posts: 12619; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


The article could be about a snickers bar playing darts, and woodshop would still find a way to place Apple into the article...go figure.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 15:26 4

32. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Meanwhile Woodshop is presenting factual information and all you all are doing is presenting your biased OPINIONS. How does the discussion benefit from your comments?

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:07 5

39. darkkjedii (Posts: 12619; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dude woodshop, is about as accurate as Troll used to be. He's here to be a bother, and nothing more. I'll give you something accurate, apple is doing just fine, and about to go in some new directions next year. That's factual.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:22 3

44. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


I didn't realize you sat in on the board meetings in Cupertino, but thanks for the heads up. I'll hold my breath for sure.

I guess someone posting facts you don't want to accept is the definition of a "Troll." That's also my fault for not realizing this.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:31 1

48. darkkjedii (Posts: 12619; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Glad you realized, now go away, you're dismissed.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:33

50. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Yes mam, going right away.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:40

54. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


He is the biggest troll.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 17:34 1

57. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Surely he is! He is a big Troll! And also he's a Apple fanboy......... !

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 18:46

65. GoBears (Posts: 384; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


I typically disagree with just about everything that DJ says, but not this time. No one hates Apple more than me but the 5c wasn't a flop. Disappointing sales for sure but far from a flop. Apple just has too big of a fan base. Also for once I agree with a PA list article...too much Sailor Jerry in my drinks this evening I think.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:39

53. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Ok. And China and India?

posted on 28 Nov 2013, 02:02 2

81. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 664; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I dont believe people buying iPhone 5C are actually defending it even if it is the same as year old iPhone 5 and worse than iPhone5.
Getting iPhone 5 is better justified than buying cheap plastic 5C.
And iFans are defending it even if Apple has acknowledged its failure in 5C and stopped its production. No doubt 5S is a grand success.
But talking nonsense about '5C being awesome' is stupid.
This is the kind of control Apple has on the minds of its customers.
Weird and terrible...
Guys open up your mind.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:57 2

27. Ashoaib (Posts: 2428; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Come onnnn... apple 5c can never be added in a flop on any website, all websites are paid well to sing a song of apple's wonderfulness...

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 15:28 15

33. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)


There were a few editors who wanted to put the iPhone 5c on the list, but ultimately, we couldn't justify putting it on there because the expectations for the device were so overhyped by everyone. The aim of the 5c was to be the $100 cheaper option and to not look like the 5 or the 5s, that's about it.

But, because of idiot analysts hyping it up (for no reason at all) as a possible emerging market device (like the Moto G), the view of what it was always supposed to be got warped. We couldn't fault Apple for expectations that never should have existed.

There was also a big push to include iOS 7 as a flop, and it very nearly made the list, but there are too many people out there who legitimately like the update to really call it a flop.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:00

37. giani (Posts: 269; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


Mike, please explain to me why is the UltraPixel on this short list then ?! I can think of 20 other things that would have easily beaten you're selection. I for one love the One camera and is more than sufficient for my needs especially combined with Zoe. Not trying to defend anything and don't want to sound like a fan boy but I find you're selection utterly disappointing.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:08 2

40. Ninetysix (Posts: 1679; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-Comparison-Google-Nexus-5-vs-iPhone-5s-Sony-Xperia-Z1-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3-Galaxy-S4-LG-G2-Nokia-Lumia-1020-HTC-One_id3500

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:20 2

43. papss (unregistered)


Ultra pixel camera tech at 4 mp IS a huge flop.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:58 5

55. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Not to sound flippant, but the Ultra Pixel is on the list because this is our list. We debated a number of options and this is what we chose, because it was the most deserving in our opinions. I can't really comment on the various options you may consider more deserving, but you are certainly free to make your own list and disagree with ours.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 17:38 1

60. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


What's wrong with Michael Heller nowadays, he's siding Apple nowadays....... something's not right.......

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 18:08 3

64. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I've always tried to be fair. I was one of the editors pushing for iOS 7 to be on the list, but at the same time, I was defending iPhone 5c.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 18:01

62. giani (Posts: 269; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


Ok Mike, good to know. To be honest it was me being a bit disappointed with you rather than phonearenA and you 're 'list', because hey..if you are looking for decent, technical and not biased facts you would go to a site like say...anandtech. but yeah I ve read a few of you're articles in the past and it always occurred to me that u are actually a decent blogger\writer and really appreciated some of you're stuff. So yes...maybe that's why it is a bit disappointing.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 19:08

68. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Very well said. MichaelHeller is a great Editor, just like MichaelFisher on Pocketnow.

His articles always create loads a user posts.

But Michael use to be more fair and honest, but now he is siding Apple, giving them credit where it's not dued...

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 20:56

71. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 400; Member since: 24 May 2011)


If I had made the list the ultra pixel camera would have been the first name on that list. This List is exactly perfect for me.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:02 1

38. androiphone20 (Posts: 1521; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


+1 more people are still upgrading to iOS7 and it's just too early to call the 5c a flop

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 17:30 5

56. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Agreed.
5c is a recycled product. Apple neither put much effort developing it, nor expected huge sales numbers. It's funny to see Apple's recycled one beating the hell out of most other's flagships in sales numbers.

But why bashing iOS7? It's the first 64-bit mobile OS with great performance boost. It deserves a prize for technological achievement. Adding it to the flop list would have harmed the credibility of this site seriously.

Maybe Apple pulled out the transition too smoothly as if nothing, but we gonna see it being far more than a disaster with Android :
- Unlike Intel, toggling between 32/64-bit is a real pain in the a$$ with ARM. And Android is very vulnerable to this.
- The high level of fragmentation will heavily brake the transition process, rendering pretty much every attempt accelerating this useless.

It could even mean Gamer Over for some OEMs.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:33

51. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


5C was a "Moderate Failure".

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 17:39

61. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


More like "complete"

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 13:52 8

6. scsa852k (Posts: 303; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)


Although Galaxy Gear is a fail, at least it was something out of the ordinary.
HTC One is still a great phone despite the ultra pixel gimmick.

I would say BB10 and its phones.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:01 6

9. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Blackberry should be number one! No questions asked.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:09 7

12. datphoneguy (Posts: 141; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)


Moto X should probably be on the list...

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 14:37

18. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Why, they increased their market share?

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:08 1

41. darkkjedii (Posts: 12619; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


So post #23 is factual, and accurate huh?

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 16:23

45. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


He's presenting a hypothetical not a fact here. FAIL

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