PhoneArena Awards 2013: Flops and disappointments

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

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

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.


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.

Story timeline



1. Sauce unregistered

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

31. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Good show PA, jolly good show

70. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 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.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

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

78. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

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

91. willard12 unregistered

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.

3. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Where's the iPhone 5c?

5. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

It´s their stupidity, not Apples glory.

58. bigstrudel

Posts: 605; Member since: Aug 20, 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.

82. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 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.

7. tedkord

Posts: 17410; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

8. Sauce unregistered

Le sigh. Read the article.

85. tedkord

Posts: 17410; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Le sigh. I did, my point stands.

28. mikelemon

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

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

84. tedkord

Posts: 17410; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Large economy, small population.

10. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 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.

11. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

15. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

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

16. Sauce unregistered

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

19. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Awww :D

20. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

How is that relevant to the flops and disappointments list?

22. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

ugh, I know right

24. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 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:

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.

67. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

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

69. Username.

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 25, 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...

75. Jobayer

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

bitch plz

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31291; Member since: Feb 05, 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.

32. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 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?

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