PhoneArena Awards 2014: Flops and disappointments

PhoneArena Awards 2014: Flops and disappointments
Have you ever had one of those ideas that seemed great on paper, but then failed in practice? Don't worry, we all have and know how that feels. The truth is that nobody is immune to failure – neither average Joes, nor the managers of billion-dollar businesses. 

Speaking of failures, the mobile industry did see a few flops and disappointments over the course of 2014, so we thought we'd highlight three of the most notable among them. Here are three good examples of how a seemingly brilliant idea may lead to underwhelming results if not thought out well. These are the Amazon Fire Phone, the OnePlus One, and Nokia's X phones.

The Amazon Fire Phone

Riding the wave of success triggered by its Android-based Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon boldly announced that a smartphone was also going to join the family. And so it did – the Amazon Fire Phone was released through AT&T on July 25 for $199.99 on a 2-year contract. It was a pretty decent phone in terms of specs, and on top of that, it came with a handful of perks, including a 3D-esque visual effect in some apps and games, a year of Amazon Prime service for free, and Mayday customer support. This, however, wasn't enough to convince buyers that the Fire Phone was worth picking instead of, let's say, a Galaxy S5 or an LG G3, neither of which was more expensive than Amazon's offering at the time. In fact, the Fire Phone flopped so bad that Amazon had to write off $170 million worth of unsold handsets. This was followed by a Fire Phone fire sale. In late October, Amazon dropped the price of its phone to $199.99 off-contract.

The OnePlus One and its limited availability

There's no denying that the OnePlus One is a pretty good smartphone. With its design, specs, and feature set, it is a worthy rival to any 2014 high-end handset. So, what is it doing on this list then? Well, the company behind the "2014 flagship killer" and "perfect smartphone" set our expectations sky-high prior to announcing the device. The hype grew even further when the device's $299 price tag was announced. But then came the bitter truth – one couldn't buy the OnePlus One just like that. Purchasing one required an invitation, and these were frustratingly difficult to get. The phone did go on sale through retailers eventually, but it sold at a higher cost. It took until September for OnePlus to ditch the invite scheme and go with a proper pre-ordering system instead.

The Nokia X series

Remember the Nokia X, X+, XL, and X2 – Nokia's extremely affordable Android-based smartphones? Nobody's going to blame you if you don't since they didn't make much of an impact on the market. In fact, Microsoft froze their development this summer without hinting that the lineup would ever be expanded. The Nokia X phones were cheap and well-built, but slow, rough around the edges, and limited in terms of software. They had no access to the Google Play store, which meant that users who wanted to install an Android app had to either sideload it, or download it from a third-party marketplace. And since decent low-cost Android phones could be had for just a few bucks extra, the Nokia X phones simply couldn't manage to stand out.

Story timeline



1. htcforlife

Posts: 73; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

About the time the OPO was released i was dying to get my hands on one. But Thanks to their stupid invite system i opted to go for the G2 a month later and no regrets.

2. Fallen1

Posts: 288; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

Thats exactly how I felt towards the One+, I now have the note 4 and couldnt be happier

4. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

How much did the g3 cost and how much did the note 4 cost? Exactly. I broke my budget limit to get the OPO (Yes I'm poor). I waited about a month to get my invite its totally worth the wait. atm is way more easier to get one now (they're on sale right now) but I guess you can also get an invite on eBay for about 20 bucks or just buy it online for about $400 (64GB)

17. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

Well he's referring to the G2, which is around $350 and has alot of things going for it that the OPO doesn't.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

See the One+ wasn't an option for me (Verizon), but even if it was I would never do something like pay for an invite. They suck up all the invites and then scalp them? No way I'm gonna support that.

49. Fallen1

Posts: 288; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

Well I just financed my Note4, no way did I feel comfortable dropping $740 all at once

26. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

they should have included xiaomi with their hunger games tactics, and xiaomi mi3 powerful yes, but only 16gb available on our country, what piece of sh*t they are, also the powerbanks and their headset aren't available, you check it daily and it is stup!d so yeah, i looked away on that company now, don't like making me look a beggar, who waits for their alms

3. proto

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

i agree, so i decided to stay with my SGS4 and saved some money. Maybe next time One+

36. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Why is iPhone iPad not on the list?

37. EC112987

Posts: 1215; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

really dude stop trolling. the iPad mini was a bit a disappointment but not the iPhones

41. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

You lost out. I have had the G2 and my OPO is much better even at a much lower price.

47. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

Well I was in the same boat until disappointment came visiting in the form of the One+ size. It's just to big for what they were promising. Last week I bought a G2 and couldn't be happier. :D It's significantly smaller, while almost presenting the same screen real estate and the performance is well above anything I could demand. Battery life is huge and the availability of ROMs and accessories makes for a very complete Android experience. The unique button interface works very well and the knock code id very practical. ZERO REGRETS.

5. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

you forgot ALL THE" Prime, Galaxy, Core, A5, A3 S5 Plus, Pocket, Galaxy 2,3,4 5, AND 6, Grand, Grand Prime C, Ace, Note, Edge, Mega, Alpha and many more Kia's...thumbs tired.

7. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Wow original samsung bashing post, go you! Did you spend your whole day trying to find an article to post your unoriginal comment on?

11. g2a5b0e unregistered

The haters gon' hate. I was expecting a lame comment like that one. +1

16. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

just read Pa. they are all in here. samsung releases 3 phones a week so it only took 10 minutes to find all the samsung phones released in the last 6 months

24. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Only a few of them were set to be the next big thing. The point was supposed to be something possibly groundbreaking, and it fell short. One+ was supposed to turn the industry on it's ear offering a flagship at rock bottom prices, but the invite system kept it from being truly revolutionary. The Nokia X was the answer to the prayers of everyone wanting Nokia to make an Android phone. Unfortunately they skimped on the specs and made it a MS experience device rather than a Google one. It could be hacked to run Google Android, but the hardware didn't really make it worth it. The Amazon phone was supposed to take the phone industry by storm like their Fire tablet did with the tablet industry. Unfortunately it fell short, horribly, horribly short. So it wasn't about releasing a bunch of phones and not having every single one set the sales charts on fire. It was about a few that had the potential to really shake up the industry, but the hype leading up to them was matched by the disappointment in the outcome. And before the One+ people start in on me, what I said had nothing to do with the phone itself, but the way it was sold.

31. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1776; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Please name the 3 that were released this week. Go ahead im waiting.

22. icrappy

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

all of it was successful in different markets

44. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It really physically hurts you that the Note 4 is so much better than every other phone on the market. Just pure pain.

50. dc123

Posts: 20; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

It definitely ain't the best looking phone, especially not the white version

6. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

that's all?

8. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I agree with the list, but I personally would add the iPad mini 3 and the M8's camera.

12. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

iPad Mini 3 was a flop

38. EC112987

Posts: 1215; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

i agree as well

9. QuadFace

Posts: 179; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

What about Ultrapixel?

29. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

To be fair, that's last year's flop. They just carried it over to 2014.

10. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

As a Lumia fan... Lumia 930 was a big disappointment for me

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

What didn't you like about it?

42. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

the battery the camera and also the screen lacked some lumia features like was a downgrade to lumia 1520

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