8 Biggest Tech Disappointments Of 2014 - InformationWeek

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12/29/2014
08:36 AM
Shane O'Neill
Shane O'Neill
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8 Biggest Tech Disappointments Of 2014

From Uber's dirty tactics to Silicon Valley's lack of diversity, look back at the year's biggest letdowns.
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1. Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon's Fire Phone was instantly razzed for being a smartphone disguised as an Amazon store rather than a viable iPhone competitor. Negative reviews citing low battery life, a gimmicky user interface, a premium price, and limited availability (AT&T only) kept consumers away. Price cuts followed. By September, the subsidized price with a two-year AT&T contract went from $199 to 99 cents, and more recently off-contract phones dropped from $649 to $449. Amazon also offered an unlocked phone in November to be used with any GSM carrier for $199 as a promo price, but that price is now at $449. Whatever the pricing scheme, Amazon has found itself sitting on $83 million worth of unsold Fire Phones. The lesson: Don't EVER take the smartphone market lightly.

1. Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon's Fire Phone was instantly razzed for being a smartphone disguised as an Amazon store rather than a viable iPhone competitor. Negative reviews citing low battery life, a gimmicky user interface, a premium price, and limited availability (AT&T only) kept consumers away. Price cuts followed. By September, the subsidized price with a two-year AT&T contract went from $199 to 99 cents, and more recently off-contract phones dropped from $649 to $449. Amazon also offered an unlocked phone in November to be used with any GSM carrier for $199 as a promo price, but that price is now at $449. Whatever the pricing scheme, Amazon has found itself sitting on $83 million worth of unsold Fire Phones. The lesson: Don't EVER take the smartphone market lightly.

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mejiac
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mejiac,
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12/29/2014 | 3:19:51 PM
Some Good Leassons Learned
Great Article,

On each item that's detailed there's a good leasson learned.

And there's a clear trend... and that is not actually determining what consumers want, but more on trying to determine it for them...and this has been time and time again to be a deatch sentence for any product.

 

Thoset that do hit a home run are simply giving people what they want, while others try to provide a future need that never really materializes, so you're left with a product that fails to take off.

Given the fact that social media can both easilly praise or sink a product via user reviews, companies should really put in the efforts of actually getting there products in the hands of actual users for beta testing. Google Glass I think it's the excemption, since the product is great, but it was the actual roll out and market introduction that got lost in translation
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 10:14:53 PM
Re: Some Good Leassons Learned
Among the lessons learned, perhaps my favorite is about the diversity of Silicon Valley. Google itself has taken this lesson to heart and is taking the issue head-on as an organization. Kudos. Can the same be said of Uber and its failings in 2014? There should almost be a lesson learned "grading" in this article.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 11:59:33 PM
How come
nobody mentioned that The Prate Bay was raid on December of this year and it's doubtful that the site will go up anytime soon.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 3:30:00 PM
Re: Some Good Leassons Learned
@Broadway0474,

I think a "grading" of the leassons learned would be a most interesting dialogue,

And I sadly would agree that Uber would fall to the top of the list (assuming that the higher the grade the worst it is)
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 10:38:31 PM
Re: Some Good Leassons Learned
Thanks, meijiac. I suppose a startup that is valued so high, seemingly for accomplishing so little, doesn't need to learn a lesson? Why learn a lesson if investors and consumers continue to be willing to dump money at your feet?
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2015 | 9:24:40 AM
Re: 8 Biggest Tech Disappointments Of 2014
Uber the "ride sharing bully"..seems more and more the case. I was actually offered a tech support job by Uber, but eventually turned it down for multiple reasons. They may be a new "successful" company, but at what cost?
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