Biggest tech product flops of all time from Apple Maps to the first Tesla – did you have any?
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SILICON VALLEY is a factory for world-changing technology but if you bought any of these products, you were one of few.

Developers and investors really missed the mark with some of these product flops.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps landed with a thud when it was released in 2012

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Apple Maps landed with a thud when it was released in 2012Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk

The first version of Apple Maps was buggy, inaccurate, and did not give users a good reason to switch from Google Maps.

Apple CEO Tim Cook issued the ever-so-rare corporate apology on behalf of the software in a letter.

“With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” he wrote.

The public reception of the software was so bad that it was used as a punchline on the tech-startup-inspired comedy show Silicon Valley.

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Zune

The Zune was a personal music player produced by Microsoft

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The Zune was a personal music player produced by MicrosoftCredit: Reuters

All things considered, the Zune was pretty comparable to an iPod – a Slate review of Zune HD said “If you purchased one over the iPod Touch back in 2009, you wouldn’t have regretted it.”

Though the Zune was decent even in retrospect, it never took a real bite out of the market share, and the product line folded in 2012.

Apple founder Steve Jobs thought the Zune lacked an inspiring origin story.

He told biographer Walter Isaacson “The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love art or music.”

The Tesla Roadster

Tesla went from tech magazines' favorite punching bag to Automobile Magazine's car of the year

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Tesla went from tech magazines’ favorite punching bag to Automobile Magazine’s car of the yearCredit: AP:Associated Press

Missed deadlines and widespread skepticism resulted in the Silicon Valley-based tech magazine Valleywag naming the Tesla Roadster their number one failure of 2007.

Today, Tesla is the most valuable car company in the world with a market cap of more than one trillion dollars.

Faraday Future

The Faraday Future FF91 vehicle costs $180,000

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The Faraday Future FF91 vehicle costs $180,000Credit: Reuters

In 2017, a Faraday Future FF91 vehicle left an audience in a fog of awkward silence when its self-parking feature failed during a demonstration in Las Vegas.

Faraday Future founder and former CEO Jia Yueting filed for bankruptcy in 2019 to settle debts worth more than $3billion.

Earlier this year, Faraday Future employees were subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for presenting investors with inaccurate statements about Yueting’s involvement in the company since it went public.

Terra-Luna

Terra Luna collapsed during a dip in the overall crypto market

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Terra Luna collapsed during a dip in the overall crypto marketCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
Unlike cryptocurrency this tattoo isn't going away

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Unlike cryptocurrency this tattoo isn’t going away

Luna is a cryptocurrency that went from trading at $86 to less than a cent per coin in a matter of days.

Do Kwon, Luna’s founder, is a South Korean entrepreneur who tweeted “I don’t debate the poor” in response to a thread criticizing decentralized finance.

More than $17billion dollars of crypto-wealth were wiped out.

Facebook Phone

The HTC First was released in 2013 and discontinued the same year

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The HTC First was released in 2013 and discontinued the same yearCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

The HTC First was produced with a special Android interface that effectively ran on Facebook widgets and plug-ins.

AT&T marked down the price from $99 to just $1 when the device didn’t take with the public.

Consumers had reservations about integrating their hardware and software completely with Facebook for privacy reasons back then – the perception of Facebook’s security has not gotten stronger.

Facebook’s mobile phone failure could be a bad omen for their metaverse products.

Quibi

Quibi was a short-form streaming platform designed to be used on a phone

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Quibi was a short-form streaming platform designed to be used on a phoneCredit: Alamy

Tech outlets have declared Quibi to be a failure of identity.

Reporters at the The Verge wrote “The problem that Quibi could never address was, ‘Why do I need this?’”

The app came with a $5 subscription fee, the content was mediocre, and the company was the defendant in a lawsuit over the technology it used flipped videos from portrait to landscape.

Quibi began shutting down six months after its launch – Roku scrapped the company for parts and purchased all 75 of their programs.

Hyperloop

The Hyperloop concept is an underground tunnel loaded with high-capacity pods rocketing across long distances at high speeds

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The Hyperloop concept is an underground tunnel loaded with high-capacity pods rocketing across long distances at high speedsCredit: EPA
Elon Musk's Boring Company reignited chatter about Hyperloop with this update

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company reignited chatter about Hyperloop with this update

Touted by billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson, Hyperloop was supposed to render traffic a thing of the past and propel humanity into the future at 670 miles an hour.

“Honestly I think it’s a lot easier than people think,” Musk told CNN in 2015.

It’s 2022, and the closest thing publicly available is a 1.7mile tunnel under Las Vegas with Teslas going through it – Kylie Jenner thought it was cool, but it’s not getting anyone from San Francisco to LA in 35 minutes, yet.

Juicero

Juicero's founder reportedly compared himself to Steve Jobs

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Juicero’s founder reportedly compared himself to Steve Jobs

The Juicero was a high-tech blender whose primary competition was a person with two hands.

The company raised $120million in funding to produce a wifi-enabled blender that ran on pre-diced fruit packets.

After the fanfare for “the Keurig for juice” died down, consumers realized they could squeeze the packets by hand for the same results – totally eliminating the need for a $400 blender that connects to the internet.

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Product failures can have many explanations for why consumers didn’t dive in.

For every technology home run, there are scores of duds and flops scattered behind them.



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