There has been no shortage of successful product launches in 2012. Think the iPhone 5 and “The Avengers.” In order for companies to have successful launches, they must invest a great deal, ranging from thousands of development hours to millions in marketing costs. Yet, sometimes, despite the best efforts and the large investments, the products fail. 24/7 Wall St. editors reviewed 2012 product launches to find which were the biggest flops.
To be considered a flop, the company that rolled out the product must have invested significant resources in its development and marketing. Once the product was released, the failure had to have happened quickly. None of the products on our list were on the market much longer than a few months before they were regarded as a flop. Finally, once the products failed, the companies took a sizable hit to both their reputation and, in some cases, their bottom line. One company, Sony, has two products on this list.
These products failed for several reasons. Some of the flops were due to significant company errors that caused the product to be faulty. Apple Maps, one of the worst flops of the year by any measure, was riddled with egregious flaws such as mislabeled buildings, streets and even cities. Sony’s unusual clamshell shaped tablet sold so poorly the company stopped offering it on its American Website.
Competition from popular rivals also played a major role in these flops. ABC’s “Pan Am” initially started off with strong ratings, but the novelty quickly wore off, and the series did not have enough to offer to viewers over other popular shows or sports. Sony’s PlayStation Vita had trouble competing with the popular Nintendo 3DS, never mind competition from smartphone and tablet gaming. The Nokia Lumia 900, which operates on Microsoft’s Windows operating platform, just did not stand a chance against the strong branding of app-heavy Google Android and Apple iOS-based phones.
The intense competition that many of these products faced made pricing difficult. AT&T, which carried the Lumia, had to cut the price of the already inexpensive phone due to lackluster demand. Intel’s Ultrabook was widely panned as too expensive, especially with more people taking advantage of cheaper mobile options.
These are the worst product flops of 2012.