Special Report

Best and Worst Gadgets of the Decade


Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Wave
> Year: 2010
> Company: Google

Wave was much-hyped as a new technology, with Google describing it as “what e-mail would look like if it were invented today.” It was expected to merge social networks, email, messages, and wikis together into one joint stream. But Wave was shuttered in 2012 after failing to gain substantial user traction.

Source: Hewlett-Packard

2. HP TouchPad
> Year: 2011
> Company: Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard’s TouchPad was the company’s response to Apple’s successful iPad. It was believed that because of the device’s exceptional processing speeds and video capabilities it would be successful. Unfortunately for HP, it was a major failure and was discontinued almost immediately. The company wrote off $885 million in assets in 2011 related to terminating devices such as TouchPad.

Source: Courtesy of BlackBerry

3. BlackBerry Playbook
> Year: 2011
> Company: Research in Motion

Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) took a $485 million hit in 2011 to help push its unsold inventory of the PlayBook tablet not long after its launch. The tablet could not compete with products from Apple, Android, or Amazon, and in 2013, the company announced the device would not be updated to the current operating system, thereby leaving it in the past.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Nexus Q
> Year: 2012
> Company: Google

Google unveiled its digital media player Nexus Q at Google I/O in 2012. The device was criticized for being overpriced and having a limited range of capabilities. The company responded by saying it would consider the feedback, and quietly killed the device in 2013.

Source: HStocks / Getty Images

5. Apple Maps
> Year: 2012
> Company: Apple

Apple Maps was a technical mess when it was first released with iOS 6. Maps was missing cities, mislabeling infrastructure, it had corrupt satellite data, and other issues. Apple CEO Tim Cook had to issue a public apology for the widespread inconvenience. Google quickly released a new version of Google Maps app later that year, which soon became the most downloaded free app in the App Store.