Special Report

25 Biggest Product Flops of the Last 10 Years

Source: PhillDanze / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

11. AirPower Wireless Charging Mat
> Company: Apple
> Year introduced: 2017
> What it was: Wireless charger mat for Apple products

Few companies have a better track record of making good on claims about their products than Apple – but its AirPower Wireless Charging Mat failed to deliver. The product was supposed to be the go-to wireless charger mat for Apple products, powerful enough to charge an iPhone X, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time.

Red flags started appearing when the launch was delayed by 18 months. Apple vowed to correct the issues holding up the product launch. But in 2019, it had to concede that the mat was a misfire. Apple canceled the product, telling PC Magazine that it would “not achieve our high standards.”

Source: GoPro

12. Karma
> Company: GoPro
> Year introduced: 2017
> What it was: Drone

GoPro, which set the standard for action cameras, had some missteps when it came to developing drones. The Karma, operated with GoPro’s Hero4 and Hero5 cameras and priced at $800, was one example..

Unfortunately for GoPro, some drones fell during flight when the battery compartment door popped open. Karma also only had 15 minutes of flying time. Complicating matters further, there were better drones on the market. Sensing the bad karma with its drone, GoPro canceled it in January 2018 after reported layoffs and disappointing financial numbers in the fourth quarter.

13. Megyn Kelly Today
> Company: NBC
> Year introduced: 2017
> What it was: TV show

In January 2017, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly left the network after more than a decade to accept an offer from NBC to host an hour on the “Today” show. The highly publicized move was made in the hopes that Kelly would be the network’s next major star. However, nothing worked out the way Kelly or NBC wanted.

Her tenure at the “Today” show was marred by awkward moments on air and low ratings. The final straw was during an October 2018 show in which Kelly tried to explain the use of blackface on Halloween. By the end of the day she had issued an apology, but it was not enough. “Today” show veteran Al Roker and others criticized Kelly on air the following day. By the end of the week, it was clear Kelly would be let go.

Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images News via Getty Images

14. FTX Exchange
> Company: FTX Trading Ltd.
> Year introduced: 2018
> What it was: Cryptocurrency exchange

The cryptocurrency market was already reeling when the most spectacular financial company implosion possibly ever occurred in late 2022. FTX Exchange, founded in 2018 by MIT graduate and former exchange-traded funds trader Sam Bankman-Fried, was the third-largest centralized cryptocurrency exchange as of July 2021. In November 2022, the exchange and the companies in its circle collapsed abruptly, and Bankman-Fried resigned.

The exchange’s dissolution was attributed to “a complete failure of corporate control,” according to John J. Ray III, the new CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange. He called it an “old-fashioned embezzlement.” Investors and creditors are unlikely to get their money back. Bankman-Fried faces criminal charges connected with the sudden implosion of his billion-dollar empire and cryptocurrency exchange. He voluntarily consented to extradition from the Bahamas in December.

Source: Courtesy of Palm.com

15. Palm Phone
> Company: TCL
> Year introduced: 2018
> What it was: Smartphone

The Palm phone was introduced in 2018 as a companion device — a smaller-than-typical smartphone that shares a number with the user’s primary phone. The device was criticized when it hit the market for its short battery life, subpar camera, and inefficient operating system.

The idea was that it would serve as a minimalist device for those who are constantly distracted by their smartphones — but many rightly pointed out that buying another device is a counterintuitive way to simplify. The phone originally came with a price tag of $350, but is now available as a standalone phone for less than $200.

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