VPRO-E Sci-Fi: The top 10 embarrassing tech flops of 2012


1. Apple Maps

( Apple )

Apple Maps was a rare misstep for Apple. CEO Tim Cook apologized for the quality of Apple Maps days after its release.

2. Path privacy breach

( mclov.in )

Developer Arun Thampi notices that the Path app is downloading his entire address book without asking his permission first. Internet freaks out. (Screen grab of part of Thampi’s blog post on the topic).

3. Facebook IPO

( Zef Nikolla / Associated Press )

Many thought Facebook’s IPO would be the most successful since Google went public in 2004, but after a few hours of gains, the stock slid back to its opening price and the slide kept going for the next few months.
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4. Fake Nokia Lumia ad

( Tony Avelar / Bloomberg )

Nokia introduced its new Lumia 920 with an impressive ad showing the phone’s video and night vision recording capabilities. Unfortunately, the ad wasn’t shot with Lumia 920.

5. Instagram’s almost privacy changes

( Lionel Bonaventure / AFP/Getty Images )

Instagram announces privacy changes. Internet revolts and users threaten to leave. Instagram retreats.

6. Research in Motion

( Brent Lewin / Bloomberg )

2012 has been a tough year for Research In Motion. For starters, the company failed to deliver on its goal of releasing BlackBerry 10, the next version of its mobile operating system, before the year’s end.

7. Oprah’s Surface tweet

( Michael Conroy / Associated Press )

Oprah Winfrey tweeted about how much she loved the tablet and had already bought 12 of them as holiday gifts. Unfortunately for Microsoft, though, it was quickly discovered that sent the tweet using an iPad.

8. Facebook’s chair commercial

( YouTube )

In October, Facebook announced it had reached 1 billion monthly users. To celebrate, the company released its first ad, comparing Facebook to … chairs.

9. Homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots

( YouTube )

It’s hard to imagine how anyone at BBH Labs thought that using homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots at SXSW was a good idea, but it happened, and it got a lot of attention.

10. Samsung’s killing puppies commercial

( YouTube )

If you blinked, you missed it, but for a few hours in November, Samsung was running a commercial that showed people beating on computers cutely animated with puppy dog eyes, ears, and tails.

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