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Ten Biggest Failed Products From World’s Biggest Companies

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The big companies sometimes do not get it right and, unfortunately, their failures are never hidden. Unlike startups, their failures make the news and get competitors reeling.


Check out the ten biggest goofs from top companies in the world.


1. New Coke, 1985

Pepsi was gaining more ground in the early 1980s, so Coke devised an idea they thought was somewhat brilliant. While the “Pepsi Challenge” ads were at full swing, Coke decided to create a product that was more like Pepsi. The product turned out to be misleading and did nothing for the coke brand. They decided to abandon the product and returned to the original Coca-Cola formula naming it the “Coca-Cola Classic”.


2. Apple Newton, 1993

Apple released the Newton Personal Digital Assistant in 1993 before it became so popular. The product failed for a few reasons. It was a little pricey at $700. It was also 8 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide, so it was bulky. The handwriting recognition made it to an episode of “Simpsons” for how awful it was. However, the introduction of the iPad many years later made up for it.


3. Nintendo Virtual Boy, 1995

This was a push into virtual reality technology. The games had low-resolution graphics and came in black and red. The company sold less than 1 million units and made history as the biggest Nintendo hardware flop.


4. Microsoft Zune, 2006

The product intended to compete against Apple’s iPod, but it did not. People already had the iPod and saw no reason to invest in the same product from a different brand. The former leader of Microsoft’s home entertainment and mobile business, Robbie Bach, said they ended up chasing Apple with a product that wasn’t bad but was still a chasing product.


5. HD-DVD, 2006

Toshiba mostly sponsored the HD-DVD. It was meant to become the hi-definition upgrade to the DVD which launched in March 2006. But Sony’s Blu-ray won the market when it was released on 4th January 2008. Toshiba had to shut down its HD-DVD about a month after. Even after so many years, Blu-ray is still the most dominant media format for video playback.


6. Joost, 2007

Originally called “The Venice Project” Joost was to be a TV network for the future. Invented by Skype’s parent company, the platform aimed to change to the way professional videos were consumed. While Joost was dealing with a bulky software player, content library and more, Hulu came and became the go-to website to catch up on TV series. Joost launched in September 2007, but it never took off.


7. Google Lively, 2008

Google wanted to compete with a game-like virtual world app for social interactions, Second Life, with Lively. The company had to pull the plug on the platform in November 2008. It was unsuccessful because Second Life itself was very controversial and not mainstream. Their bid to start a less delicate version failed.


8. JooJoo, 2009

JooJoo had to stop production as soon as it launched. It came out in 2009 and was gone in 2010. It was described as an inferior tablet computer that cost $499 but did not work. The product was the same price as Apple’s iPad that launched during the same period.


9. Facebook Home, 2013

This was Facebook’s effort to be the home screen of your phones. Reviews named it a mess and, in less than a month, the two-year subscription plan dropped from $99 to 99 cents. Users complained that it uses up a lot of data and battery. It was only recommended for Facebook addicts. There were later reported that Facebook disbanded the team originally assigned to the project.


10. Amazon Fire Phone, 2014

Amazon released its fire phone in 2014 but discontinued it the following year. It ran on the Android Operating System, but it was a failure. The 3D face scanning technology it advertised as its main selling point was regarded as a gimmick. It was also available in limited stocks. All these affected the success of the product.

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