2016 saw a significant progress in terms of tech innovation. Amazon was able to deliver its commercial drone in the United Kingdom while Ubers fleet of self-driven cars maneuvered their way in San Francisco and Pittsburg.
But there were some tech products that had a rough year. Others, like the iPhone headphone jack, were killed on purpose.
Do you remember the rise and fall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Well, that is just one of the top 10 tech products fails of 2016. Let’s get started!
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
If there is a year Samsung is ever going to give up on technology, then that year would have been 2016. The Korean-based firm was faced with a string of technology fails but the burning Galaxy Note 7 was the strongest kick.
It all started with a simple case of a user reporting an exploded Note 7 while charging and then many other reports came up, including law suits. The case became worse when airlines banned users from carrying their devices into the flight and eventually the production of the Note 7 was canceled.
Analysts believe the Note 7 debacle will put a $9.5 billion dent in sales and eliminate $5 billion in profits.
iPhone headphone jack
By introducing its flagship iPhone 7 this fall, Apple basically launched a death sentence for the iPhone 3.5mm port. As you would expect, the move raised eyebrows everywhere but the company stood its ground.
iPhone 7 buyers were offered with two alternatives: go wireless or use the lightning port. To help the transition to wireless headphones, Apple launched its own AirPods that cost $160.
The idea of wireless headphones may require more time before the market fully embraces it. This can be seen as an attempt by the smartphone giant to propel the audio market. Probably, years down the line we will be seeing thousands of headphones hanging in the ears with no wire connections!
One of the best holiday gifts you could get in 2015 were the Hoverboards but 2016 wasn’t favorable to the self-balancing scooters. After reports of burns caused by exploding devices, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed hoverboards unsafe. Transportation banned the presence of these devices in their vehicles; retailers canceled any sales, and, eventually, over 500,000 Hoverboards were recalled.
There was a striking resemblance between this and the Note 7. They both used lithium-ion battery packs which took the blame for the burns. But unlike Samsung’s Note 7, hoverboards was able to pick up later on in the year.
The much loved VCRs are being replaced at a faster rate with soft movies and music. The VCR manufacturer, Funai Electric, has quickly caught up with trend and canceled any future productions. There is no more production of video cassette recorders going on.
At its peak, the company sold 15 million VCRs in a year, but those numbers significantly dropped as DVDs, Blu-ray discs and, ultimately, streaming services hit the mainstream. Even so, Funai Electric still managed to sell 750,000 VCRs just last year.
This was at one time a darling in the smart watch world. However, Pebble’s software division was bought by FitBit – a fitness tracking company. CURRENT Pebble users did not welcome the news. Without getting software updates, the devices will soon be helpless.
The deal, which cost $40 million, didn’t include Pebble’s hardware, but it appears the company won’t be making more wearables. Reports indicate Pebble is pulling production on its Pebble Time 2 watch, which recently wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign. Early backers will receive refunds in the near future.
Among the first tech improvements that are attributed to Pebble include splash with smartwatches. It did so much earlier than Samsung Gear and Apple Watch made their way to the market.