The Biggest Losers of 2012
It’s that time again when we slowly need to get used to writing a new number when mentioning dates; luckily thanks to our smart devices we don’t need to go out and look for a 2013 wallet calendar, unless we really want to. It’s that time when we look back at what happened this year, with all the goods and bads, and anxiously look forward to what next year might bring.
As usual here at Pocketnow we’re happy to tell you what we think, and we’re excitedly waiting to hear your opinions, in our upcoming series which will contain both 2012 recaps and 2013 predictions.
We’ll have something for everyone! Every day this week expect a new piece gathering the thoughts of our team members regarding the topic at hand. We’re continuing our series with the biggest losers of the year we’re about to leave behind and here’s what the Pocketnow team members think:
Blackberry. There has been almost zero buzz, discussion or interest in Blackberry this year. Nokia has been in the losers column for a few years, but at least they’ve seemingly stopped the decline and there’s plenty of positive buzz surrounding their products.
This is a tough one and, since I can’t really decide which of those I have in mind gives me more negative feelings, I’ll start by saying that Research in Motion, like last year and the year before that, failed to impress (or relevantly exist). The company is doing everything in its power though to keep above water, save what can be saved, which is commendable, however, they failed at generating buzz, releasing something interesting and, needless to mention, stopping the decline.
And, while talking about decline, HTC was late to realize that it’s time to stop things going south. Good thing is that they did, in the end. The One series could have been a success if it weren’t for Samsung to raise the bar. Should the Droid DNA come out earlier (and globally) I would have considered the product a winner for 2012. Unfortunately, at the moment, it can only act as a teaser of things to come.
Sony wasn’t bright either. Sure they had all the Xperia models but the design policy reminds me of HTC, reusing the same blueprints for most of their models.
Last but not least, the Microsoft Surface. While not necessarily a bad product, an interesting one at that, misleading to the untrained eye, expensive, surrounded by a bad marketing campaign too busy to emphasize on the cover click rather than explaining what the product or Windows RT is all about. Oh, and those Apple Maps!…
HTC lost again in 2012. This year was about the One X for them, which out of the box provided a laggy Android experience and a camera that underperformed (but that was overhyped). They released the phone too early as to be outshined by the Galaxy S III, and they didn’t make it available on enough carriers to really proliferate the HTC brand. Also, their marketing was sparse this year. It’s time for HTC to bring back the “You” campaign!
It’s hard to actually pick a loser for 2012. A lot of what is considered a failure is barely trying to prove itself, and 2013 could serve as either a catapult into its success, or just a much deeper grave into irrelevance. I commend Microsoft for giving hardware a try, and there’s really nothing wrong about the beauty behind the Microsoft Surface, but for me, Windows RT is the first loser. With so many names to give something that’s not Windows a better description, they still tried to call it that way.
Apple definitely deserves its own “worst tech of the year” award for maps, and specially after making me drive around in circles for an hour weeks ago looking for a Target Super Store.
Sadly the cake on my list is taken by Nokia. Surely they’re a smartphone maker and did their job right with great hardware across the line, but Windows Phone still hasn’t proven to be their ticket to success, and their PureView fake and embarrassing marketing Ad really showed how desperate they are in showing the world something they still can’t do.
Without a doubt, the biggest fail for the year was Apple’s botched roll-out of Apple Maps. I don’t bring this up to spite Apple, rather to call out the advantages of using the community as part of the development process, rather than keeping users in the dark until a “Ta Da! Here’s the latest and greatest!” reveal. Everyone has learned from Apple’s mistake, which will only make things better going forward.
It might seem strange to call out iOS as a “loser” in any sense – its sales figures are astronomical as usual, and the platform just saw its first major hardware revisions in two years in the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, both of which are popular devices. But with the Maps fiasco, corporate departures galore, and an interface that even some average consumers are starting to call out as stale next to competitors … iOS hasn’t had the best year ever. In the meantime, Android-bearing competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy family are just stepping harder on the gas. iOS might still winning the popularity contest in the average-consumer space, but it’s no longer doing so by as wide a margin.
Chief News Editor
Apple just doesn’t have the spark it used to. Maps in iOS 6 was a huge embarrassment, and the company had no business releasing the iPad 3 in the spring when it planned to replace it before the year was even out. I also think 2012 was a big swing-and-a-miss for Microsoft. I can hardly recall a single positive thing said about Windows 8, and despite its marketing push, the Surface RT is struggling to find a home for itself. Windows Phone 8 sure seemed promising, but now that it’s here, it seems less than the game-changer it needed to be. Both companies put on showings I’d have to describe as “underwhelming”.
The Pocketnow Reader
Let us know of your thoughts in the comments below. Upvote your favorites and we’ll update this post to reflect your biggest losers for 2012. Top three upvoted devices, platforms, OEMs, will make it here, you know, for posterity!
Update: According to comments, upvotes minus downvotes, The Pocketnow Reader considers Apple Maps, HTC One Series and RIM as a losers for 2012. If you don’t agree, contribute in the comments with your own take, upvote or downvote.