The world of technology can be awe inspiring in its glory. From devices that ooze brilliance to state of the art technology convincing us that the future is here, it might look like a big glittery scene to an observer. But someone once said that all that glitters is not gold, and they were definitely right about that for the technology world. Sometimes, all the brains and experience at the top tech companies all over the world cannot prevent a massive fail, that would seem pretty obvious in retrospect. Well, after all the judgement calls are out and the numbers are debated, we are left with a list of fails this year that definitely remind you of what NOT to do as a tech company – whether you make smartphones or sell groceries!
Samsung Note 7
The Note series from Samsung has seen favorable demand over the years and hence, when Samsung announced the Note 7 this year in August a lot of people wanted to get their hands on the device. But once the device started selling, that demand was turned on its head as several handsets of this model began exploding around the world. Samsung was quick to respond, but by the time they did, the damage was done. And when the relaunched replacement Note 7 devices also began exploding, the fate of the Note series was almost sealed. Samsung recalled all Note 7 devices and has put the Note series on hold indefinitely. Well, when tech companies talked about explosive publicity, we’re pretty sure they didn’t mean it literally!
If ever there was a design fail, it’s got to be this one. To add insult to injury, Apple has started a thriving dongle business. Want to connect anything that uses a regular USB port to your new Macbook? A pendrive perhaps, or a USB keyboard? You’re going to need a USB-C to USB converter that sells for a mere $19. Want to hook your macbook to a TV? Just $70 and you can get the digital AV adapter to be able to use an HDMI port along with a USB 3.0 port.
A steal this one! And what if you just bought a brand new iPhone 7 Plus last month? Just $25 to get a dongle to connect that. Do you happen to have a Thunderbolt 2 device? There’s a dongle for that (at $50)! Got an SD card that you want to connect? A dongle for that (at $50 again)! VGA? Dongle ($50)! Gigabit Ethernet? Dongle ($26)! And if you’ve got older devices, Apple has already had a wide array of connectors available for you to make your world look like a tangled mess.
LeEco runs out of cash
One look at Chinese manufacturer LeEco and you would think that they’ve expanded very quickly. You would be right. Perhaps a bit too right for LeEco’s well-being. The company has made 11 smartphone models along with Smart TVs, Bluetooth speakers and has recently also forayed into the domain of self-driving cars. This October, the car was unveiled in the US with LeEco’s ambitions in the space being apparent.
What people did not expect was a letter from the Chairman of the company to the employees less than a month later in which he admitted that the company was in a cash crunch. In the letter, Jia Yueting admits that sustaining the headfirst rush into an array of businesses, ranging from smartphones to electric cars has caused the LeEco group to face a dire cash situation. He also apologises and promises to invest $10 million into the company while cutting his own salary to 1 yuan, while assuring the employees that they will follow a moderate pace of growth going forward. As if this wasn’t enough, rival smartphone maker Xiaomi jumped at this opportunity to draw focus onto the lack of clarity surrounding LeEco’s outstanding debt. This led to a unpleasant exchange of responses over social media from both the companies that could and should have been avoided. These fundraising issues haven’t been a bouquet of roses for the company with issues cropping up in approval of state bonds for LeEco’s electric car factory in the US. Well, as they say, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
No Man’s Sky
All the procedural generation could not hide the fact that the game was barely anything more than a repetitive planet to planet jumping simulator with little new to offer after the first few hours of gameplay.
While it registered an initial concurrent player count of 212,000 on Steam – the highest ever of any game – as players gradually figured out the limitations of the game they started dropping out. Just a week after launch the count was down to 23,000 and as of September 2016 it came down to as low as 2,100. Sales dropped by 81% in UK by the second week itself. There were numerous reactions and videos posted online that explicitly listed the features that Hello Games had promised and not delivered on with No Man’s Sky. At the moment of this article being written, the game had an Overall User review rating of ‘Mostly Negative’ with more than 75,000 reviews contributed.
From the most anticipated gaming title ever, No Man’s Sky quite effortlessly went on to become a perfect example of an over-marketed, overpromising, under-delivering game. The world of gaming can get repetitive and boring. And when something that promises to be fresh and ground breaking disappoints on that field, the gaming world will not be forget or forgive. This was definitely the biggest fail of 2016 in the world of gaming.
A 10.20x12.75-inch version costs $199 and a larger 13x16.25-inch version costs $300! That’s over `20,000 for the larger book! Let’s assume that we agree that all Apple products are extremely well designed, and that their successful sales over the last 20 years does justify this book…..(it doesn’t, but let’s assume it does). This means that every page in the larger book will cost you `45.
Yes, that’s `45 for a picture of an Apple product. Apple’s Chief Designer Jony Ive has said that he hopes it will serve as a “resource for students of all design disciplines”. We think that perhaps all of the books you need for your design course put together would come cheaper, and actually be related to your degree! Would you buy this book?
Call of Windows
Windows has been trying for a while to establish the Windows Store as a credible source for your applications and games. Quite a few games have been launched on it and that includes the recently launched title Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. While the game itself has received mixed reviews for its repetitive and predictable formula, there was an instance that brought to light the shortcomings of the Windows Store.
In early November it was revealed that the Windows Store version of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was not compatible with the Steam version. What this meant was that if you purchased the game through the Windows Store you would not be able to play multiplayer over Steam. Now, multiplayer is one of the big reasons why people are still playing Call of Duty. One Reddit user explained that their cousin had purchased the more expensive bundle of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare because of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered that came along with it.
Now when the user fired up MW Remastered, they discovered that they were one of the two people looking for a match, while at the same moment over 4,000 players were playing the game on Steam. Understandably, the player complained to Microsoft about the lack of players to play on multiplayer with. Microsoft took note and issued a refund without hassle. Of course, this does not mean that the Infinite Warfare itself was a fail in this situation, but when it comes to that the outlook isn’t great there either. There is significant confusion regarding the game being a part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere program as the platform compatibility listing on the Windows Store isn’t clear.