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15 tech disasters for early adopters

Buying new gadgets on day one: brave

Whether or not you believe that early adopters of new tech always get screwed, history proves that buying the latest gadget on day one isn't always a great idea.

Sometimes, expensive products quickly become dirt-cheap, hype transforms into obsolescence, and early support is rewarded with a stab in the back. Consider these examples of the 15 biggest early-adopter fails (and the year they let us down) and tell us if a tech company has ever treated you worse

Sega 32X (1995)

Flying high off the success of the Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega became a little too eager to jump into the 32bit era. The 32X, released in late 1994, was a peripheral that plugged into the top of the Genesis, and was supposed to be like an entirely new console. But with the launch of the Sega Saturn looming, most consumers cheerily ignored the add-on. Those who didn't were stuck with a product that Sega discontinued less than a year later.

Apple iMac G3 (1998)

When Apple released the first iMac all-in-one computer in August 1998, the machine was stylish, colourful, and hopelessly outdated almost immediately after purchase. Within the iMac's first eight months on the market, Apple upgraded the specs three times, so if you waited until April 1999, you had a 333MHz processor instead of a 233MHz CPU, an extra 2GB of storage, an additional 4MB of graphics memory and - most important for Apple fashionistas - a choice of five more colours.


  1. It doesn't always pay to line up early
  2. Windows ME
  3. Blu-ray players
  4. Xbox 360
  5. HD DVD
  6. Lala music service
  7. 3DTV
  8. Motorola Xoom

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