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80,259 News Articles

2007's 13 biggest technology flops

Hyped products that were unlucky for some

These much-hyped products and services from the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Facebook turned out to be lemons of the bitterest kind.

#5. The great, the bad, the ugly: Apple iPhone

Apple iPhoneYes, we know. Sliced bread only wishes it were as great as the iPhone. And aside from minor flaws such as a tiny touch keyboard and lack of Flash support, the phone itself is pretty terrific. But the phone's 'broadband' mobile internet service and single (long-term) contract with only one carrier? Definitely second-rate. But if you want to switch from O2 to a different carrier - or pay as you go - you have to take your chances with the hackers.

The massive price tag doesn't help. If you've just shelled out the best part of three hundred quid on a phone, a monthly tariff of up to £55 is less than welcome.

And those who did try to open their iPhones to other carriers or third-party applications found themselves owners of £269 iBricks when Apple tweaked the firmware to lock them out.

Memo to Apple: it's time to treat iPhones for what they really are - pocket computers with phone functions built in - and open them up the world. Just a thought.

Apple iPhone: the definitive UK review.

#4. No friend of dissent: Yahoo

We can't say we really expected much out of Yahoo in 2007. Giving CEO Terry Semel the boot was probably a good thing - especially after his $230m compensation package came to light.

Installing the original Yahoo, Jerry Yang, as head honcho also seems like a smooth move, even if the company seems permanently stuck in the number two position behind Google.

Yet there's one area where Yahoo can lay claim to being number one: creating political prisoners. At least three times over the past five years, information supplied by Yahoo to the Bejiing government has led to the incarceration of Chinese dissidents.

This year, Yahoo executives admitted they'd lied to US Congress when they claimed not to know why the Chinese demanded their subscriber data. Yang and general counsel Michael Callahan were forced to deliver a humbling public apology in front of a Congressional committee. Shortly thereafter, the company settled a suit brought by two of the dissidents' families.

Not so smooth.

NEXT PAGE: the antisocial network and high-definition goes low brow > >


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