The year 2012 was a great year for mobile technology. Manufacturers have been churning great devices one after another and it seems like the choices are endless. The competition brought this generation’s devices to new heights. It even forced the iPhone to abandon their traditional screen size to opt for a bigger 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5.
However, as great as the year that passed was, there were still head-shaking and face-palming moments to remember (or forget).
Here are some of the biggest disappointments of 2012 in mobile tech:
The Vanishing Google Nexus Q
There’s a couple of streaming media players in the market that are doing well. You’ve got Roku and Boxee to name a few. Google decided that they want in on all that money and announced that they will be releasing their own streaming device, which is what the weird looking Nexus Q was supposed to be.
This supposed first social streaming device, however, got a ton of early negative reviews and deservedly so. For all the promise it gave, the capacity of the Nexus Q was limited only to the Google ecosystem, which are PlayStore and YouTube. That means no NetFlix, Hulu, or Pandora. And at a very expensive price of $300, it was doomed to failure.
Google delayed the release until summer but that never materialized either. It was subsequently removed from the Nexus landing page never to be seen again.
Windows RT on Surface Confused with Windows 8
After all the press about the Windows 8 and the subsequent hype surrounding the upcoming Surface tablet, a lot of consumers thought that the tablet will be sporting the vaunted OS. That is why a lot were surprised to find out that the first Surface tablet will be sporting a different OS in the form of Windows RT.
The initial reaction of the market, “What the hell is Windows RT?” It turns out that the RT is the limited version of the operating system that was designed for ARM processors of mobile devices like tablets. What is the difference between Windows 8 and RT? It turns out it is a lot. RT cannot run legacy apps and it cannot join network domains just to name a few.
It would have been acceptable if Microsoft actually did something to educate the consumers but they did little to spell out the differences. Couple that with the expectation of the casual consumer that it will have the full-featured Windows 8 and you have a disappointment in the making.
The Surface actually did well on sales, but to call it an iPad killer as Microsoft did is a big stretch.
The Inception-like iOS Maps
It was just a matter of time. With the feud between Apple and Google brewing, it is only natural for the former to push the latter’s products out of their turf and that includes Google Maps. So Apple developed their own Map app for their new OS, the iOS6. And what a beauty the 3D renders was. Unfortunately, that was all the good that came out of it.
Just a few days out and a slew of Inception-like pictures of distorted roads came out in the web. There were also reports of inaccurate directions and misplaced locations from the app. In addition, the beloved transit and walking directions from Google Maps was not adapted to the new Maps.
It was such a fiasco that Apple issued an apology to its customers and (gasps!!) recommends third party replacements.
Blackberry 10 is pushed to 2013
The biggest news about Blackberry is that there was nothing going on with Blackberry. With the dismal sales of their devices, founding co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were fired. The previous premier business phone brand was depending on their upcoming new platform, the Blackberry 10, to get them back in fighting form but that too was delayed and pushed to 2013 due to various reasons. So instead of being a comeback year, 2012 was a miserable one for RIM, their investors and the remaining loyal Blackberry fans.
Will 2013 be different? We will find out on January 31 when they officially launch the Blackberry 10 and the initial devices that will carry it.