Top 5 Failed Mobile Phones That Have Left A Mark On Technology History
Ever since the first mobile phone was created in the year 1973 by Motorola, the industry has seen significant technological advancement; which has led us to where we are today, in a world of super advanced smartphones. But, in all the innovation, there were many failures. And some were so remarkable that they are still talked about today, as they have left a considerable mark on technology history. Here are the top 5 mobile phones that have failed badly in the market because of many reasons, but are still remembered for a major reason.
The Nokia N-Gage was released back in the year 2003, when the company was at the pinnacle of mobile technology. Phones from Nokia were everywhere and for good reason, but then it unveiled the N-Gage. Featuring a weird design, the mobile phone was marketed as a phone, a portable media device and a gaming console. Unfortunately, the N-Gage failed to deliver on either of the promises. The sub-brand was subsequently shut down in 2009, and the mobile phone has been since known as the Taco Phone, because of the shape. The Nokia N-Gage has been honoured by being included in the (in)famous Museum of Failures in Sweden.
BlackBerry, like Nokia, was also a force to be reckoned with in the early 2000s. The brand has been credited for making some of the most iconic mobile phones of its time; most of which were really popular among businessmen and corporate because of the enterprise level security and the amazing keyboard. However, after the rise of the popularity of iOS and Android, the BlackBerryOS started to feel outdated and was also void of essential applications.
The company then tried rebranding itself and launched the Z10 running BBOS 10. It was a touchscreen smartphone running an overhauled user interface. What was enticing, is that it also supported Android apps, but the jarring interface and the poor touch support made the Z10 a commercial flop.BlackBerry, in a bid to stay relevant, kept supporting the BBOS10 until the year 2015. The company then kept losing revenue and finally succumbed to using Android in smartphones starting the BlackBerry Priv in 2015. The licensing rights to the iconic brand now belong to TCL which still makes Android smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
It wasn’t so much that the Galaxy Note 7 from Samsung was a commercial flop, the smartphone failed as a product. When the company announced the device in the year 2016, the audience was wowed by all the impressive hardware and software features. It was such a hit product, that Samsung managed to sell millions of devices within days of release, and that’s where the problems started.
A lot of users reported that their Galaxy Note 7 started heating up, catching fire and then eventually blowing to smithereens. Samsung tried controlling the situation by recalling all the smartphones and fixing them. But even after the fix was supposedly put into place, more reports of Galaxy Note 7’s blowing up kept surfacing online. This led to the company eventually killing the product altogether.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was so infamous that memes about it are still popular today. It is also banned from being carried in most flights. The company and the customers have since moved away from the frightening experience, but the Galaxy Note 7 still remains in the memory of people.
Despite its condition today, Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC was a popular company in the first five years of this decade. In the year 2011, the company announced ChaCha and Salsa in a collaboration with Facebook. Aside from being horribly named, these smartphones featured a dedicated Facebook button. And while the latter was not anything spectacular, the ChaCha got all the hate because of the awkward design with a keyboard and again, the Facebook button.
The HTC ChaCha ran Android 4.0 Jellybean and as mentioned above, featured a keyboard. Because of the not so pleasing name (It literally means uncle in Hindi!) and the useless interface, the ChaCha was a commercial and critical flop.
Red Hydrogen One
Red, the company behind some of the best cinematic quality available today, tried its hands at making a smartphone in 2018. Called the Red Hydrogen One, the device boasts of a few impressive specifications, including a 4D Holographic display, a sturdy and different design and the ability to attach future camera accessories to the handset. However, due to the eye watering price tag starting at about US$ 1300 for the base variant, the smartphone did not sell well. Add to the fact that the display did not work as advertised and the processor used was also from 2017, the Snapdragon 835.
The Red Hydrogen One is a classic example of a company trying to do something they have no experience in, and failing badly. While it is all but confirmed that Red will not release a “Hydrogen Two” in the market, but the company is still expected to give the mobile phone business idea another try, hopefully in a different form.