The HP TouchPad was discontinued for a fundamental reason: It couldn't match the quality of its competitors. Although the device sold well at $99, that was only because the price was reduced to the point where it became a bargain as HP discontinued the model and sought to clear out its inventory. The TouchPad tried to be the iPad, but it failed.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook was going to be the tablet that would appeal to the enterprise, but it failed to give users access email or messaging applications without connecting through a BlackBerry smartphone first. The BlackBerry PlayBook's dismal sales show just how little RIM understood about tablets prior to its launch.
The Cisco Cius was another tablet that was supposed to appeal to corporate users. But after facing the iPad juggernaut in that space and realizing that IT decision-makers apparently don't like the idea of tablets running Android, the Cius became an also-ran.
The Motorola Xoom's 10.1-inch display and Android 3.0 Honeycomb installation was supposed to be a worthy rival to the iPad. But once consumers discovered that Honeycomb really wasn't ready for public use and the Xoom's 10.1-inch display couldn't quite match the iPad 2's screen, the device failed.
Acer Iconia Tablet
Acer understands how to build high-quality computers, but when it comes to the tablet market, the company seems lost. The Iconia tablet, while it has a decent design, wasn't differentiated in any way from competing products. What's more, poor marketing caused many consumers to overlook the device. With a better strategy, the Iconia tablet could have caught on. But it didn't.
The T-Mobile SpringBoard, which runs Android, is designed to be a cheap alternative to some of the other devices on store shelves, like Apple's iPad. The only issue is, the $200 tablet comes with a small, 7-inch display and is competing against the wildly popular Amazon Kindle Fire. Simply put, the SpringBoard is an afterthought. As a result, the device produced lower-than-expected sales this year.
Coby Kyros Tablet
Ever heard of the Coby Kyros Tablet? No? You're not alone. The Coby Kyros tablet line offers just about any screen size and flavor customers are after. However, the device's Android 2.3 installation is the wrong operating system for tablets, and its generally poor design might turn customers off if they actually happen to stumble across it in the market. Coby is just one of those firms that can't get tablets right.
Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet
Velocity Micro is one of the best boutique computer makers in the world. But when it comes to tablets, the company seems lost. Its Cruz tablet, for example, runs Android 2.3 (first mistake) and features a bulky design that many consumers might find downright unwieldy. Its $299.99 price tag is attractive, but in a market where there are so many high-quality slates, Velocity Micro's option just doesn't seem all that appealing.
As a television vendor, Vizio is tough to beat with its solid performance and low prices. This year, the company tried to follow that strategy with its own tablet. However, the device couldn't quite decide if it was an iPad competitor or a really neat TV remote. And in either case, consumers didn't care.
Like the Coby Kyros, the Pandigital SuperNova is a tablet that most customers don't even know exists. The device runs Android and comes with some nice features, including micro-HDMI output and a microSD slot, but its odd 8-inch screen puts it in no man's land between the 7-inch Kindle Fire and the 9.7-inch iPad 2. Add that to Pandigital's general lack of brand recognition, and it's no wonder the SuperNova was ignored this year.