Nokia’s Symbian mobile operating system is still the dominant software platform. But over the past year, the OS has been losing ground to Google’s Android platform, which according to Gartner and IDC is expected to be neck-and-neck with Symbian by 2014. If that happens, it would be quite a feat for Google. Unfortunately for Symbian, the way things went in 2010, the chances of that happening seem greater than ever.
RIM’s share of the mobile market has also been on the decline. In fact, Gartner recently revealed that “Apple’s share of the smartphone market surpassed Research In Motion in North America to put it in second behind Android.” That’s the first time that has happened to RIM against Apple. And it speaks to just how difficult it is for RIM to maintain buyers’ interest in the BlackBerry OS.
The 5-inch Dell Streak was supposed to be the tablet that would help Dell regain some of its lost consumer credibility. But all it did was make Dell look even more confused about what consumers want. The device includes a 5-inch display and runs an outdated version of Android. It’s a device that pales in comparison to Apple’s iPad, and clearly illustrates why most folks are opting for Apple’s tablet in that space.
Just last year, netbooks were all the rage, and many believed they could eventually replace lightweight notebooks. A year later and netbooks seem to be on their last leg. The main cause for that has been the iPad and other tablets that deliver the same level of mobility, but with a design and software that trumps anything being offered by netbooks.
6Googles Nexus One
Google’s Nexus One smartphone was officially discontinued in 2010. The device simply didn’t sell as well as Google would have liked, as there were many other products on the market that appealed to consumers more than the Nexus One. Google’s platform was a fine idea, but when it was all said and done, it just didn’t work.
7Microsoft Kin Smartphones
Microsoft had what it thought was a great idea this year: to deliver smartphones that would allow customers to engage with friends socially without all the extra bells and whistles available on more capable devices. The Kin smartphones resulted. And they subsequently failed. But now they’re staging a comeback with Verizon, and many are questioning why.
Adobe has had a rough year with its Flash platform. Although it’s now available on Google’s Android 2.2, Apple has been taking aim at Flash in a big way, both with its iPhone and the iPad. And in the process, it has prompted many companies to adopt HTML5 as an alternative to Flash. As of this writing, Flash is still tops in the online video and games market, but 2010 could be remembered as the year when that dominance started to crumble.
9iPhone 4 Antenna
If there was any “technology turkey” this year, it was the iPhone 4’s antenna. As soon as the highly sought-after device launched, people were experiencing antenna problems when they had a “death grip” on the device. After awhile, Apple acknowledged the issue and offered free cases to owners. But the damage was done. And the iPhone 4 will always have that mark against it.
10The JooJoo Tablet
The JooJoo tablet has an interesting back story that includes legal wrangling with tech blog TechCrunch, questions over how many people actually bought the device and much more. But when it was all said and done, the JooJoo tablet failed miserably. And it might just be remembered as the worst-performing product of 2010.
The Apple TV hasn’t been a failure. In fact, the product could very well have strong sales when it’s finally replaced by another product. But expectations about what the device would offer were high. And many were hoping for a lot more features. Instead, Apple provided a box that includes streaming, Netflix access and little else. It was a disappointment.