10 consumer gadgets that bombed

The tech landscape is littered with electronic innovations that didn’t live up to expectations – or bombed from the get-go.

Michelle V. Rafter, MSN Money

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Jul 2, 2013 11:47PM
Beta flopped because sony would not license it - that's the only reason. Beta was better and played/recorded longer - up to 8 hours on one tape. Article is wrong on so many points.
Jul 3, 2013 9:42AM
Beta really died when the porn industry chose to go with VHS.
Jul 10, 2013 4:02AM


As a 3D TV owner, I take issue with this story. I love my 3D TV, and routinely enjoy using it's 3D capabilities. If ESPN is discontinuing it's 3D programming, it's because no one wants to watch the mediocre programming available on that channel. I have never once seen anything being broadcast on that channel that would make me want to pay the extra money each month to watch it on that channel. Furthermore, my 3D TV will convert 2D channels into 3D, making a subscription to a 3D channel completely irrelevant. why should I pay extra for something I can see for free with the hardware built into my TV? 3D TV is not an bad idea, just poorly executed by certain networks. I am an Xfinity customer, and there are (limited but good) available 3D shows with the OnDemand service, which is more (and better) than a subscription service. I truly enjoy every single one of the 3D Blurays I have purchased, and have had many compliments from friends and family, mostly how they with they had a TV like mine, and a few friends have eventually bought a 3D TV after experiencing mine. Plus, some video games are not supporting 3D capabilities, and I can attest to how great it is to play games such as Gears of War 3, and Black Ops 2 in 3D. And to all those who complain about having to wear glasses to watch 3D movies or play 3D games, who cares! It's a small price to pay for the added awesomeness of enjoying 3D technology. 3D TVs are not a bad investment, the available programming for these TVs is simply poorly executed.


Beta flopped because VHS was quicker and easier, and more available. I had a Beta player when I was younger, and Beta was superior in video and audio quality. Beta was the Blu-ray of its time, it was just way ahead of its time. In comparison, it was HI-FI before HI-FI, even though the same company (Sony) came up with both.



Jul 3, 2013 10:55AM
These are not failures. They're mostly great ideas that came and went. Most of these were very successful for a while. Poor title for the story.
Jul 8, 2013 9:35AM
Apple did not invent the GUI, "cute little icons".  Xerox PARC did.
Jul 2, 2013 7:15PM
Too bad the cell phone didn't make this list.
Jul 10, 2013 5:47AM
Jul 2, 2013 7:20PM
If 3-D TV is considered a failure, then why are the major TV manufacturers still turning out TVs with 3-D capability?
Jul 3, 2013 3:50PM
Beta was better by far.  Apple actually stole the graphical user interface and mouse from Xerox. If Xerox had not decided to kill the platform that their design team created, Apple, Microsoft and IBM would have lost and we all would be using Xerox computers.
Jul 3, 2013 6:55AM
While there are some TVs coming that dont use 3D glasses the main reason I see most not using 3D tv's is because they don't want to look like Stevie Wonder all the time.  I have 3D TV. I watched it when I opened the box and haven't used it since. Im up and down while watching TV. I can' tbe wearing glasses.
Jul 3, 2013 1:40PM

DAT! - (Digital Audio Tape)

I was always a cassette guy back in the day and this was going to be the next big thing - NOT!!!!


Jul 6, 2013 7:40AM
I'm sticking with Betamax and a landline.
Jul 2, 2013 11:49PM
What about the vinyl video formats? There were two different ones, both huge flops - more so than Beta or LD! 
Jul 2, 2013 8:12PM

More ESPN's failure to broadcast more than a handful of sports events in 3D that had real viewer interest...and then rerunning all the duds and oldies to fill timeslots.

Jul 10, 2013 3:14AM
Beta was such a superior format but just did not have the backing. I wouldn't have put it here as a "flop", because it actually was a very robust format. MSN is kind of lame for putting it here.
Jul 10, 2013 4:45AM

Wow... All the tech failures and no mention of MiniDisc (MD), Digital Audio Tape (DAT) and Digital Compact Cassette (DCC). MD was touted as the CDs successor, only to find out that it was pretty inferior soundwise. DAT at least had a life in recording studios for s short time. DCC was stillborn as well as inferior.


Jul 7, 2013 11:05PM
I love it that the "Archer" animated series has the Lisa used on all the I.S.I.S. spy agency desks.
Jul 3, 2013 12:48AM

It's way too early to say 3-D TV flopped. In the US I can see the slow adoption rate as a part of your argument but it's doing very well in the rest of the world. Also if my memory is correct the statistic about

only 2% of U.S. households owning 3-D TV is from 2011. I'm sure it is much higher than that now however, an argument can be made that many of the people with 3D TV's don't watch 3-D content on them.

Jul 10, 2013 3:57AM
Sony thought they had a they had a Royal Flush the machines and tapes they were not cheap so the other companies pulled together and Lowered the price in half so more people could afford VHS.This was the real downfall Price.Yes Beta was better in many ways but Price will win every time.By the time Sony saw this it was to late to get their heads out of their a--.
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