06 December 2011

Shortest Lived IT Products

When a company invests in a product, it expects the product to do well, but some products fail to keep up with the company’s repute. Here are few products, which saw the daylight for a very short span of time.

Apple Power G4 Cube

apple, iPod, iPhone, power, G4, cube, G4cubeApple’s Power Mac G4 Cube, a sleek Mac desktop computer, was introduced in 2000 and discontinued in 2001. The Cube had a PowerPC G4 processor and an unconventional vertical slot for loading CDs or DVDs. It required a separate monitor with an ADC or VGA connection, and had an upgradable video card in the AGP slot. The Cube was criticized for being more expensive (it costed $1799) AND less-equipped than the Power Mac G4. The initial versions of the Cube had a manufacturing defect, leading to faint lines in the plastic case. Apple tried to boost the sales by offering more software with the Cube, lowering the price of the base model, and redesigning the unconventional CD-DVD drive, but none of these efforts could save the Cube. Apple announced that it was discontinuing the Cube in July 2001.

Sony eVilla

sony, ps, xbox, evilla, villaSony’s eVilla was an Internet appliance, which was released in June 2001 after 18 months of development. eVilla came at a price tag of $499 USD, and users could access the Internet, send and receive e-mail, play audio and video, and save files to Sony’s memory stick at an additional monthly fees of $21.95. The major drawback of eVilla was the inability to save pictures and media from the websites. It had no hard disk, but it could read and write to Sony’s memory stick, included keyboard and mouse and could be connected with additional ports. eVilla was discontinued on September 2001, within three months of its launch. The customers received full refund for the product and the subscription fees.

HP TouchPad

HP, touch, touchpad, notepadHP launched its TouchPad in July 2011, but discontinued the product in less than seven weeks. The TouchPad ran on HP’s webOS and had several notable features which allowed the users to multitask. The TouchPad could also receive calls and text messages forwarded to it from a webOS powered phone via the Skype application. Best Buy refused to pay HP owing to the fact that it was not able to sell even half of the inventory of the TouchPad that it had stocked. The TouchPad was criticized for a lack of apps, which hit its sales. In August 2011, HP announced to discontinue all webOS devices and focus on its personal computing units.

Palm Foleo

palm, touch, mobile, foleo, palm foleoPalm announced its subnotebook computer Foleo in May 2007. The Foleo was supposed to be a competitor to smartphones and ran on Linux. Foleo had a wireless access via Bluetooth and WI-Fi, included an e-mail client capable of syncing with tge Treo E-mail client, had an Opera web browser and the Documents to Go office suite. The Foleo was criticized for not being able to gain a market share, it was not pocketable, and was not fully functional either. Palm cancelled the development for Foleo in September 2007 and announced to return to its core products—smartphones and handheld devices.

Microsoft Kin

microsoft, ms, kin, zune, microsoft kinMicrosoft’s Kin, a series of mobile phones sold through Verzion Wireless was announced in May 2010. After several years into development and a cost of around $ one billion, Kin was touted to be a predecessor to the Windows Phone 7. Kin was due for release in the European market, but owing to the slow sales in U.S. the release was stopped. The series was discontinued in June 2010, leaving Microsoft to wonder why Verzion’s never promoted the phone actively.