4. Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Now, what could possibly beat privacy-violating eyewear as the definitive failed gadget of the decade thus far? How about an exploding phablet? Whatever Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930)’s expectations for the Galaxy Note 7 were, they never anticipated that the latest, highly-anticipated flagship phablet would be recalled two months after launch. After all, the device boasts 4 GB of RAM, a high-definition curved display, a 12-megapixel camera, and the latest Android software. All those specs, plus Samsung’s reputation as the iPhone’s main rival, spurred thousands of preorders for the device, with 200,000 in South Korea alone in just two days.
What the customers got instead was a phablet that had the potential to catch fire or explode while charging. After the phablet’s launch in August 2016, Samsung initially offered to replace Galaxy Note 7 devices that were already sold, while claiming that a battery issue affected only 0.1% of the devices sold. Well, 0.1% out of hundreds of thousands of devices is still a lot of burning phones, so aviation authorities in the US and Europe banned the device from planes. The problem was so bad that even the replacement phablets that Samsung sent over were also fraught with combustion and battery failure issues. Hence, amid more bans from airlines and mounting incidents of fire, Samsung stopped making the Galaxy Note 7 in October 2016. It is estimated that because of this fiasco, $17 billion in potential revenue went up in flames for Samsung this year. And to add insult to injury, Samsung had to recall certain washing machines over, you guessed it, explosion risks.
And now, let’s see the top three gadgets that were supposed to change the world but flopped horribly.
We’ll check out three more tech devices that failed to live up to the hype on the next page.