Monday, January 3, 2011

Five Most Tricky Gadgets for IT Giants in 2010

It is really a "bustling"year for IT industry. Apple shook things up with the iPhone 4 and completely rejuvenated the tablet market with the iPad. Android continued its strong growth in the smartphone market. However, there are still some gadgets that embarrassed these technical giants.

Apple TV

Apple TV started shipping three years ago. However, its large size , significantly high price and hard-drive to store media locally lead to relatively lacklustre sales. In Sepetember this year, Apple Inc. relaunched the device with a smaller size and cheaper price($99).

Recently, Apple Inc. announced that its second-generation Apple TV was expected to reach its one millionth sale. If the device continues to sell a million units per quarter, it would amount to $400 million in annual revenue, just a drop in the bucket for a company expected to earn $88 billion in revenue in its fiscal year 2011.

Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, had previously called Apple TV "a hobby". Well, a million sales is very tiny comparing with this giants' strong sales of iPad and iPhone4.

Dell Aero

Launched in August this year, Dell Aero is the company's first stab at the smartphone market (by Dell's definitions, at least — the company released the Streak earlier, but it insists the 5-inch call-making device is a tablet and not a phone).

Since its launch,The Aero received many criticisms. It runs on Android 1.5,an early version of Google's mobile operating system. For a brand new phone to be shipping with an out-dated version of Android is simply embarrassing, both to Dell and to the image of the Android.


Google TV was co-developed by Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech. It integrates Google's Android operating system and Google Chrome browser to create "a new experience for television". Officially launched in October, Google TV has received weak reception. Major American networks have been reluctant to provide shows on Google TV. NBC, CBS, ABC and Hulu have blocked people from watching full-length shows on their Web sites using Google TV. Besides, its complex controller also scared away away many ordinary customers.

In December, Google has asked TV makers like Toshiba to delay the introduction of Google TV, putting the TV makers in an awkward position. 

Microsoft Courier

Courier was a dual-screened tablet that was touch-screen capable, but also featured a stylus pen for hand written text, diagrams and more. Video demonstrations of the product made it seem like the evolution of the digital planner, combined with a personal journal and web-enabled tablet.

It was an ambitious move for Microsoft to launch such a impressive tablet, therefore, this world's technical giant canceled the project before it gets off the ground.

Microsoft Kin

The Kin, which was launched by Microsoft, came in two different models. It was an oddly shaped touchscreen phone with a slide-out keypad that specifically targeted teens by focusing on social media features. Just a few weeks after the phone was released this spring, Microsoft stopped selling it.

The phone was relaunched later this year. Despite a massive marketing campaign in the US, sales remained stubbornly close to zero. The units were over-priced, under powered and it was impossible to add applications to them

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