2014 saw the release of a few bumper sellers. Xiaomi announced itself as a brand to be seriously reckoned with, Samsung finally announced a change in their much-detested plastic styling, and the electronics industry posted annual sales figures of more than a trillion dollars. But things weren’t so rosy for some releases, which failed spectacularly to make good on the manufacturer’s promise. Here’s a list of the three worst disappointments from the smartphone world in the bygone year.
1. Amazon Fire: The phone that was intended to launch Amazon’s brave new integrated shopping experience failed to launch off, and spectacularly so. On paper the phone seemed a deadly combo of amazing specs and the undeniable inside access into Amazon’s extensive shopping network. However, high prices meant the phone was a no-go right from the start, and the e-commerce giant had to cut prices drastically to clear stocks.
2. BlackBerry Passport: In what was one last desperate throw of the die, ailing phonemaker BlackBerry came up with a supposedly productivity-focused device, sporting an unwieldy keyboard and halfhearted Android support. Failure to adapt to the dominance of the touchscreen has cost BlackBerry dearly, as its QWERTY smartphones start to look increasingly irrelevant.
3. Firefox OS-enabled Smartphones: Firefox entered the mobile OS market with Indian makers such as Spice and Alcatel. However, the clunky interface, lack of optimization options for users, and the low specs of the budget phones meant that Firefox are probably now gone for good. Priced as low as INR 2,000, the handsets were claimed to be the best entry into the smartphone world for budget buyers, but even the low prices failed to mask the vital shortcomings.