Biggest Tech Company Failures of 2011

By Jane Olcott , last updated December 23, 2011

The American economy took a beating in 2011 and the tech industry did not escape unscathed. There were some big tech company failures in 2011. While it’s to be somewhat expected that startup tech companies will have some difficulties, a lot of the failures came from well-known and established tech companies. From Apple to Google, there were some big failures in the tech market in 2011. Below are outlined some of the biggest tech company failures of 2011.

Apple’s Siri
It has been a longtime since Apple did not deliver on its technology promises. Apple’s iPad and iPhone have exceeded performance expectations and transformed the face of technology. When Apple launched Siri, the voice control system on the Apple iPhone 4s, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation in the tech marketplace. The ads promoting Siri showed the voice application essentially becoming a friendly, go-to assistant that could deliver e-mails, find any location and schedule appointments. However, Siri did not live up to expectations or hype. Siri was launched while it was still in its beta form and it showed. Siri was constantly down due to network failures. Apple’s Siri did not deliver on its hype, which makes Apple’s Siri one of the biggest tech company failures of 2011.
Google Plus
Google Plus was Google’s attempt to enter the social networking arena to compete against Facebook. Like Apple’s Siri, Google Plus had a lot of buzz surrounding its launch. Google users jockeyed to get invites to use the new service, but the initial interest quickly sputtered away once Google Plus was made public. Social networks only work when there is plenty of user interaction. Google Plus never got enough users to make it an active social network. There were also user complaints that Google Plus put too many limits on sharing information, which defeated the whole purpose of participating in a social network in the first place. Not only did Google suffer a major failure with Google Plus, but also the launch of their social network had a design impact on its other services. Google’s Gmail and Google Reader were redesigned to function with Google Plus, and there have been many user complaints that the changes have made things worse. Google Plus ended up being a social network without much socializing taking place, and that is what makes Google Plus one of the biggest tech company failures of 2011.
HP TouchPad
The Touch Pad was Hewlett-Packard’s attempt to enter the tablet market and provide a PC rival to the iPad. While in theory the HP TouchPad should have been a huge success, it fell short. The HP TouchPad was much bulkier and thicker than the iPad and its bulky design cause the TouchPad to bomb when it hit the market in June 2011. With the failure of the TouchPad, HP decided to shelf its WebOS devices. The HP TouchPad was put on a fire sale of $100 a piece, which increased sales. Overall, the HP TouchPad was one of the biggest tech company failures of 2011, and its failure permanently pushed HP out of the tablet market.
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