It would be unrealistic to suppose that large tech companies do not make mistakes, in fact, most of their greatest achievements have come from rectification and learning, from knowing that the customer is always right, even if that means losing money.
This year has been the year of cybercrime, but it has also been the year of VR, the Pixel phones, hybrid cars, and lots of other innovative proposals. However, not everything went as initially expected, and 2016 saw renown tech companies making horrible mistakes.
1. Samsung’s explosive Galaxy Note 7
The funniest thing about Samsung’s longstanding scandal with the Galaxy Note 7 is the fact that they advertised the phone as ‘waterproof’ at some point. They should’ve made it ‘fireproof,’ or maybe add a well-tested battery that won’t blow up in people’s faces.
The Korean giant took the heat this year for their exploding phones, which prompted them to issue a massive recall that paved the way a series of memes making fun of the explosive device and the company.
Samsung received 96 reports of battery overheating in the United States alone, with 13 customers suffering from physical burns and other 47 reporting property damage. Many international airlines still won’t let Note 7 owners get on a plane.
When Samsung launched the Note 7, everybody loved it. The phablet hit the stores a few weeks before the iPhone 7 scoring a huge win for the Korean conglomerate. When the Note 7s started exploding, all the success the phone had upon launch blew back in Samsung’s face.
Source: Trusted Reviews
2. Apple’s “revolutionary” changes
Apple is a company that is famous for two things, one, being revolutionary, and two, being expensive. This year they took it up a notch, by giving people the Airpods and entirely removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone (wait, what?).
Besides condemning users to battery-powered headphones, who will (make no mistake) stop working right in the middle of your favorite song, they also force them to spend $160 only for the pleasure of looking like Joaquin Phoenix on ‘Her’ (2014).
The future does have a cost, and Apple is ready to make you pay for it. As always with the Cupertino giant, the thing is not that they are bad earphones, but that they offer no alternative.
3. Yahoo’s massive data breach
So, in a nutshell. In 2014 approximately 500 million Yahoo user accounts became compromised (hacked) by an unknown group.
The company kept normally going until they found out (or, more likely, until they decided to come clean) about the breach in 2016. By that time, a separate data breach had occurred, elevating the number of hacked people to one billion.
This number is so big that my spell checker constantly tries to correct me when I write it, thinking I meant ‘million.’ It has grown to become, indeed, the largest data breach in history.
However, nobody uses Yahoo anymore, right? So who cares? Let’s move on.
4. No Man’s Sky misleading advertising
“The first game in history to receive a lawsuit for false advertising.” That should be its new tagline. Though UK regulators recently declared this accusation to be unfounded, the truth is that a bunch of gamers did complain about the title, saying they did not get what developers Hello Games promised.
Players protested against the NMS Steam site, which showed many things that were absent from the main game, such as large-scale space battles, some of the creature’s appearance, in-game features, and much more.
No Man’s Sky created a massive hype that spawned from the whole “hey, look at me I am the largest open-world game of all time,” only to leave gamers with a watered-down, repetitive experience.
Source: Ars Technica
5. Facebook’s Marketplace… for drugs?
You know how in all of these tech-related ads there’s always a happy upper-middle-class couple going about their day at home, testing the product, and smiling? Well, Facebook tried to do the same thing with Marketplace, and let’s just say it did not go very well.
Imagine that same scenario, a white-clad guy tells his wife “Hey, why don’t we sell our old couch on the new Facebook Marketplace?” and she goes, “Sure! In fact, why don’t you go ahead and sell our cocaine reserves as well? Surely the cops will not be getting into that.”
They both laugh heartily.
Facebook Marketplace premiered last October as a Craigslist competitor but failed to make the site a little more secure. As a consequence, even animal traffickers flooded the sales feature.