By Charles B. Stockdale, 24/7 Wall St.

A number of incredible new products were launched this year. Apple (AAPL) introduced the iPhone 4S -- a phone with voice command and the much ballyhooed Siri personal assistant software. Boeing's (BA) 787 Dreamliner -- a fuel efficient jet built using carbon composite -- finally had its first commercial flight.

But of course, not all products and services launched this year flew quite so high -- indeed, some crashed and burned spectacularly. 24/7 Wall St. looked at the major product launches of 2011 to identify the biggest duds of the bunch.

New products generally fail either because they're inferior versions of already successful offerings, or because it turns out there was little demand for them in the marketplace. Research In Motion's (RIMM) PlayBook was a fine example of the former. In a market dominated by the iPad at the high end and the Kindle Fire at the low end, there was just no room for a poorly designed tablet. RIM publicly blamed its weak sales on competitive shifts in the market, referring to the release of Kindle Fire.

Many companies also often fail to understand consumer sentiment and, as a result, do not accurately estimate demand for the product. When Netflix (NFLX) announced it would spin off its DVD-by-mail service in the form of a new service called Qwikster, customers were outraged. Nobody wanted to use the new site, and they definitely didn't want to pay extra money for it. Even though Qwikster perished before it was even launched, the blunder cost Netflix many customers.

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The Folks at GM still don't get it. Toyota is selling EVs, Nissan is selling EVs. When you go to a Chevrolet dealer to look at or buy a Volt, first they act like they are cutting you a break by even letting you touch it. Then when you balk at the asking price (my dealer had the Volt marked up from $34,000 to $43,000-as expensive as a Lexus hybrid) they steer you over to the Cruze and stop entertaining anymore questions about the Volt- my salesman even said, the volt is better at getting people in the door and they have sold other cars to customers that have come in to look at the Volt. As of the end of 2011, my local Chevy dealer has sold 1 Volt- and it sat on their lot for 7 months. I don't fault GM for what the Volt is or how it was built. I fault them on thinking that people will pay WHATEVER for an EV. The Volt is a great car that is not competitively priced and sold by dealers that are not interested in selling them.

January 01 2012 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

no comments yet thank you...i have just be started to pay attention to all this financialstuff. being a recent widow and trying to figure outhow to live is quite aifficult task

December 30 2011 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The author of the article says that there are two reasons why new products fail. One is that the product is an inferior clone of a previous success, and the other is lack of demand. But he left one very important one out:

Maybe the product is just a BAD idea that was quickly greenlighted by greedy corporate morons who think they know better. Well,like the Abercrombie disaster, they SHOULD

December 30 2011 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dennis Faulkner

I would definitely consider one if buying a car today, along with the new Dodge Dart coming out in 13 - one thing important to me is a neat looking interior - I hate black - I want a neat colored interior, or beige, some colors that are not black (so hot in summer) or blech grey - plus seems to be a fun car to drive, great gas mileage - another factor would be how roomy for people to ride in. Some people just do not fit in my Mustang -
I had contacted Chrysler a year or two ago - if they made a car today like an updated Plymouth Horizon or Dodge Omni - this was a neat car once they got the steering problem under control evident in the first few years models. Roomy, fun to drive, neat looking in and out - as long as it had a good reliable engine, not the awful VW rabbit engine or Peugot engine used in some years.

December 30 2011 at 4:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We rented and drove a FIAT 500 for 5 weeks in Italy this Fall. It's a great little car; quick, nimble, great gas mileage and a hoot to drive. I'd buy one in a minute!

December 29 2011 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and all the time i thought the headline was about the republican presidential candidates.

December 29 2011 at 8:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bouncer827's comment

No, it's about Obama.

December 29 2011 at 8:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to savemycountry911's comment

He's once, twice, 7 times a flop.

December 29 2011 at 8:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

Obama is a superhero. He has managed to save the economy that the GOP had brought to the brink of total collapse.
Perhaps you have forgotten what 8 years of GOP policy gave us. When Bush left,
-The banks were in collapse
-US auto industry was dead.
-The subprime meltdown had destroyed the housing/mortgage market, construction and jobs.
-We were losing jobs at the rate of 740,000 per month.
-US stock market, all indices, were LOWER than when Bush took office.
-We had been in official recession for a year.
-National debt had doubled.
-For the first time in history, workers actually lost income
-Personal savings had fallen to zero.
-Poverty was rising as it does with every GOP president
-Bush left behind two unnecessary, expensive, and unpaid for failed wars.
-Bin Laden was still alive
-Bush begged for and got $700 BILLION in TARP funds.
-Bush was running huge deficit annual budgets. Last one forecast to be $1.3 trillion.
-Gas prices had risen to a high of $4.11.
And that is just the major stuff, and does not include the selloff of public lands, the deregulations, or the refusal to deal with any environmental issues.

Obama has donned his cape and come to the rescue of the USA..and he has managed to do it in spite of the extreme obstructionism of a party interested on two things…..getting rid of Obama and protecting the richest of our nation.

December 30 2011 at 12:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

let's not forget the choice of J Lo helping push sales of the Fiat 500 down

December 29 2011 at 7:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Ooops - my mistake - I meant the AT&T/HTC phone, not the Apple phone. Hanging my head in shame :-(

December 29 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No argument from me about these flops being in the top 7 - especially the Apple phone. My brother could get to Facebook fine, but the phone kept dropping calls to the point he actually threw it at a wall. Good thing he had insurance on it!!

December 29 2011 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, here we go again !!! Depending on which of the mighty political parties, social security and medicare are going bust and really ******* the money from the American people. How about this, people: Let this elists bunch of beaucrats in Washington PAY back what they've taken and written IOUs on from Social Security???? Tighten up on Medicare. No illegal aliens get the medicare benefits and stop the fraud. Why do you think 535+ of Washington politicians don't have social security or medicare????? Ummmm. I wonder!!!!! This bunch of "ponzi" scheme crooks have so depeleted and raped social security for years and now they really use it for political platforms: "Oh, we're going broke. Let's raise the age. Let's pay in more. Yada, yada, yada." Same old, same old. Aren't we tired of it, YET?????

December 29 2011 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply