Commentary
11/21/2011
10:33 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary

2011's Biggest Wireless Turkeys

As Thanksgiving approaches, who made the biggest wireless flops this past year?



FierceWireless put together its annual "Top Wireless Turkeys" report and, as usual, there are some big ones. See if you agree with what they have put together. Some are hard to disagree with, but I think the list might be missing one or two candidates.

The FierceWireless scale is from one to five turkeys, with five being the worst. It is no surprise that the three-day outage brought to us by the letters "R", "I", and "M" is on the list. If anything on the list deserved to break the scale and be awarded six turkeys, it was this one. The service brought email, BBM, and Web browsing to a screeching halt for BlackBerry users in Europe and North America for up to three days. To make up for it, RIM offered $100 in free apps, which was a pretty self-serving act since it doubled as advertising for the BlackBerry application store.

Adobe's recent abandonment of Flash for mobile platforms made the list with a ranking of four turkeys. A combination of the overall platform not suited for touch screens, the growth of HTML 5, and Apple's prohibition of all things Flash from iOS devices did the platform in.

A general lack of carrier support for the RIM Playbook made the list, as did HP killing off the webOS platform. I think the bigger turkey though is every tablet on the market that isn't spelled "iPad." The Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, RIM Playbook, HP TouchPad, and all other tablets are at best an also ran when compared to the device that created the market--the iPad. Only the Kindle Fire has shown promise, and that is primarily because it is priced substantially less than the iPad and isn't aimed as a direct competitor.

Also missing from the list is the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The deal itself isn't the issue. That will surely benefit the two carriers, and it is arguable as to whether or not it will benefit consumers. The problem is how badly AT&T underestimated the opposition, despite hiring a number of investment banks to help them through the treacherous waters of antitrust law and policy. The competition, consumer advocacy groups, senators, representatives and the DOJ have voiced opposition to this, some verbally, others in court.

Do any other big turkeys come to mind?

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