Every December, there are various end-of-the-year reviews, predictions about the coming year, and "top" lists of all manner of things – even flops. I was stunned to see EE Times partake with a unique "Top 10 tech blunders of 2012."
Compiled by two of its most credible writers, George Leopold and Junko Yoshida, this is a risky one. Let's go over what the writers came up with.
1. The Apple Maps foul sits atop the list. I suppose dropping Google Maps was a blunder, but users can still download the Google Maps app so it is not a deal-breaker. Still, I'll give them one point for this observation.
2. Where's the succession plan at Intel? Why is this management mistake categorised as a tech blunder? And what does it have to do with 2012? I won't go into this in great detail but Intel is not giving investors a clear vision of what's ahead. So what? Insofar as EE Times is concerned, this is a FAIL.
3. Autonomy fiasco extends HP's woes. This refers to HP's idiotic purchase of Autonomy in 2011, not in 2012. That's when the blunder took place. Dumping the deal in 2012 was not a blunder at all. I give this "blunder" another FAIL mark. Sorry, but I call them when they happen.
4. The Google Nexus Q. This is a stretch because this little device was given out at a dev conference and never actually released as far as I can recall. It's a ball that works as a sketchy media device but has all sorts of interesting qualities that hackers are playing with. I'll be generous with this one, and I'll award EE Times one point, making it two out of four thus far.
5. Intel and AMD ditch the World Trade Statistics organisation. The article states: "The decision by AMD and Intel to leave World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation in 2012 was short-sighted and harmful to the global semiconductor industry, not to mention both chip makers." This is bogus, period. It's not any sort of tech blunder. It may be a strategic blunder, but not a tech blunder. No points. FAIL.
6. PCs are pronounced dead. Here the writers scold the pundits for this assertion as I myself have often done. But this is not a tech blunder. It's a legitimate perspective. A blunder is something that is embarrassing and costs money. This is neither. FAIL.
7. RIM and Nokia both fail. I will not argue this point but I think these failures came long before 2012. The specifics of the blunders might be more interesting. Whatever the case, I'll give a point here anyway.
8. Hon Hai failure to buy Sharp. This is a financial deal that fell apart. How is it a tech blunder? I'm now totally baffled by this article. FAIL.
9. EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography delays continue. Whether this is technically a tech blunder or not, something that is continuing from year to year cannot be attributed to the 2012 list no matter what. Geez. FAIL.
10. Battery maker A123 goes belly up. Hooray, an actual blunder! The company was another one of those operations, like Solyndra, that got a US government boost then failed to go anywhere. One point for this observation.
So in the end, EE Times goes four for 10. In school, that means an F.
Other outlets are trying to do this, too. Instead of the success stories, they are trying to find fault with an industry that really did not do much in 2012. The biggest tech blunder was Windows 8 on the desktop, but that was in beta so long it has been forgotten as a tech blunder. Google, Facebook, and other online services have all made some sort of blunders. But 2012 is not the year of the tech blunder, no matter how many editors insist that their writers do these lists.
The lists are no good. But expect them anyway!