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5G, Clubhouse, next-gen games … all the biggest tech flops of 2021 –


It’s in season! To add to our article on the highlights of 2021, we wanted to offer you an article on our latest disappointments. Here is a selection of eight major flops, hoping not to forget anything!

1. Surface Duo: Microsoft is missing its smartphone

With its Surface Duo and its Surface Duo 2, Microsoft attempted in 2021 to return to the smartphone market. Unfortunately for him, his failure is extraordinary. If this is not the concept of the Surface Duo, which we did not like (its small book format with two screens is not always practical, but has the merit of offering something new), the software part has everything industrial disaster of the year.
Nothing works on this device which constantly buggy, rarely opens the right application, and suffers from many display problems. All sold for more than 1,500 euros, which can only make us want to not recommend it to you.

2. Where are the next-gen games?

One year after the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X and S, we can’t really say that the era of the “next-gen” has begun. The vast majority of games released on the latest Sony and Microsoft consoles are not exclusive to them since they are upgraded versions of PS4 and Xbox One games (Ratchet & Clank, on PS5, is an exception).
We will probably have to wait until 2022 to see more truly next-gen titles released, which should finally make more players want to swap their current consoles.
The shortage of components has of course played its part in this situation. Why would a developer launch a game on complicated-to-find consoles? Teleworking has also prevented many studios from moving forward at a normal pace.

By the way, 2021 was also the year of remakes … with varying degrees of success. The failure of the trilogy remaster GTA at the end of the year is proof of this. Some versions next-gen games already released, such as Cyberpunk 2077 and GTA V, are still waiting.

3. Clubhouse, the ephemeral social network


Powered by the different confinements, Clubhouse was the social network at the start of the year. Many believed they were flushing out the future Facebook which, thanks to its concept of oral debates, had everything to seduce. It was still necessary to succeed in monetizing it, Clubhouse gathered a lot of people without a business model, which did not help it to develop (add its long exclusivity to the iPhone and its invitation model, which is very limiting).

Several months later everyone has deserted Clubhouse. Some got tired of it, others switched to “clones” like Twitter Spaces. Unless there is a miracle, Clubhouse seems well on course to be placed in the category of ephemeral experiences of the Covid.

4. The new conditions of WhatsApp


Meta, owner of WhatsApp and Facebook, for a time hoped to bring its two flagship platforms closer together. The new conditions of use of the messaging application were to allow the company to share certain data with the social network, which created a huge controversy. Meta even threatened to curb the use of WhatsApp for people refusing its new rules.

Denounced by some and abandoned by others (Signal and Telegram broke registration records at the start of the year), WhatsApp finally backtracked and did not sanction anyone, even without approval of its terms and conditions. WhatsApp is now hoping that you will eventually agree to its new rules on your own, but is moving cautiously on this topic.

5. Windows 11: a difficult presentation

Even if Windows 11 is rather unanimous, its launch was not easy. Just his introductory conference did not go as planned. Microsoft had seen fit to do without platforms like YouTube and chose to use its own player… which suffered from numerous technical problems. The live was paused too often, which caused many fans of the company to desert.

Microsoft later got tangled up on the compatibility of its new OS. After changing its mind several times, Microsoft relaxed its eligibility requirements a bit.

6. 5G, still anecdotal

Launched in France at the end of 2020, 5G should have taken off in 2021. A year later, the situation is almost the same. While the vast majority of new smartphones are compatible with this new standard, 4G plans continue to dominate the market and some offers, such as those from Sosh, do not even offer 5G as an option. In the absence of a major change in the use of their smartphones, few French people are tempted by 5G which, to this day, remains anecdotal. Our tests at the start of the year also proved that there were very few changes. 5G is only 4G ++… when it works well.

Read also : Great test of 5G: we compared the networks of Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free

7. Apple does not convince with its anti-pedophilia tools

To fight child pornography, Apple proudly announced in August a new tool responsible for searching in the iCloud photo library of its users if any images listed in a database were present, in order to report them to the authorities. Unsurprisingly, this measure did not appeal to privacy advocates at all. Accused by many groups of setting a dangerous precedent, Apple first tried to justify itself before putting its project on hold, the time to rewrite it. At the end of 2021, the tool is still not available.

8. OnePlus gets lost

In 2021, have we lost OnePlus? Separated from its co-founder Carl Pei, the Chinese company is gradually falling under the control of Oppo, which will impose its software overlay in 2022. OnePlus, which promised us a connected watch capable of competing with the Apple Watch for several years, released an awful smartwatch full of bugs (the Oneplus watch). On the smartphone side, with a few exceptions (the excellent OnePlus 9 and OnePlus Nord 2), the brand is completely scattered. Too many products have arrived … without the quality that made its reputation. Can the brand relaunch?



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