Not all tech products succeed once on the market, and some are killed off with little warning. Flashback looks back at failed tech products to see what we can learn by studying their demises.



Latest Episodes

#4: webOS

March 26th, 2020 · 73 minutes

With its webOS hardware, including the Pre, Pixi and more, Palm (and later HP) tried to take on the giants of the early smartphone wars. While webOS was hugely innovative, it wasn't enough to break into the most important market in consumer electronics history.

#3: The GM EV1

March 12th, 2020 · 63 minutes

Electric cars may seem like a 21st century phenomenon, but they are far from modern invention. Along the winding path to the present was the GM EV1, the first purpose-designed electric vehicle. It went on sale in 1996, but within a decade, General Motors had recalled and crushed almost all of them.

#2: The Microsoft Zune

February 27th, 2020 · 51 minutes

In the 2000s, the iPod was a true juggernaut, simply dominating the portable music player market. Microsoft wanted a piece of the pie, and launched the Zune 30, which eventually spread into a line of both hardware products and software services. However, it barely made a dent in Apple's commanding lead. This episode, Quinn and Stephen look into wh…

#1: The Newton

February 11th, 2020 · 42 minutes

Today, Apple is well known for its mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, but in the 1990s, the Macintosh-only company invented the Personal Digital Assistant. Its PDA was the Newton, a family of handwriting-based devices that promised mobile productivity. However, after five short years, the whole line was cancelled. This episode, Stephen and Q…

#0: Introduction

February 11th, 2020 · 2 minutes

On this season of Flashback, we’ll be looking at examples of failed tech products or companies.