5 Disastrous Gadget Blunders

We take a look at some of the worst design flaws in recent tech history!

With every great technological step forward comes some missteps (not everything can work perfectly, right?) and the following gadgets and tech somehow managed to falter due to poor design faults, or just being overly ambitious from the get-go.

Hit the road, jack

Apple is no stranger to making some bold choices, and while some can be celebrated, some can also be questioned. The most recent saw the tech company do away with the iPhone 7’s headphone jack, forcing iPhone 7 adopters to drop their existing analogue headphones (didn’t Apple buy Beats by Dre?) and use Apple’s new ridiculous and destined-to-be-lost earbuds. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the team decided to do it because of “courage”. Sure… that’s what we’ll call it.


iPhone 4 aerial (mis)placement

Being a lefty is tough – not only do left-handed humans smudge all written words they ever try to put to paper, but they’re also not particularly catered for in the tech world. There’s a sheer lack of ambidextrous devices out there, forcing lefty users to awkwardly clutch at right-handed mouses as if they’re making some sort of spastic gang sign. The worst snub was Apple’s iPhone 4, which had an inconveniently placed aerial on the bottom left corner of the phone, causing left-handers to “cover” the aerial with their index fingers when speaking, causing signal issues or a lack of signal altogether. This led to an outcry by the community, dubbing the problem the iPhone “Death Grip”. A bizarre, yet ultimately tumultuous time for lefties.

iPhone 4 left hand

Hoverboards of doom

They say the brightest stars burn out the quickest, and no gimmicky gadget trend was hotter last year than hoverboards. Firstly, we refusetyo call them hoverboard – they are really just glorified two-wheel scooters. Secondly, after videos started popping up all over the web of these devices catching on fire, some while charging and some while being ridden, it became evidently clear that these things are nothing but candy-coloured death-traps. Amazon in the US cracked down on certain brands, before the Consumer Product Safety Commission declared hoverboards unsafe in February 2016. The only thing we’ll miss is the hilarious fail videos.

Hoverboard fire


We’ve said before how robots will be our inevitable slave-masters some day, and some of the latest robotic monstrosities are pretty frighting to say the least, but they came from humble and clumsy beginnings. Back in 2006, Honda’s Asimo robot was supposed to be the pinnacle of Japanese robotic technology, but upon being unveiled to the public, he managed to do face-plant down some stairs during his huge presentation, before following it up with a face-grind down some more stairs. Asimo is such a robotic goofball, there’s literally a fail compilation in honour of his blunders.

BlackBerry Playbook

The PlayBook will be remembered as one of the nails in the BlackBerry’s coffin. The company that was then called RIM was so busy boasting that its 7-inch tablet could play high-def videos via its HDMI port, that it forgot to include native email and calendar apps. That’s right, the PlayBook didn’t let you view your messages or appointments unless you had a BlackBerry phone. Not as bluntly terrible as other blunders, but still pretty ridiculous. Blackberry Playbook

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