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The Worst Product Flops of 2011: 24/7 Wall St.

First Posted: 12/29/11 02:22 PM ET Updated: 12/29/11 02:22 PM ET

Flops Products

A number of incredible new products were launched this year. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) introduced the iPhone 4S — a phone with voice command — and Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner — a fuel efficient jet built of carbon composite — finally had its first commercial flight. But not all products and services launched this year did well. Some failed miserably. 24/7 Wall St. looked at the biggest product launches of 2011 in order to identify the worst of the lot.

Click here to read the seven worst product flops of 2011

Products generally fail because they are either inferior versions of already successful products or they have little to no demand. Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) PlayBook is the greatest example of the former. There was no room for a poorly designed tablet in a market dominated by the upmarket iPad and its inexpensive cousin Kindle Fire. The Playbook was widely panned. RIM publicly blamed its weak sales on competitive shifts in the tablet market, referring to the release of Kindle Fire.

Many companies also often fail to understand consumer sentiment and, as a result, do not accurately estimate demand for the product. When Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced it would spin off its DVD-by-mail service in the form of a new service called Qwikster, customers were outraged. Nobody wanted the new site and nobody wanted to pay extra money for it. As a result, it failed before it even got off the ground. The Qwikster blunder ended up costing Netflix many customers.

These are the worst products of the year:

7. Mars Needs Moms
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> Company: Disney

Following the release of Avatar in 2009, Hollywood had a new cash cow in the form of 3-D films. This all changed with the release of director Simon Wells's Mars Needs Moms -- a flop of epic proportions. Disney (NYSE: DIS), of course, was expecting another hit. The film cost $175 million to make. In its opening weekend it brought in just $6.9 million. According to movie data website The Numbers, Mars Needs Moms lost an estimated $130 million in worldwide gross sales, the biggest money loser of all time. Journalist Brooks Barnes wrote in the New York Times, "In the movie business, sometimes a flop is just a flop. Then there are misses so disastrous that they send signals to broad swaths of Hollywood." Mars Needs Moms signaled that the market has become saturated and that digitally animated family films are not the sure thing they once were.

Read more at 24/7 Wall St.

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Filed by Maxwell Strachan  |