5 Big CES Products That Tanked

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The smartphone-buying public almost immediately yawned in their faces.

The very clear message sent by smartphone users last year was that if it wasn't an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy product, they didn't want it. Samsung's share of the overall U.S. mobile phone market swelled to nearly 27 last quarter, according to ComScore(SCOR) . Apple came in second at 18.5%. Nokia? It registered in the low single digits somewhere below HTC's shrinking 5.9% share.

Among smartphone users, Nokia's partner Microsoft is faring just as poorly. While Google's Android products hold a 53.7% share of the market and Apple's iPhones clock in at 35%, Microsoft's share is at 3% and falling. Even Research In Motion (RIMM) , whose stodgy BlackBerry smartphones are in desperate need of an update, more than doubles Microsoft's smartphone market share at 7.3%.

3. Motorola Xoom

Not only did reviewers at CES in 2011 think this was the best tablet at the show; they were adamant that it was the best overall product.

This is what happens when you host a consumer electronics show that Apple doesn't attend.

The complimentary drinks must have been flowing pretty freely on the casino floors this year, as there was a nice, rosy hue to all of the compliments thrown at the Xoom's Android Honeycomb OS, dual-core processor, 4G-compatibility and front- and back-facing cameras. Oh, and at 10 inches it could stand toe-to-toe with the competing iPad 2 ... in theory.

In the real world, things proved a bit tougher. As the CES attendees played with its latest toy, Motorola itself split into separate companies. Motorola Mobility, the one with all the gadgets, would get swallowed up by Google(GOOG) eight months later in a $12.5 billion deal. It's been rumored since that Google would sell off Motorola's more than 17,000 patents or simply open them up to manufacturers to make them as open as its Android OS.

Xoom was caught in the middle and struggled to sell roughly 250,000 units in its first quarter. By July, Motorola was already lowering the Xoom's price by $100 for its Wi-Fi version and by $200 for its 4G model. The Xoom is still hovering around the 1 million mark for total sales. In contrast, the competing iPad 2 hit that mark in its first weekend.

2. Palm Pre

Nearly two years into the iPhone era, Palm's WebOS system, Deck of Cards multitasking, slide-out keyboard, outstanding voice quality and Synergy for contacts, calendars and messages from various sources including Facebook (FB) , Outlook and Gmail all seemed like they could be key to the smartphone's future.

It was a nice dream.

The Palm Pre was the right phone at the wrong time. Its Web search automatically pasted search terms into various engines, the pinching and double-tap zoom was as easy to navigate as the iPhone's and it had Wi-fi, Bluetooth, an airplane mode, Microsoft and Mac compatibility and the voice quality of a landline phone.