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5 Big CES Products That Tanked

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Unfortunately, in 2009, the iPhone and BlackBerry were the top smartphones and the Pre tried to be a little bit of both. It fell short in each case. Most of the Pre was left over from old Palm products - PDAs, as they were known in ancient tech times -- and its newest apps bore little resemblance to the iOS and Android offerings of today.

The Pre was supposed to get a shot at redemption in 2010, when Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) bought Palm for $1.2 billion and seemed destined to create the new Android. By Aug. 18, 2011, or little more than a month after HP released the WebOS-driven TouchPad tablet in the U.S. and one day after the Pre 3 phone's release in Europe, HP stopped making and supporting any WebOS hardware whatsoever. Palm saw its smartphone market share slide from 4% in December 2010 to just about nothing today.

On ComScore's smartphone market share chart, Nokia's Symbian comes in dead last at 0.5% of the market. Somewhere below that are a few holdout open-source WebOS users who just can't let their dream go.

1. Creative Zen Vision: M

This is easily our favorite of the CES flops because we honestly don't understand why outlets such as C-Net and others were touting it so highly in the first place back in 2006.

For one, it was an MP3 player/multimedia device. The Motorola Rokr may have been a terrible precursor to the iPhone, but the phone's iTunes compatibility should have been a sign that something like the iPhone was coming. As it turned out, the tech world only had to wait a year before Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone at Macworld 2007.

Secondly, the iPod had a nearly five-year head start and, a year earlier, incorporated the video support the ZEN Vision: M was attempting to pass off as new. What was it really bringing to the table? An FM tuner? The iPod got along just fine without one until 2009, and then only for one version of the nano. A voice recorder? Apple seemed just fine letting the third-party peripheral makers handle that.

Also, at $330 for a 30-gigabyte model, it was a whole lot more costly than the $250 30-gigabyte iPod. At least it wouldn't suffer too much on its way to tech obscurity. Two months after the iPhone arrived. the ZEN Vision: M was pulled from shelves and never heard from again.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

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