x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Hits and misses: yes to iPhone, no to Zune

Major consumer electronics manufacturers have had plenty of digital hits. But they have also suffered setbacks with certain models that were either released before their time or failed to gain traction among consumers.

Major consumer electronics manufacturers have had plenty of digital hits. But they have also suffered setbacks with certain models that were either released before their time, or otherwise failed to gain traction among consumers. Here is how some players have fared:

Apple

Hit Smartphone

The iPhone is one of the best selling smartphones, and Apple sold about 27 million in the past quarter, which was up 58 per cent from the same period last year. Its latest model - the iPhone 5 - went on sale in September but has already helped to generate US$17.1 billion (Dh62.8bn) in revenues during the last quarter.

Miss Personal digital assistant (PDA)

Apple's Newton MessagePad debuted in 1993 to lacklustre sales. Derided for its inaccurate handwriting software, the PDA's Newton platform was killed off five years later.

Atari

Hit Videogame console

Released in 1977, the Atari 2600 was made popular by games such as Space Invaders and Pitfall. It stayed about until 1984 then, after a brief hiatus, returned in the late 1980s until it was finally discontinued in 1991. More than 30 million units sold.

Miss Hand-held videogame console

The Atari Lynx was the first portable console that featured a colour screen. But not enough game developers backed the system. A rival product also released in 1989 - Nintendo's Game Boy - survived over various editions to sell more than 118 million units.

Microsoft

Hit Xbox videogame console

The company's Xbox series has done quite well, selling 25 million in its original format and more than 70 million with the Xbox 360 edition. Some tech experts expect a new version may be released next year.

Miss MP3 player

Microsoft's Zune was designed to rival Apple's iPod. It could share songs and playlists with other Zune owners and devices could send and receive messages. Yet sales never reached blockbuster status and the device was discontinued last year after just five years on the market.

nparmar@thenational.ae