After years of rumors that Facebook would release a smartphone of its own, the company teamed up with HTC in early 2013 to announce the HTC First and Facebook Home.
The HTC First was the hardware while Facebook Home was the software, which ran on top of Android and made Facebook the top priority on the device. Facebook was making a bold bet that users cared more about the social network than they did about all of the other apps on their devices.
Sales for the $99 HTC First at AT&T were so poor that the carrier quickly dropped its price to $0.99, practically begging customers to take the inventory. And once inventory did run out, AT&T did not restock the device.
Meanwhile, no one seemed to download Facebook Home, which could also be installed on a few Android phones other than the HTC First. And those who did download Facebook Home, quickly regretted it. The Google Play page for Facebook Home quickly became littered with one star ratings (the lowest possible) and comments from users who simply didn't enjoy the product.
5. Microsoft Surface fails to sell
Microsoft entered the tablet market with the Surface RT in late 2012 and the Surface Pro in early 2013. The Redmond, Wash., company was ready to take on bitter rival Apple and the dominant iPad. Things did not go well.
Halfway through the year, Microsoft announced that it had lost nearly $1 billion on unsold Surface tablets. Around that same time, the company began to heavily discount both versions of the device, and the price cuts kept going.
The original Surface tablets were doomed due to their steep prices and short-lasting batteries. The poor sales and the flaws prompted Microsoft to release the second generation of both tablets less than one year after the release of the Surface Pro.
4. BlackBerry in general
This was supposed to be the year of BlackBerry's come back. The company, which changed its name from Research In Motion one month into 2013, released radically improved new software and hardware in hopes of becoming relevant again in the U.S.
The improvements were substantial and welcome, but it was still a case of too little, too late. Despite releasing multiple new phones, BlackBerry was unable to compete with Apple, Google or even Microsoft and the Windows Phone platform.
It's unclear what the future holds for the once-proud Canadian company, but it doesn't look pretty. At least BlackBerry received a presidential endorsement, even if it was less than resounding.
3. Yahoo's ongoing mail fail
Yahoo was having an excellent 2013, but then came December.
The company put a huge stain on its year when an unspecified number of users lost access to their Yahoo Mail accounts for days. Starting late on Dec. 9, numerous users were unable to see their messages; by the next morning many had taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
Adding insult to injury, a report came out that said Jeff Bonforte, the head of Yahoo Mail, joked at a company meeting in November that Yahoo would have to hit its email users hard in a delicate spot before they left the service. Not surprisingly, many of those users complaining on Twitter during the December outage said they planned to switch email providers.
Ultimately, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was forced to issue an apology for the email outages, which had turned into a public relations disaster. Sadly, the apology did not mark the end of the problems. More than a week after the outages and days after Mayer's apology, users were still reporting problems.
2. Healthcare.gov debacle