Road warrior roadkill: 2011's mobile technology losers

Spectacular flameouts and products that simply ran out of gas litter the road to the mobile future we're all traveling
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The mobile technologies that came to the end of their road this year

This was the year that Apple would be taken down -- or so many pundits said a year ago as they anticipated a resurgent webOS backed by Hewlett-Packard, Research in Motion's plans for a BlackBerry tablet, Microsoft's plans for a revised Windows Phone OS, and of course Google's Android steamroller. It didn't quite work out that way. Apple's iOS 5 and iCloud gained fast adoption, as did its iPhone 4S, despite the widespread disappointment when the fiction of an iPhone 5 promulgated by some bloggers and analysts didn't come to pass. The iPad 2, in fact, showed there is no tablet market but simply an iPad market.

Still, although Android tablets largely failed to get traction, Android smartphones took off, surpassing iPhone sales by a wide margin. Meanwhile, Microsoft made a second attempt on Windows Phone smartphone OS that has garnered respect, and the company showed off its Windows 8 tablet OS that might give the iPad a real competitor in 2012. And's Kindle Fire, although limited in its capabilities , showed there could be a non-iPad market of some sort.

Of course, such hopes may or may not play out. We certainly saw in 2011 that many supposedly surefire winners flame out spectacularly on the race course or simply run out of gas. Join me for a tour of the road warrior roadkill. (And revisit last year's mobile roadkill in our slideshow.)

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