Wireless Wednesday–They're Cooked: The top wireless turkeys of 2013

weBoost | November 27, 2013

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving?… Neither can we! In honor of the holiday, we’re taking a look at a list of products, strategies and plans that misfired in 2013 from publication @FierceWireless. Check it out below–

Thanksgiving is all about tradition. Think of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or presidents pardoning turkeys. Every family has its own rituals over where everyone gathers for the meal, which family members make what side dishes, how the turkey is prepared and so on. Here at FierceWireless, we are also big on tradition, and one of our longest-running ones also involves turkeys, though not the kind you can eat.

Now in its sixth annual edition (check out our lists from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), our FierceWireless Top Wireless Turkeys list of 2013 includes reflections on the products, strategies and plans that misfired in 2013. More so than in years past, this year’s list includes corporate strategies that were either misunderstood, poorly executed or just didn’t pan out. (Also, don’t forget to check out the Top Wireline Turkeys of 2013 list over at FierceTelecom.)

Some of these turkeys are bigger than others, which is why we have ranked them on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the biggest turkey.

We know it’s never nice to point out the faults and failures of others, but, as in years past, we believe that the wireless industry can learn from the foibles of those on this year’s list. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does include some of what we believe were the biggest flops of 2013. As always, we welcome your comments and criticisms.


The first out of the 8 turkeys that we will look at throughout the weeks is Verizon’s Nexus 7 support (or lack thereof)…

In late July, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled a new version of its Nexus 7 Android tablet, including an unlocked version supporting the LTE networks of Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS). Previous Nexus-branded tablets, including the original Nexus 7 and the larger Nexus 10, did not support LTE.

However, as of mid-September, the Nexus 7  could not be used on Verizon’s LTE network. “The Google Nexus 7 is not yet a Verizon 4G LTE certified device, though it entered our process in August and we expect it will be certified shortly,” Verizon said on Sept. 18. “Once the device is certified, we will work with Google to enable the device to be activated on our 4G LTE network.”

Then, in early November, after Google announced Android 4.4 Kit Kat, Verizon produced another twist in the story. Verizon essentially said it could not certify the Nexus 7 until its software got updated to Kit Kat from the older Android Jelly Bean software. Verizon said that the certification process would be delayed because it, along with Google and Asus had “uncovered a systems issue that required Google and Asus to undertake additional work with the Jelly Bean OS running on the device.”

“Since Google was about to launch its new Kit Kat OS, rather than undertake this work, Google and Asus asked Verizon to suspend its certification process until Google’s new OS was available on the Nexus 7,” Verizon said. Four months after the Nexus 7 was introduced  with the intention of being supported by Verizon’s LTE network,  the gadget is still not certified to run on it.

Check back on our blog throughout the weeks as we continue to post more “turkeys”. Got any “turkeys” of your own you want to add? Let us know on Facebook/Twitter. Happy holidays!