Chutzpah: Tech's Biggest Broken Promises

By Cliff Edwards - 2012-03-05T20:01:26Z

Photograph by Lou Dematteis/Landov

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Motorola Rokr E1 (2005)

Heralded as the fusion of Apple's popular iPod technology with a cell phone, the $250 Rokr landed with a thud. Its 100-song limit, slow music transfer speed and sluggish iTunes interface doomed Motorola's comeback hopes against rising stars Samsung and LG.

"We've worked closely with Motorola to deliver the world's best music experience on a mobile phone," said Steve Jobs. Turns out, not closely enough. Apple discontinued support for the Rokr little more than a year later, as it completed designs on its own phone. The Rokr experience gave Apple's engineers valuable insights into making the iPhone, which launched in 2007.