Five of the most disastrous product launches

(c) Sky News 2019: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/five-of-the-most-disastrous-product-launches-11701384">Five of the most disastrous product launches</a>
 

Samsung has decided to delay the launch of its new Galaxy Fold smartphone after reviewers experienced breakages within days of receiving the device.

The embarrassment of a faulty product launch can be humiliating for a business, both in the eyes of consumers and investors.

As the first foldable handset from a major manufacturer, anticipation was high for the innovative gadget despite it having a price tag of around £1,500.

But journalists have posted scathing reviews of the product , which is designed to be similar in size to a normal mobile when closed but also capable of opening up to reveal a tablet-style screen.

The negative attention provided by their complaints about the devices being easy to break is nothing compared to some product launches which went wrong.

:: Beats Pill XL

Apple-owned audio equipment maker Beats was forced to recall its Beats Pill XL Speakers in 2015 for fear the devices would burst into flames.

There had been huge investment in marketing the product, and it featured in almost every music video produced by a major label in the months ahead of its release.

Unfortunately, not so much investment seemed to have gone into the product development - which notably took place before Apple acquired the company.

At the time and despite the brand exposure, Apple said it was doing a recall of the speakers because "in rare cases" the battery could overheat and potentially catch fire.

Fortunately, nobody seems to have been burned in those incidents.

:: EE Power Bar

More than a million EE customers were told to return their power bar phone chargers in 2015 after a number of incidents in which they overheated.

One user on Twitter showed their burnt hand after they claimed one of the devices had "exploded" and "almost burned down our house".

Due to the nature of the battery, it was not suitable for general disposable and EE had to request customers returned the device to their nearest EE store.

:: Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft ran into trouble with its tablet range the Surface Pro - or more specifically with their power cords - in 2016.

When electronics go wrong they often go up in flames.

Quickly, Microsoft said it would be offering replacement cords to affected customers - everyone using devices earlier than the Surface Pro 4.

"While there are no reports of serious injury, a small number of our customers have reported this issue.

"We are taking action to address by making free replacement cords available to all eligible customers," the company said at the time.

:: Xbox 360

Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 back in 2005. It was sold as a next generation gaming console, but early models kept on breaking.

When there was something wrong with the device it displayed flashing red lights in the front circular panel.

The worst possible technical issue was signalled by having three of the lights on the front flash, meaning the console had suffered a General Hardware Failure.

This became so common and well-known it was nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death" and it forced Microsoft to extend warranties for the console to last for three years.

The company never admitted or explained what had been causing so many of the devices to fail, but various defective components were blamed by commentators and analysts.

:: Galaxy Note 7

Within weeks of Samsung launching its Galaxy Note 7, the smartphone was deemed a fire hazard across the world.

After spontaneously combusting in a lot of different environments, the phone was quickly banned by a handful of airlines.

Just weeks after the launch the company announced a recall of 2.5 million phones, citing faulty batteries.

The explosively bad PR that the detonating devices offered Samsung sparked memes and jokes on social media, including a Grand Theft Auto user modification which replaced C4 explosives in the game with Note 7 phones.

The company said its profits took a £4.3bn hit from costs associated with the failed product launch.