Top 12 tech embarrassments of 2010

The year in tech had plenty of highs -- and plenty of lows. Here are 12 mortifying moments we won't soon forget.

By , ITworld |  Security, Apple, AT&T

5. Most embarrassing overreaction

And the winner is: Apple

Stop me if you've heard this one: A guy walks into a bar with an unreleased iPhone prototype...

All right -- I think we all know where this is going. The whole lost-then-found-and-sold-to-Gizmodo iPhone debacle easily ranks as one of the biggest bloopers in tech history. Worse than the leak itself, however, was Apple's ridiculous response to the situation. By the time police raided the home of a Giz blogger and seized all of his computers, the not-so-little-company-from-Cupertino had become a virtual punching bag for everyone from journalist rights groups to Jon Stewart.

Of course, that was only the beginning of Apple's 2010 PR nightmare...

6. Most embarrassing display of arrogance

And the winner is: Apple

Let's make one thing clear: Apple isn't making the list twice because of the hardware problems from its now infamous iPhone 4 "Antennagate." Like with its previous inclusion, this honor is all about the way Steve Jobs and co. handled the matter at hand.

When customers started complaining about poor reception due to the iPhone 4's external antenna design, Apple vehemently denied the existence of any problem. Not only was there not a problem, according to Apple, but if you were having issues, it was probably your own fault. "Just avoid holding it in that way," for Jobs' sake.

Apple eventually released an "open letter" acknowledging the issue and placing the blame on a software glitch. Then, a week later, the Holy One himself held a news conference -- err, sorry, news event -- where his main line of defense was trying (and arguably failing) to show how other phones suffered from the same antenna-based flaw.

In the end, Apple's Antennagate fiasco can best be summed up in three words: not very magical.

Next page: Most embarrassing privacy violation

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