Top 10 product hits - and misses

The hype surrounding the iPhone is hardly unique. Splashy product launches are a time-honored tradition in the American marketplace -- and so are the stunning flops that sometimes follow. Here's a look at some of the more noteworthy hits and misses.

In 2001, the hype around the Segway was downright iPhone-ish, as rumors swirled around a heavily shrouded invention codenamed Ginger. The excitement was organic -- it really caught fire when Apple's Steve Job said the mystery device could be as important to the world as the personal computer. The man behind the Segway, Dean Kamen, was already a wealthy and successful inventor when he introduced the self-balancing personal transporter in 2001.

But despite the hype, the Segway was a flop when it hit the market. No one saw much of a use for this kind of motorized scooter and few were willing to experiment at a price point of $5,000. "Manufacturers have to work very hard to show what's useful about a new category of technology," says Hall. We're still waiting.

Nintendo Wii

Tickle Me Elmo

MINI Cooper

iRobot Roomba

Ford Mustang

Apple Newton

Toyota Crown

New Coke


Microsoft Zune
How to buy an iPhone "Don't go to an Apple store," Steve Jobs famously advised Arianna Huffington last month. "It will be a madhouse there." (more)
The iPhone's accessories If the iPod is any indication, accessories for the new Apple cell phone are about to become a huge business. (more)
10 picks for the iPhone-phobic Tired of all the hoopla over the new Apple cell phone? Just looking for something different? These are worthy alternatives. (more)