No. 10: Sprint
With customers leaving at a rate of 1 million a year, nobody sheds subscribers like Sprint, whose CEO Dan Hesse is pictured above. The ruin of Nextel still leaves a bad odor around Hesse's shop, but there's a great effort to get you to focus on some of the sweeter smelling areas of Sprint. For example,
Android phones like the
EVO have been sold out. And pushing a flavor of 4G certainly could help restore some glory. But Sprint is still far from pretty cool.
No. 9: TiVo
10 years ago
. Then everyone got a DVR and TiVo spent a decade in court defending its technology, striking agreements, winning settlements and suffering reversals. Today's TiVo feels less like a tech company and more like a vehicle in court battle that's always one legal decision away from elimination or victory.
No. 8: Yahoo
Do you Yahoo? Probably not as much as you Tweet or
. CEO Carol Bartz is cussing and fussing, but she still hasn't managed to bring back the good times. Users love their Yahoo Mail, Sports, Finance, Flickr, etc. but there's been little along the lines of applications, mobile or social networking to stoke the coals.
No. 7: Intel
Our great computer chip monopolist gives investors little to love and offers consumers a narrow, joyless choice in PC processors. Intel's inability to compete with power-sipping
-based chips has kept the company from participating in the smartphone/mobile computing race. The development of the stripped-down Atom chip for netbooks is the fitting hallmark of the modern Intel era.
No. 6: Microsoft
have stormed the consumer software market in mobile devices and on the Internet leaving Microsoft standing stunned. Sure, Bing is a sign of life and the upcoming Zune phones will dazzle one day, but Microsoft needs something very huge to get investors and consumers interested again.
No. 5: Nokia
How the mighty fall. The Apple of its time, Nokia marched to its own drum and eventually grew deaf to consumer trends and competitors' innovations. Now the firm is losing market share in both the top-priced phones and the low-cost segment. Investors sense doom and have sent the shares down 40% since April.
No. 4: Apple
The beloved gadget guru blamed users for its iPhone 4 antenna problems. Steve Jobs offered lessons on how to hold the phone, but he failed to acknowledge that there may be a major problem with the antenna in the iPhone 4 redesign. There's nothing like handling the concerns of devoted fans with shrug of hubris and an assuring "stay tuned."
No. 3: AT&T
Known as the worst feature of the Apple iPhone, AT&T has taken more than its share of the blame over network performance. Of course, Apple's design of the iPhone's bursty signaling system and the awesome antenna non-issue both stick to AT&T like mud. The issue of network quality has deeply stained AT&T. We will see if Ma Bell was truly to blame if Apple ever takes its iPhone to
No. 2: Sirius
Hard to tell what engendered more hatred: When subscribers saw channels dropped after the XM merger, or when the company fleeced investors with a
convertible deal to avoid bankruptcy. Severed from any investor allegiances, Sirius is now a trader's play, good for wild swings. The stock is back below a buck and even lower than its flash-crash plunge.
No. 1: Dell
Knowingly sold us years of PC hell? Used defective parts, denied responsibility, offered no resolution? Dell, you earned this honor.
--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.