SLIDESHOW: The tech world's top flops and fiascos of 2011

When tech companies generate outlandish expectations for their latest gadgets or get lax with security, onlookers can only cringe at the crash that's sure to follow. In 2011, the surest way to end up on the list of the year's biggest flops was to challenge Apple or open the door to hackers. In some cases, national security was threatened. In others, corporate giants turned into punchlines. Click to begin the slideshow.

Photo Credit: newneonunion / CC 2.0

The iPad accounted for over two-thirds of the global tablet market in the latest figures from IDC. In Q2 2011, all Android tablets combined dropped from 34 percent of the market to 26.8 percent while RIM's PlayBook grabbed a 4.9 percent share. And despite what the Motorola Xoom ad above says, "everyone's talking about" the iPad, usually. That may change as Amazon rolls out its Kindle Fire tablet.

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Research In Motion's (NASDAQ: RIMM) three-day service outage in October kept millions of BlackBerry users from accessing the web and email. That was the last thing it needed amid ongoing pressure to prove that it can keep up with the intrusion of iPhones and Android devices into the enterprise--RIM's traditional stronghold. To make amends, RIM offered apps worth over $100 to affected customers for free.

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Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) has given up on development of its Flash Player plug-in for mobile devices, calling HTML 5 "the best solution" according to a BBC article. Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) late former CEO Steve Jobs famously called the plug-in a drain on battery life and a security vulnerability. Adobe battled back against those claims for over a year, but in the end, Jobs had his way.

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In March, RSA admitted it was the target of a cyber attack. In the coming months, hackers used data from the RSA to breach defense giants Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications, which use RSA's SecuID two-factor authentication tokens. President Obama was briefed and RSA's reputation suffered serious damage.

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Hackers breached the Sony PlayStation accounts of 77 million customers in April, which cost the company an estimated $170 million. Personal data was not encrypted, so information such as passwords, physical mailing addresses and birth dates were stolen. Four months later, Sony appointed its first chief information security officer.

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Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) debuted Buzz in 2010 but didn't put it out of its misery until October of this year. It only took a few days for Google to make a major privacy blunder with the tool, and if that didn't doom it from the start, its limited capabilities (compared to other online social tools) certainly did. Google informed Gmail users of Buzz's demise with a notice that read, "Google Buzz is going away, but your posts are yours to keep."

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