As we get to the end of the year, I find I’m disappointed that products that I was sure someone would deliver didn’t actually show up. I even ordered one that was supposed to be here in September, yet I’m still waiting. As we get ready for Christmas week, let’s review the products we should have seen this year that never materialized.

iPad mini with Retina Display

You know it is coming, and you’d think that for about a 65 percent premium over other small tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 (both with arguably better displays) that Apple would have released the mini with their best display. Nope. The iPad mini without the Retinal Display is kind of like buying a Porsche with a VW engine. Granted, they used to make one of those (several actually, including the 914 and 912) but those cars didn’t exactly define Porsche. I expected more and sooner from Apple, and didn’t get it in 2012.

Car radio with full smartphone integration

I don’t mean just a stereo that passes through music from your phone, but that passes through music, video, and apps. I have great navigation on my phone, along with all kinds of music and media services, why not better integrate with them? Not only did automakers fail to build this into cars, we didn’t see it in the aftermarket either (outside of some obscure radios in China). We are living in a tablet and smartphone age, but other than Tesla basically building a tablet into their dash and Hyundai giving away an iPad with their cars (and putting the manual on it), car and stereo companies don’t appear to be in the same decade. I’m expecting this to be fixed next year (again).

Wireless charging

Actually, I got this with my inductively charged Nokia phone, but what about my tablet and laptop? I’m sick of cords and having to figure out how to plug them in while in dark hotel rooms late at night. I just want to put my device down and have it magically charge, is that too much to ask? Apparently so. I’ve been told most of the aftermarket products that exist currently suck. If we can get an electric toothbrush to wirelessly charge, why can’t we seem to figure out devices like laptops and tablets that actually need it more?

Good in-flight Wi-Fi

Yes, you can get crappy wireless on a plane, but I want to stream movies, and that clearly doesn’t work. I’d even – gasp – pay for the movie if I could watch it on my tablet or laptop in a plane without a movie service (the back-of-seat choices you often get suck). Give me Netflix on a plane, and I’d be far less likely to hunt for excuses to avoid the trip. There are a number of ways to solve this problem, and I hope next year at least one airline can find one and implement it.

Flying car

I first sat in a flying car prototype in the 1970s. Back then, they promised a solution was just a few years away, yet here we are approaching 40 years later and zip. Granted, some yoyo did try to strap wings on a Pinto back then and that ended badly (really a Pinto?), but I’ve been waiting to fly over traffic for most of my life, where they hell is my flying car?

Electric skateboard

Yes, it technically exists, but I actually ordered one of these things at the beginning of the year and has it shown up? No. Apparently it is slated to ship in December or January, but I have my doubts. How cool would it have been to power down and up hills on a Skateboard that was designed to go anyplace? You could put into your trunk, drop your car off for service, and ride home on it. I haven’t even received a note from these guys. The ZBoard still looks cool, but I have my doubts whether it will ever arrive.

How about you?

This was my list of missed products, but what’s on yours? Did you have a product you were waiting for in 2012 that didn’t show up, or one that did show up that missed your expectations? Let us know in the comments below!