Apple has long been known as a company that thinks “outside of the box,” but sometimes they completely miss the mark altogether. For a company that is famous for imagining products that no one else envisions, it is understandable that a few of their products have been just a little too strange for consumers to handle. Sometimes it feels like Apple is using us as guinea pigs to experiment on, handing us the weirdest devices and seeing whether we can make them work.
In other cases, however, it seems like Apple just dropped the ball completely, failing to make even the simplest of products work. Sometimes Apple is a little hit or miss, and although they hit they target a lot more than when they miss, when they do miss they miss spectacularly.
This list will go through the ages, from Apple’s humble beginnings all the way into the 21st century. We’ll take a look at Apple’s earlier, bizarre creations, and we’ll also look at more modern creations, too.
10 Hockey Puck Mouse
Ah, the infamous “hockey puck” mouse. Why did they decide to build a mouse in this shape? Who knows. What we know for sure is that literally everyone who used this mouse hated it. It came in the package of the G3 iMac in 1998. This was the first ever Apple mouse to use the USB connection instead of the outdated ADB, or Apple Desktop Bus. Talk to anyone who used this mouse and they will tell you that it’s not only the worst mouse they’ve ever used, but it’s one of the worst Apple products ever designed.
9 Pip Pin
What’s this? Apple actually designed a gaming console? Maybe you didn’t hear about because it sucked. They thought they were going to sell over 300,000 units. Boy were they wrong. Apple actually teamed up with Atari to make this piece of junk, but even the Japanese expertise of the gaming industry couldn’t save this doomed device. This just goes to show that you should leave video games up to the experts.
8 3rd Gen iPod Shuffle
The iPod shuffle is a great product by Apple, bringing affordability to music lovers who wanted an iPod at a bargain. So why does this make the list? Because unlike the other models of the iPod Shuffle, the 3rd generation went completely and utterly wrong. You see, there was a major design flaw in this model, and it had to do with the fact that all iPod shuffles don’t come with a screen. However, this model in particular had no buttons whatsoever. The controls were instead placed on the headphones, which led to some pretty hilarious difficulties.
The Lisa was one of the first computers ever made by Apple. It was also one of their worst. This one was released all the way back in 1983, when “personal computers” were still somewhat of a novelty. It was the first ever PC to feature an integrated GUI, and was geared towards individual business users. With a price tag of over $10,000 (about $25,000 in today’s money), it isn’t hard to figure out why no one actually bought this thing. In fact, only 100,000 units were ever sold. This made it one of Apple’s biggest failures of all time.
The Apple Newton was an ancient version of today’s iPad. Some say it was too ahead of its time, that people couldn’t understand the use of such a device, that people just weren’t ready. But the truth was that it was a pretty bad product. It was only on shelves for about four years before Steve Jobs decided to cancel the whole thing altogether. Like the Lisa, it was massively overpriced, and plagued with technical difficulties. This was one device that Apple wanted to forget ever happened.
5 Apple Maps
With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple included a new feature - Apple Maps. This was an app intended to replace Google Maps and other related map software, as Apple was reportedly worried about Google learning too much information about iPhone users, like where they go and what they do. It is widely considered one of the worst Apple products ever created, and was plagued with so many bugs and glitches that it was eventually taken down and removed from all the iPhones. In the end, Apple recommended that iPhone users use other competing software like Google Maps instead, as they totally gave up on this abomination.
4 G4 Cube
The G4 Cube had it all - sleek design, a perfect cube suspended in a transparent casing with a definite futuristic vibe. It was a powerful computer full of incredible features - no fan, 450MHz G4 processor, 64MB of RAM, a 20GB hard drive, a DVD-ROM drive, and an internal 56 kbps modem. It was something no one had ever seen before - a prime example of Apple thinking outside of the box and trying to do something different. But in the end, Apple sold less than a third of these computers than they initially thought they would. This makes it one of Apple’s biggest commercial failures.
3 The Cables
If there’s one thing that causes the most hate towards Apple, it’s definitely the cables. You hear it all the time, and everyone who has ever bought an Apple product ends up ripping their hair out because of the cables. For a company that has a reputation for making quality, this seems totally out of character for Apple. Not only are the cables substandard, but they are incredibly overpriced, and sometimes you have to buy them separately. Nothing is more frustrating than having to go back to the store to buy another cable for your laptop after only a few months of use and having to pay huge amounts of money for it.
2 Hi Fi
With the invention of the iPod, Apple completely dominated market for mp3 devices and portable music. There was, however, one realm that Apple still had to conquer: the market for iPod speakers. Since the first iPods hit the shelves, there has been a steady supply of non-Apple manufactured iPod speaker systems. By the time Apple turned its attention towards this area of the market, the art of designing these speaker systems had already been perfected, so Apple definitely had its work cut out for them. Even so, you would expect a company like Apple to come up with something better than this…
We finish the list with a charming little camera made by Apple that wasn’t up to scratch. The Apple QuickTake was one of the first digital cameras ever sold to the public. It was a truly innovative product, with many people viewing this camera as one of the most influential devices of all time. It’s a real example of why Apple is such a leader in the technological field. It’s early Apple products like the QuickTake and the Newton that show just how ahead of the game Apple was decades ago, thinking of things no one could even dream of. If that’s the case, then why was the QuickTake a bad product? In short, it was simply was too far ahead of its time and had a price tag that scared people away. This resulted in a commercial failure for Apple.
The birth of digital film sent ripples through the camera industry, forcing many other companies like Nikon and Kodak to adapt or die. Apple broke into the digital camera market quickly, stunning other companies into a hurried frenzy with the release of The QuickTake in 1994. The first models looked very strange - Apple once again decided to “revolutionize” not only the camera’s technology but also its shape. This resulted in a camera that looked like a pair of binoculars. It took terrible pictures, extremely pixelated with just plain terrible quality. The project was scrapped after three years in 1997, but Apple made its mark on the digital film industry. Following Apple’s example, other camera companies started to move towards digital film, and Apple couldn’t keep up. Fast forward to today, and Apple is getting its revenge; the cameras on iPhones are now so good that people don’t even bother buying a digital camera from Nikon or Kodak anymore.
Sources: Wikipedia.com, Forbes.com, TheWire.com, Macworld.com
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