Sep 14 2010

Apple Actually Failed? Here are Some of The Greatest

Published by at 10:00 am under Lists

Like any successful business out there, one must fail a number of times before they can truly succeed.  It teaches you humility and it teaches you to never give up.  Well, at least it teaches those companies willing to work for it to never give up.  And one company that truly knows this is Apple.

What we see now is a technology behemoth.  It seems that everything these guys put out there now turns to gold.  Well, check back to the 80s and 90s and you’ll see that Apple was way ahead of its time and consumers sure as hell didn’t respond.

They had a number of failed products that when you actually look back were pretty good but at the time had very little success.

Here are some of Apple’s greatest fails….

Apple 3 – 1980

The successor to the hugely popular Apple 2 (see what they did there), this was a huge flop.  Also, a genuine fire hazard.  There were countless stories of these guys over heating and even exploding.

Apple Lisa – 1983

This was one of the first personal computers to utilize a graphical user interface (ie: on screen icons), came with a mouse, and could multi-task across programs.  All pretty amazing for 1983 but there was just one hiccup.  The damned thing cost over 10 grand!  Fail.

Macintosh Portable – 1989

Wait a second.  This thing is portable?  Fail.

Apple Newton – 1993

Think of this as the original iPad.  It was an all in one portable office capable of sending faxes, email, you name it.  It could even claim to read handwriting (via stylus).  Too bad that feature sucked and this thing cost over 1000 bucks.

Macintosh TV – 1993

The simple truth.  It just worked like shit.  TV Signals were garbage coming from a computer in 1993.

Apple Pippin -1996

This was supposed to be a rival of Playstation.  Honestly I never even knew this thing existed.

20th Anniversary Macintosh – 1997

Basically this was a deluxe version of a normal computer.  Too bad it didn’t have many features other than looking cooler.  And at 8 grand clearly not worth it.

Apple USB Mouse

One clicker?  One?  Are you kidding me?

Quicktake – 1994

One of the first Digital Cameras to hit the market.  This one was just a matter of coming out at the wrong time.  Prices were nearly 700 bucks.





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16 responses so far

  • illeaturfamily

    I remember using those USB mouses with our shitty Macs in grade school. Even back then I thought it was uncomfortable for my tiny hands to use. Plus by that time we had a pc at home and I was used to having at least two buttons.

    Did anyone else really enjoy cleaning out the rollers of a trackball mouse? They would get all bumpy and dirty, then you’d clean them out and be all like “ahhhhhh… much better” That was always strangely relieving for me lol.

  • zomgmouse

    It seems many of the “failures” weren’t to do with the products themselves as with their prices. Too bad Apple doesn’t think up cool ideas for computers anymore and whores itself out to shrieking teenagers.

  • Sideshow

    Now we can scrape the gunk off the little pads on our infrared mouse.

  • Doug

    Fun fact about the Apple 3. Because it didn’t have a cooling system (hence the fire hazard you mentioned), the chips kept warping and popping out of place. You were supposed to actually drop the computer back onto the surface in order to reset everything.

    Literal percussive maintenance. I bet Fonzie loved it.

  • Scott

    Actually… the handwriting recognition of the Newton was fantastic. It was more of a precursor to the Palm Pilot, than the iPad. If you’ll remember, the handwriting recognition of the palm was horrible. It required you to write in a specialized, palm specific way in order to recognize. And even then it usually failed.
    With the Newton you could write as usual, with your own handwriting style, and still it had an incredible accuracy.

    But yes. Expensive, heavy, and nearly twice the size of the Palm Vii.

  • max

    That photo is not the Portable. The Portable was indeed huge, but that’s not it.

  • http://philsbs.blogspot.com/ phil

    @ Sideshow, I just rip the pads off, and all that gunk, is just comming off your dirty, dirty hands, what have you been doing?

    How about the name iPad… why didnt they just call it the iNotepad, or the iSlate, whats going to come out next the iwipe?

    http://jezebel.com/5458338/that-time-of-the-month-the-best-period+related-ipad-jokes

  • Bryan

    What was the Simpson’s joke? “Go bite Martha”?

    Except for the mouse (ugh), the rest were just way way to expensive, even by Apple standards. I plopped $2G on my Macbook Pro, but the thing is a tank. I’ve dropped it many times (hey, I’m clumsy) from several feet, and all it has is a couple of dents.

    Mac stuff is expensive, weird, and prone to odd behavior. Kind of like my dog. But I love ‘em both.

  • E

    max is right, that photo is not the portable, that’s Lisa 2 or Macintosh XL.

  • sepirothpk

    This was back when Apple was actually innovative. Now they just get features from other devices and cram them in, including into things they just don’t belong. Plus they overprice most of their stuff now, just people are more willing to buy it because Apple is trendy. I mean, the original Ipod, heck the current Iphone, was more expensive and worse than the competition. And don’t get me started on their PCs (Yes, they are PCs)

  • ha

    You forgot the Air.

  • Razor

    @illeaturfamily: I totally enjoyed cleaning my trackball mouse :D It was always kind of a challenge to get even the last bit of dirt out of it xD

  • Johannes

    The 20th Anniversary Macintosh had specs that put every other computer in 1997 to shame. Did YOU have a flat screen in 97?
    The thing was not a failure, it was a novelty item.

    The Newton was not too expensive. Palmtops cost that much back then. If you installed Grafitti, it was decent. But of course Palm OS won out in the end.

    The Apple USB Mouse had just one button because Mac OS Classic needed only one button.

    The Quicktake was not very expensive for its time either..

  • http://waldoacat.blogspot.com/ Waldo

    The round USB mouse wasn’t a failure because of the one button — Mac mouses before and after had one button and worked fine. The problem was the shape. Unlike a standard mouse, the round mouse did not automatically signal to the user which end was “up”. Clearly a design flaw that Apple either didn’t notice or didn’t care to correct.

  • Vince

    Haha… I still have that exact mouse to use when my laptop trackpad isn’t efficient for something. xD;

    I loved the original iMacs and those mice. Those operating systems only needed one button. I wish they did the multi-coloured thing with their computers again…

  • Ray

    Apple Is garbage

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