With the announcement of Apple’s iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the iWatch yesterday we are giving you eight products from Apple that didn’t turn out as expected. These eight items may look like they should have been a success, but unfortunately Apple usually priced themselves out of the competition. So let’s all band together and enjoy some collective schadenfreude at Apple’s expense.
The Apple III was first released in 1980, it was supposed to be the successor to all of the goodwill that the Apple II had built up. Unfortunately for the Apple III it was plagued with issues, to the point that they recalled them and relaunched the product. By the time of the re-launch enough damage had been done to the brand that they just discontinued the computer.
2004 saw Apple release the fancy U2 iPod, it came with the band’s signatures etched on the back and a copy of U2’s latest album. So why did this fail? Well because it was $50 more than the other iPods and having U2 endorse the product didn’t really rationalize the extra cost. Just one example of Apple expecting their customers to be wealthy, and naive.
The predecessor to Apple’s Macbook was the eMate, this little computer would have made them millions, but they didn’t release it to the public. Apple made this little computer for the educational market, which was great, but after it saw success there it could have made some serious waves in the computer market. But to be fair they would have made it too expensive for the audience that would be it’s key demographic.
The Apple Lisa was introduced in 1983 with the price of $9,995, which put it out of reach for a vast majority of the marketplace. When you pay almost ten thousand dollars for a computer you expect it to work well, right? Well unfortunately for the Apple Lisa it did not, users complained that it was sluggish, especially when you were scrolling through documents. All of that added up to the Lisa being a commercial failure. What ultimately dealt the fatal blow was their release of the Macintosh Plus.
The Apple Macintosh Portable was Apple’s first major foray into the portable market. This item was released to the public in 1989, but unfortunately for Apple it was fraught with troubles. The portable computer was equipped with lead-acid batteries, which contributed to the weight and the massive power issues it encountered. The battery, if expended, would fail and not allow the computer to boot up. This all lead to PC World considering the Apple Macintosh Portable one of the worst tech products of all time.
To celebrate Apple’s 20th Anniversary they released the aptly named Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. It was released in 1997 with the whopping price tag of $7,499, making it quite pricey and not in the wheelhouse for most customers. The anniversary mac was too under powered to cost that much, especially considering that Apple was selling a similar product for $2,999. Soon the price dropped considerably but by then it wasn’t a contender in the market.
In 1995 Apple released their competition to all of the popular video game consoles with the Apple Pippin. Apple worked with Bandai to develop and market the console, which would hurt them in the end. Apple expected all of the marketing for the product to be done by Bandai, this compounded with the fact that there really weren’t any games for the Pippin. And once again Apple priced themselves out of contention with its competitors by making their console $599, making it more expensive than the other popular consoles at the time.
The Apple Newton was ahead of its time, it was one of the first major handheld computing devices. Unfortunately for Apple it was also plagued with battery issues, it was also very hard to read the display. Add that to the fact that one of the main advantages to the Newton wasn’t really an advantage, they advertised its handwriting recognition as a major selling point, when in reality the recognition was nowhere near where it needed to be. Understand that the Newton may have failed, but in the end it’s become the predecessor to many of our favorite handheld tablets today.