Apple is known for iconic and groundbreaking devices like the iPhone, the Apple Watch and AirPods. But, as you can imagine, not every Apple release goes over as well as those products.
We’re not talking about less popular devices like HomePod. Instead, we’ve dug through the Apple history books and selected Apple products and devices that have largely been forgotten and lost to the annals of technology history. And many of these products seem pretty absurd when you consider Apple's image and product lineup as it stands today in 2020.
Continue reading to browse seven products Apple used to make, that are pretty bizarre today.
The Apple Collection
Polo t-shirts, sailboards and Swiss army knives are not products that you’d commonly associate with the Cupertino tech giant we know and love today. And yet, back in 1986, Apple released The Apple Collection — a line of clothing and lifestyle accessories with Apple branding.
It sounds too weird to be real, but all of these products apparently existed. And beyond the Apple logo-adorned swag, The Apple Collection produced bizarre items like umbrellas, beach towels, laser-etched beer mugs, and a $35 “Apple Watch.”
QuickTake 100 Camera
You can make the argument that Apple makes some of the best and most widely used cameras on the market. But back in the 1990s, the Cupertino firm actually made standalone cameras that weren’t attached to an iPhone or other device.
While the QuickTake only had about a three-year run, Time Magazine actually dubbed it among its 100 most influential gadgets made since 1923. And despite a lukewarm reaction and objectively bad image quality, the QuickTake is largely considered the “first consumer digital camera.”
Apple II Cassettes
Back when apps were called programs, most computer platforms required users to install them from a storage media device like a CD. But long before the Mac platform had CD drives, most games and programs for the Apple II actually came on cassettes.
Yes, cassettes just like the ones that would be eaten by your parent’s car tape deck. It’s hard to imagine, but these Apple II cassettes actually predated another type of vintage computer storage media — floppy disks.
Apple SilenType and OneScanner
Apple isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of stuffy and boring office supplies. Since the early aughts, Apple has tried to distance itself from that image. And yet, back in the 1990s and 1980s, the company actually made both printers and scanners.
The OneScanner was a flatbed scanner that offered 30-bit color scanning and a 600x1200 resolution. The SilenType printer, which was released in 1980, required special paper but was able to support 80-column output. And, interestingly enough, it was actually on the lower end of printers at the time.
Pippin Game Console
The fact that you’ve probably never heard of Apple’s first gaming console is evidence of how it went. Produced between 1996 and 1997, the Apple Pippin was a $599 “multimedia technology console.” And despite not meeting much commercial success, Apple still shipped 42,000 of the 100,000 produced.
As far as the name, a Pippin is actually a type of apple, which is a moniker scheme in the same vein as the Macintosh. That makes quite a bit of sense since the Pippin operating system was basically just an offshoot of the company’s Macintosh platform.
20th Anniversary Mac
The next time you hear someone complain about the Mac Pro’s $5,999 starting price, just show them the 20th Anniversary Mac. Like today’s Mac Pro, the Anniversary Mac was a bespoke device meant for a very specific type of buyer. Specifically, the “executive” market.
Launched in 1998 to the tune of $7,499 (about $11,900 today), the 20th Anniversary Mac featured a custom Bose sound system, and every unit was actually hand-delivered by Apple staff members in suits, arriving in limousines.
Solid Gold Apple EarPods
Back before AirPods dropped, the iconic Apple audio experience came in the form of EarPods. But in addition to the classic white EarPods you probably remember, Apple also created a single pair of headphones crafted out of 18-karat solid rose gold.
Those luxury EarPods, which actually still had wires, were created in partnership with (RED), and the proceeds benefited AIDS research. While bids started at $20,000, the EarPods eventually sold for $461,000.