It's really amazing how Apple keeps upping the bar with each and every product release. Apple is well known for shaking up the tech world when it announces new smartphones, tablets, computers, or wearables. But these seemingly constant successes don't come without a few failures along the way.
Despite the company's ingenuity, some of Apple's products have missed the mark. Continue reading to learn more about some of Apple's biggest product flops (and why they didn't take off).
iPod Nano Gen 3
Apple revolutionized the music world by debuting the first iPod model back in 2001. But they did a disservice to the iPod by creating the iPod Nano Gen 3.
The iPod Nano Gen 1 was released in 2005 as a replacement for the iPod mini. It was Apple's way to create a smaller, less costly mp3 device for its customers. But the Gen 3 model took an odd turn: it was a heavier, more square version of the device. The company's attempt to offer a bigger screen also meant that the infamous Click Wheel was reduced in size. Gen 3 also had a form factor that easily showed fingerprints and scratches.
All in all, the device's limited storage in addition to its strange shape made it a less than thrilling mp3 player. The iPod Nano Gen 4 was announced
The Apple Newton
It's hard now to imagine the days before smartphones and tablets. But before they existed, personal digital assistants (more commonly known as PDAs) were the cool new way to keep track of everything from contacts to notes and calendar events.
Apple entered into the PDA market when it debuted the Apple Newton MessagePad in 1992, a time when handheld computers were more of an idea than an actual product. It included a stylus, unique software, and even a first attempt at handwriting recognition technology. But most importantly, the device could fit in a user's pocket.
The device didn't take off as Apple hoped, and they ended up canceling the project in 1998. But the idea of taking a computer on-the-go lasted — today they're our smartphones.
The Macintosh TV
Apple wanted to be more than just a computer company — they wanted to also get into multimedia. To do this, the company went ahead and added a cable-ready TV tuner card to a Macintosh computer and changed the casing from beige to black to create a sleek all-in-one media machine.
What actually ended up happening was that the device only had 8MB of memory. On top of this, the system was slow and the 16-bit color scheme made the picture quality less than thrilling.
Unfortunately for Apple, a regular TV was much cheaper than the hefty price tag attached to the Macintosh TV. Apple discontinued the product in February 1994, only four months after releasing it.
It's crazy to think how much gaming systems have evolved over the past few years. When you look at today's Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 systems, gaming consoles from only a few years ago look like antiques.
In 1996, Apple partnered with Japanese company Bandai to create Pippin, a gaming system that ran a Mac OS and used game CD-ROMs. It even had a controller with a trackball, and a wireless version that used infrared technology.
Unfortunately for Apple, Pippin had poor games and poor overall performance. They only sold 42,000 units and subsequently discontinued the device the next year. This could have been due to the $600 price tag — similar devices, like the Sony PlayStation and N64, were $300 and $200, respectively.
Power Mac G4 Cube
There have been many versions of the Mac computer, from the original beige Apple II to the grayish Macintosh Classic to the see-through iMac 3G. But one design stands out from the rest: the Power Mac G4 Cube.
The desktop computer had the most futuristic look of any of Apple's computer thanks to Apple's former CDO Jony Ive. The Cube housed all of the computer's inner workings and was encased in acrylic glass. It had a built-in speaker and used a convection-based cooling system to keep the components from overheating. It wasn't an all-in-one system: the monitor connected separately, along with a set of Harman Kardon transparent speakers.
But the design had flaws. The casing would easily show manufacturing flaws (called "mold lines") that resembled cracks, ruining the cube's overall appearance.
The components were also troublesome. While you could easily remove the Cube, you couldn't easily upgrade it: there were no PCI slots. It also didn't come with a monitor: that was available at an extra cost.
The Power Mac G4 Cube didn't see huge sales, and whether it was due to its odd design or because of its steep price tag is anyone's guess. Apple stopped making the Power Mac G4 Cube in July 2001, only one year after it hit the market.