Still, as a veteran Apple watcher of nearly 20 years, I’ve run into my share of bad Apple products, and heard the horror stories from my more elderly fellow Apple compadres. After slicing and dicing through a few dozen bad Apples, here’s my Top 10 list of the worst.
Wherefore Art Thou, Honorable Mention?
Among the Honorable Mention crowd is an Apple product I bought, one that Steve Jobs presented, and one that I wished I’d had nothing to do with.
Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi was the boom box without the boom, horribly expensive, didn’t come with an AM/FM radio, and required the iPod to be stuck on the top.
So bad was Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi that I gave mine away to a friend and she’s never spoken to me since.
The more elderly of today’s Mac and Apple faithful may remember the company’s first flop. The Apple III.
The claim to fame for that bad Apple is that it was launched the same year I was born. I’ve lasted longer.
The Top 10 Worst Apple Products
#10: Mac Cube – This was inspired by none other than Steve Jobs and it was beautiful. And overpriced by like double.
#9: iMac mouse – Think digital hockey puck. No other product had a greater impact on the Mac peripherals market.
#8: ROKR – iTunes on a cell phone. I like to remind my clever, geeky, cheeky Mac-toting fiancé that he bought a ROKR and loved it.
#7: 20th Anniversary Mac – This was cool looking but horribly expensive and underpowered, a vestige from Apple executives who should have known better.
#6: Macintosh TV – The marriage of Mac or PC to a TV hasn’t really caught on, even 20 years later.
#5: MobileMe – The idea was sound, the execution was terrible and a lesson that Apple still hasn’t learned. Don’t ship until it’s ready to wow. Ping, anyone?
#4: eWorld – I never saw this in action, but all my elderly Mac friends swear it was AOL with an Apple logo.
#3: Mac Portable – My boss has one of these and I think it still works. It is a huge monstrosity that probably helped coin the term ‘luggable.’
#2: QuickTake digital camera – Sometimes Apple is ahead of the crowd, other times behind the curve. Great idea, poor implementation.
#1: Pippen – Maybe not so oddly enough, the Pippen video game console was so bad that Apple didn’t even bring it to the U.S., preferring that it fail in a different country.
There are a few Apple products that didn’t make my list of Top 10 or even Honorable Mention. The precursor to the Mac, the Lisa, was a sales disaster but a beautifully designed product terribly overpriced, yet an elegant preview of the future of personal computing.
Others suggested the PowerPC Macs, but those were around for years. Another suggestion was various and sundry versions of Mac OS before OS X became mainstream. What did I miss? What else should be on the list of the Worst Ever?