A look back at Apple’s iFlops

bombNot everything that Apple does is perfect.  Their products and services can’t all be iPods, iPhone or the new iPad.  There has been some major ‘iFlops’ in Apple’s past. Apple wants us to forget about this little indiscretions.  Apple wants to be seen as the premiere innovator of our time, not the company that gave us the G4 or the HiFi. Let’s open up the Apple archives for a few moments and shed some light on the ghosts of Apple’s product past:

The Newton: Personally, this was a device before its time. The Newton was released to us back in 1983.  It was an attempt at something new, a touchscreen handhled computer. It sounded good on paper, but due to its large size and even larger price tag ($700 plus), it didnt make much head way and fell by the Apple wayside.  But think of it this way, if they had not done the Newton, would we have the iPhone and iPod touch?

G4 cube: It was pretty and shiny.  The design was something that had never been seen before, but the G4 cube never quite caught on with the buying public. The 8 x 8 x 8-inch Cube was supposed to fill the gap between the iMac G3 and the Power Mac G4.  But, like the Mac Mini now, it had no monitor.  It was also high in cost. Eventually, the Cube faded into obscurity — but only after it won several international awards for its design.

20th Anniversary Mac (TAM): It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Tout the 20th anniversary of the Apple with a special edition of their Macintosh product line.  It looked good, but didnt offer anything new or different.  It was a Mac, that is all.  Apple stopped making them after a year.  So much for the celebration.

Puck mouse: If you got yourself a Bondi Blue G3 iMac, you got the strange new puck mouse to go with it.  It looked like a hockey puck and handled like a MAC truck.  It didnt go over well with users.  Most traded it in for a “real” mouse after a week of using it.

iPod HiFi: It was an expensive, underperforming, heavyweight sound system that quickly became lost in a crowded field of similar offerings. Clocking in at nearly 17 pounds, iPod Hi-Fi was little more than a pretty shelf unit with a precarious iPod dock. It was discontinued last September after just 18 months on the market.

Apple TV:  Its Apple’s answer to the Tivo.  It streams your iTunes content (video, photos, audio) right to your TV.  Cool right?  Well, while the product is still around and being sold in Apple Stores, it hasnt really done what Apple has wanted.  It didnt take down the Tivo.  It didnt rival Netflix. It just a cool Apple device.  The jury is still out on this one.

There are still others: the Apple IIc, the Lisa, the Pippin…but we didnt want to drag all of Apple’s dirty laundry out into the public eye.  We just wanted to prove the point that for all the iPhones, Macbooks, and now iPads…there are G4s lurking…

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