Top 20 Biggest Failed Products of Apple That Apple Wants You to Forget

Roshni Tamta Roshni Tamta
Mar 30, 2022 10 min read
Top 20 Biggest Failed Products of Apple That Apple Wants You to Forget

Apple Inc., a trillion-dollar corporation, is a household name. Unboxing their premium products reveals the phrase "designed in California." The company has a great reputation for having the best products and has a crazy fan following. People who use Apple products swear by the quality and religiously wait for the new launches and buy them.

However, nothing in life is flawless. The same may be said about Apple. Although the company has introduced several extremely unique, game-changing ideas, not every product has been well received by fans, and some have been huge disappointments.

But, this hasn't stopped the company from producing market-leading items on a regular basis. However, the focus of this article is on Apple's unsuccessful products, which have received widespread criticism from customers. Let's take a look at some of Apple's biggest failed products.

1. The Apple Newton
2. Apple Pippin
3. Round Mouse
4. The Apple Macintosh Portable
5. The Power Mac G4 Cube
6. The U2 iPod
7. Apple eMate
8. Macintosh TV
9. eWorld
10. The Apple III
11. FireWire
12. Apple Lisa
13. 20th Anniversary Macintosh
14. iTunes Ping
15. MobileMe
16. Performa x200 Series
17. Homepod Original
18. iPod Hi-Fi
19. Apple Maps
20. iPhone 6

1. The Apple Newton

Launched in: 1993

Discontinued in: 1998

Price at Launch: $2,495

The Apple Newton was launched as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The CEO at that time, John Sculley, led this idea of a personal digital assistant. The device had several features and task management applications.

Apple Newton
Apple Newton

The main feature was the handwriting recognition one, where the device was able to understand and recognise different handwriting on the screen, but the outcome was disastrous. The device was nothing but a glitchy mess. Its ground-breaking idea was made fun of, and the company discontinued it after Steve Jobs came back to the company in 1998.

2. Apple Pippin

Launched in: 1996

Discontinued in: 1997

Price at Launch: $599

Apple tried really hard to enter the gaming console world by launching a product called Apple Pippin. During the mid-90s, the company released a cross between a gaming console and a computer system.

Apple Pippin
Apple Pippin

The computer contained the classic Mac OS. The product would have been better but the features were really poor. The product had only a 14.4 kb/s modem and had no support from major game corporations. And a big price of $599 didn’t help the product at all. The product was discontinued from the market in 1997.

3. Round Mouse

Launched in: 1998

Discontinued in: 2000

Price at Launch: NA

The company attempted to launch something unique and exciting but instead created one of the most disliked products in history. Apple really thought they did something when they released the round-shaped mouse.

Apple USB Mouse
Apple USB Mouse

The company is known for its curved edges, but the limit was crossed when the round mouse was launched. Officially named the Apple USB Mouse (M4848), but famously known as the "Hockey Puck". The mouse was round, with a two-tone design. It was called clumsy because it used to rotate while using it, was small in size, and was weird to hold and use.

4. The Apple Macintosh Portable

Launched in: 1989

Discontinued in: 1991

Price at Launch: $7,300

The company’s first attempt at portable computers was a horrible disaster. The 4-inch thick portable computer was not easy to carry and could not manage even simple tasks.

Apple Macintosh Portable
Apple Macintosh Portable

Even though the Macbooks we have now have the best performance and design, this was not the case back then. The Macintosh was really slow and would not even turn on sometimes, even after plugging it in.

5. The Power Mac G4 Cube

Launched in: 2000

Discontinued in: 2001

Price at Launch: $1,599

Apple Power Mac G4 Cube
Apple Power Mac G4 Cube

The cube-shaped computer was aesthetically pleasing to the eye, unlike the previously mentioned Round Mouse, but apart from the looks, nothing was special. The device was not well received and everyone hated it. The system didn’t had any monitors and was extremely expensive. After a year, the product was discontinued because it failed to impress Apple fans.

6. The U2 iPod

Launched in: 2004

Discontinued in: 2007

Price at Launch: $349

Apple attempted everything it could to make this a hit product, but no amount of marketing or promotion could save it. They collaborated with U2, a well-known Irish rock band, to release an iPod.

Apple iPod U2
Apple iPod U2

With a red-coloured button wheel, U2 songs featured, and signatures of all the band members on the back, the branding was spot on. It was designed for fans, but it failed to impress the general public because it cost $50 more than the standard model.

7. Apple eMate

Launched in: 1997

Discontinued in: 1998

Price at Launch: $799

Apple launched eMate in 1997, but it was discontinued only after 1 year. It was not available to the general public and was only for educational purposes. It was only seen at educational institutions.

Apple eMate
Apple eMate

Apple is really secretive about it too, as they never released the sales of eMate. The product was a hybrid between a computer, a laptop, and a PDA. It was quite affordable too, with a price tag of just $799.

8. Macintosh TV

Launched in: 1984

Discontinued in: 1994

Price at Launch: $2,495

Apple Macintosh TV
Apple Macintosh TV

In 1993, Apple released the gadget that prepared the way for the now-famous Apple TV. The device was combined television with a computer, but one big limitation was that it could only accomplish one thing at a time. On its 14-inch screen, one can watch TV or use it as a computer, but not both at the same time. And all this came with a hefty price of $2495.

9. eWorld

Launched in: 1994

Discontinued in: 1996

Price at Launch: $8.95 a month

Apple eWorld
Apple eWorld

The company really tried to create a virtual world and an online community where people could hang out, send emails, and much more. It was really advanced for its time but failed to impress as it was expensive and only available for Macintosh users, which limited the market. It was pulled off the shelves in 1996.

10. The Apple III

Launched in: 1980

Discontinued in: 1984

Price at Launch: $4,340

Apple III
Apple III

The computer was business-focused but failed to impress as it was poorly designed with no cooling fans to provide a silent, quiet working experience, but that led to overheating of the device and ruining several components of the computer. This extreme market failure really tainted the company’s image and was discontinued in 1984.


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Are you someone who is fascinated by Apple’s marketing strategy and how they pull it off? So, Here’s a detailed look at Apple’s marketing strategy.

11. FireWire

Launched in: 1999

Discontinued in: 2008

Price at Launch: NA

Apple is known for coming up with innovative approaches and challenging old technologies, which is exactly what it did when it introduced FireWire, a USB competitor. It was claimed by the business to be a speedier alternative to USB.

Apple FireWire
Apple FireWire

Nobody noticed the change and continued to use the existing USB port. Hardware manufacturers did not include a FireWire port on their products, as in order to do so, they had to pay Apple for licensing, which was clearly not worth it.

12. Apple Lisa

Launched in: 1983

Discontinued in: 1986

Price at Launch: $9,995

Apple Lisa
Apple Lisa

It was the world's first personal computer with a graphical user interface. It was a step forward toward the future of personal computers. But the price tag of nearly $10,000 was way too much for the technology, and the overall performance was not even good, so the buyers were not happy at all. The company only managed to sell 10,000 Lisas in two years. It was discontinued in 1986.

13. 20th Anniversary Macintosh

Launched in: 1997

Discontinued in: 1998

Price at Launch: $7499

Apple 20th Aniversary Macintosh
Apple 20th Aniversary Macintosh

This is an iconic piece of history as it was released to celebrate Apple’s 20 years of existence and business. It is also known as "Spartacus". The system was technically advanced and had many features like an LCD screen, Bose sound system, FM radio, and many more. But it didn’t do well because of the hefty price of $7,500. Apple even reduced the price to $1,995 to clear out the stock and get rid of the failed product.

14. iTunes Ping

Launched in: 2010

Discontinued in: 2012

Price at Launch: NA

Apple iTunes Ping
Apple iTunes Ping

iTunes Ping was a music-based social networking service that was launched in 2010, for connecting with your friends, and musicians. But when the product launched it was not connected to Facebook (Now Meta) so it was really difficult to find friends on that and the overall service was not up to the mark.

15. MobileMe

Launched in: 2000

Discontinued in: 2012

Price at Launch: $99

Apple MobileMe
Apple MobileMe

Before iCloud, the company had a similar thing called MobileMe, which was a collection of online services with a subscription of $99 per year. The features include storage space, a synced calendar and contacts, and so much more. But the service was not well received as people were unable to use it. People who were trying to subscribe couldn't sign up, and the ones that had subscribed were not able to access the service. It was a total flop and was shut down in 2011.

16. Performa 200 Series

Launched in: 1992

Discontinued in: 1993

Price at Launch: $1250

Apple Performa 200
Apple Performa 200

In 1995, Apple tried to launch cheaper computer systems while trying to cut costs. They completely destroyed their reputation as the computers were horrible to use and became popular among the population as "Macs to be avoided at all costs". The hardware was terrible, and the systems were painfully slow. Due to this, many people started believing that Macs were overall inferior and slower than Windows, which damaged Apple's sales in the 90s.

17. Homepod Original

Launched in: 2018

Discontinued in: 2021

Price at Launch: $349

Apple launched its smart speaker, HomePod, in 2018, but the price tag was so high that people refused to buy it. And the later release of a smaller, cheaper version, the HomePod Mini, was the final nail in the coffin for the original HomePod.

Apple Homepod and Homepod Mini
Apple Homepod and Homepod Mini

After receiving criticism from the buyers, the company permanently reduced the price to $299 in 2019. That still didn’t help, and the company finally discontinued it in 2021.

18. iPod Hi-Fi

Launched in: 2006

Discontinued in: 2007

Price at Launch: $349

Apple iPod Hi-Fi
Apple iPod Hi-Fi

The main concern with the discontinued Apple products has always been the hefty price and the terrible performance. The same goes for the next Apple product too. The iPod Hi-Fi was meant to capitalize on the popularity of portable speakers with iPod docks. But the price of the speaker was so high that the general public didn’t buy it at all. We can't blame them because the product was $349, which was significantly more expensive than any other competing brand.

19. Apple Maps

Launched in: 2012

Discontinued in: NA

Price at Launch: NA

Apple Maps Launch Version
Apple Maps Launch Version

Apple tried to replace the pre-installed Google Maps on its devices by coming out with its own Apple Maps. It was for the iPhones and iPads, but it was full of distorted images and wrong directions, and the final product was so glitchy and terrible that the CEO, Tim Cook, had to apologize for it. Apple didnt disoncituned the product and launched a newer verion that was much better.

20. iPhone 6

Launched in: 2014

Discontinued in: 2016

Price at Launch: $649

Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 

Who doesn't remember the infamous Bend Gate? There was a time on YouTube when all the tech channels were bending the iPhone 6 in their reviews. It became such a huge problem for Apple as it showcased its phone as not durable and of poor quality. The company claimed that it was only a case for a few iPhone owners and that a replacement would be conducted for those who were facing this issue.


Apple Marketing Strategy: The Secret Behind its Simple Yet Effective Marketing Strategy
Are you someone who is fascinated by Apple’s marketing strategy and how they pull it off? So, Here’s a detailed look at Apple’s marketing strategy.

Conclusion

Apple is a trillion-dollar corporation with customers all around the world. It has developed a number of cutting-edge products and services. However, the corporation has had some embarrassing failures that have damaged the brand's image. Yet, by learning from past failures, the company is able to develop new products and win new customers.

FAQs

What are some failures of Apple?

Apple iPhone 6, Newton, U2 iPod, Apple III, FireWire, Lisa, Homepod were some of the biggest failures of Apple.

What was Apple's biggest mistake?

Dan Ives, an analyst said that Apple's biggest mistake was not acquiring Netflix years ago. The company does not have a major stake in the popular streaming giant.

How did Apple almost fail?

Due to overpriced computers, and mediocre service, the company was about to be shut down in the mid-90s.

What is Apple's main product?

The iPhone is Apple’s main product, with more than 1.7 billion iPhones sold since 2017.

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