Apple has managed to keep a culture about themselves that seems to drive “Apple fanboys” to continue to buy their products no matter what. Many sing the praises of Apple all day long, with many individuals failing to believe that the big ‘A’ could do any wrong. However, Apple has a rocky history – in fact, the company was about to go out of business in the mid-to-late 1990’s. While Apple may be on top today, getting there was difficult, and judging by some of these terrible products, it’s a miracle Apple is still exalted for their products. Here are the absolute worst products ever released in Apple history.
Let’s get the worst product ever released by Apple out of the way. The Apple III was supposed to be the next evolution in Apple’s line of desktops, and it had huge shoes to fill with the Apple II (which was a critical success). Yet the Apple III would not even come close to seeing the success of the Apple II due to tis price and design. Costing $7,800 in 1980 with no fan in the computer (that’s right: there was no way to cool off the Apple III), the Apple III was destined to fail right out of the box. Sure, it was must smaller than the Apple II, but what good is it if it’s fried due to the heat of the machine? This was Steve Jobs biggest blunder by far, proving that even when you release game-changing products such as the iPhone and iPad, you’re still only human.
Released in 1993, you would believe the Macintosh TV would allow you to watch television, right? Well, it could, but you could not work while watching TV simultaneously. Only supporting NTSC video, users could watch television thanks to the built-in TV tuner card, which allowed the Mac to display 16-bit television images, yet the computer only supported 8-bit graphics. Incredibly underpowered by 1993 standards, the Macintosh TV was a huge flop despite being a somewhat interesting concept for the time.
Apple wanted to enter into the living room for most of the 1990’s, yet they probably should have given up when the Macintosh TV flopped. They didn’t. Enter the Pippin, a stripped down Mac designed by Apple and introduced by video game publisher/developer Bandai in 1996. That’s right – this is an Apple video game console. Severely underpowered yet overpriced, the Pippin also did not have the vast library of its 1996 competition: Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn (which would be discontinued shortly after 1996), and Nintendo 64. Pippin was discontinued in 1997
These two types of Apple computers nearly killed the entire company – yes, these computers were that bad. How bad were these computers? Many times, the software that came with the computer was unable to run. Add to the fact that even when upgrading the memory or hard drive, your computer automatically became a completely different model number, thus adding confusion to the mix. They were also built with cheap parts, were overpriced, were ugly, were extremely unreliable, and in the end, were some of the worst computers to come out of the 1990’s. It was a steep fall from grace on Apple’s part, that’s for certain.
Apple apparently wanted to take on AOL during the early 1990’s. Enter their own ISP eWorld, which was interesting in that it allowed users to navigate various parts of their service using a city-style layout. If you wanted to read your email, you would select the “Post Office” icon, and if you wanted to chat or read forum pages, you would select the “Town Hall” icon. It was interesting for sure, yet it was incredibly expensive. During business hours, it cost $5 an hour to access the service and after hours? $8 a night – and this was during the early 1990’s! Add to the fact that dial-up Internet was the only option of the day, and you had a service that was incredibly expensive to use. No wonder it closed its doors in 1996.
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