15 Greatest Failed Apple Products

Apple has a reputation for manufacturing top-quality, functional products but has had its share of flops over the last few decades. Some Apple products were only sold a year or so after launch because of inferior design, high prices, or dysfunctional performance.

1. iPhone 6

Image Credit: Apple, Inc.

The iPhone 6 launched in 2014 but collapsed after multiple tech channels’ negative reviews caused a significant drop in sales. The iPhone 6 had durability and quality issues. Initially, Apple offered customer replacements but eventually discontinued the product in 2016.

2. The Apple Newton

Three Newton MessagePad devices
Image Credit: Geoff Parsons – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

The Apple Newton was a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) launched in 1993. It was the first product to market that recognized a user’s handwriting onscreen. However, the product failed to live up to the hype. The Newton was glitchy and unreliable, and Apple discontinued it in 1998.

3. iPod Hi-Fi

Image Credit: Apple, Inc.

The Apple iPod Hi-Fi was a high-end speaker system for iPods launched in 2006 and discontinued in 2007. The system focused on the popularity of iPod docks with portable speakers, but users complained about the price (over $340) and poor performance.

4. Apple Pippin

Apple Pippin
Image Credit: Evan-Amos/Wiki Commons.

Apple tried to enter the competitive gaming console world by launching a product called the Apple Pippin in 1996. During the mid-’90s, the company released a cross between a gaming console and a computer system. The price was a hefty $599, and its features were poor, such as the small 14.4kb/s modem and the 8-bit and 16-bit color display. In addition, the leading game corporations did not support the Apple Pippin. Apple discontinued the product a year later, in 1997.

5. Hockey Puck Mouse

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Apple launched the Hockey Puck Mouse in 1998 as a unique version of a standard computer mouse. It was shaped like a hockey puck and was one of the most disliked Apple products in history. One of the main problems was its usability, as it was too small and rotated during use, making it awkward for users to hold onto. Apple discontinued the product in 2000.

6. Apple eMate

Image Credit: Felix Winkelnkemper, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

The Apple eMate was a PDA that used the Newton operating system. It looked like an early laptop with a tiny screen and a small keyboard. Apple launched the eMate in 1997 but discontinued it in 1998. Apple’s target market was educational institutions since it wasn’t available to the general public.

7. The Apple Macintosh Portable

The Apple Macintosh Portable
Image Credit: Rama, Own Work – CC BY-SA 2.0 fr/Wiki Commons.

Apple’s first attempt at manufacturing a portable computer in 1989 failed miserably. It was 4 inches thick and bulky to carry. Users found the Macintosh Portable impossibly slow and incapable of doing simple tasks. At times, the unit failed to turn on properly. It cost $7,300, and because of its poor performance, the product was doomed to fail and was discontinued in 1991.

8. Macintosh TV

Image Credit: Ben Boldt/Wiki Commons.

This early version of the Apple TV, launched in 1993, survived for only a year. The combined computer/TV had a 14″ screen and could only accomplish one task simultaneously. Users could either use it as a computer or watch TV. It also wasn’t cheap, with the launch price of $2,495.

9. The Apple III

The Apple III
Image Credit: Bilby, Own Work – CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

The Apple III came to the market in 1980 as a personal computer targeted at a business audience. It had no cooling fans, so it was loud and regularly overheated, causing irreparable damage to several internal components. The Apple III was a failure, and the company discontinued the product in 1984.

10. Apple Lisa

Image Credit: Timothy Colegrove – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Apple launched the first mass-market personal computer in 1983. The Apple Lisa had a graphical user interface, a tiny 1MB RAM, and a large price tag of $9,995. It was incompatible with most software applications, and its performance was poor. Apple discontinued the product in 1986. It sold only 10,000 units.

11. iTunes Ping

Image Credit: the unofficial AppleKeynotes Channel.

Apple launched iTunes Ping in 2010 as a music-based social networking platform for connecting with musicians and friends. Upon launch, the iTunes Ping did not connect to Facebook, so users found it challenging to find their friends. Although initial interest was high, with over 1 million registered users in the first 48 hours, iTunes Ping failed to live up to the hype, and Apple discontinued it in 2012.

12. MobileMe

Image Credit: Apple Fandom.

Apple MobileMe launched in 2008 as a subscription-based service that included a synced calendar, storage space, contacts, and more. However, registration was difficult, and users couldn’t access the services once subscribed. The service was an embarrassing flop for Apple, and they shut it down in 2011.

13. Apple eWorld

Apple eWorld
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Apple’s eWorld was launched in 1994 as an early attempt to create an online community and virtual world where users could send emails, hang out with friends, and more. It was only available to Macintosh users and did not meet expectations. Apple discontinued eWorld in 1996.

14. Performa 200 Series

Performa 200 Series
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5/Wiki Commons.

In late 1991, Apple launched the Performa 200 Series personal computer, priced at $1250, to capture the market for budget computers. The Performa 200 Series was slow and unreliable, and Apple’s sales plummeted because of this inferior product. It damaged Apple’s reputation for manufacturing quality products. Apple discontinued the Performa 200 Series in 1993.

15. 20th Anniversary Macintosh

20th Anniversary Macintosh
Image Credit: Benoît Prieur, Own Work – CC0/Wiki Comons.

Apple launched the 20th Anniversary Macintosh in 1997 to celebrate 20 years of business. The system was technologically superior to most products on the market then. It had an FM radio, LCD screen, a Bose sound system, and a 2GB hard drive, and it had the nickname “Spartacus.” The main issue with the product was the price of $7,500 (equivalent to about $22,000 today), so it was out of range for most of the general public. Eventually, Apple dropped the price to $1,995 to get rid of the units and discontinued it in 1998.


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