It’s hard to imagine a world without such products as the iphone, ipad or ipod. But over apples thirty years in business they too have had a couple of flops.
Here are 5 such products…
Apple Bandai Pippin
Did you know that Apple was once behind a games console? That’s right, at the time of the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 (known as the fifth-generation console era) Apple decided it would jump into the fray with its own platform.
The hardware was made by Japanese toy maker Bandai, but the console was marketed in the West as the Apple Bandai Pipp!n. (Pippin is a type of apple, nicely carrying on the fruit theme in the Macintosh vein.)
The console plugged into a TV set and ran games from CD-ROMs, however, a high price ($600) and a limited selection of games meant the Pippin did not present the challenge Apple hoped it would.
You’re most likely to find the Pippin on various “Worst Apple Products Ever” lists nowadays, and sales were so poor we haven’t been able to find anyone to comment on the system.
Before everything Apple was prefixed with an “i,” many of its connected products were prefaced with the letter “e” to denote something being hooked up to the Internet.
eWorld was Apple’s mid-Nineties online service that provided Mac owners with e-mail, news and a community center. In the words of Apple fan Andrea Grell, it had a “homelike, cozy look and feel” which you can still experience today thanks to Grell’s amazing online emulator — Remember-eWorld.com — that’s well worth a look if you’re at all interested in the early days of the web.
“It fascinated its users even though it was rather expensive compared to other online services,” states Grell on the site. “eWorld competed directly against AOL, CompuServe, and MSN, and finally lost this competition. On March 31, 1996, at 12:01am the service shut down. Apple’s management decided that the product was doomed to fail in a market where AOL had such a commanding lead.”
“The user experience was superior to AOL, and the FTP feature allowed for the exchange of files and software with other members,” said Mashable reader Scott Boyarsky. “This was really before I had access to a POP account or another way to access the web via a graphical browser (I did have NCSA’s mosaic) with any sort of ease. I liked it. Although I abandoned eWorld when I left for college, it was a great concept, and the precursor to many current social networks and file sharing services.”
Apple Adjustable Keyboard
Apple’s “Adjustable Keyboard” was introduced at a time when keyboard manufacturers were getting wise to the problems of Repetitive Strain Injury and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It was the Cupertino company’s ergonomic offering, theoretically providing a more comfortable way to type than traditional QWERTY keyboards.
Big, beige and with a space-bar the size of a baby’s arm, it’s not what we might call a “highlight” in Apple’s product design portfolio. But was it comfortable to use? Mashable reader Sue Ellen Colter thought so.
“When I was working as a contract technical writer, I used an Apple Adjustable Keyboard when I wasn’t using my PowerBook. I have small hands and appreciated the ability to curve the keyboard. Most of my typing was straight typing; I rarely, if ever, used a function key. I frequently used it for more than 60 hours per week”, says Colter. “Having used a 10-key adding machine in my younger days, I felt right at home with the numeric key pad. Most of the time it was out of the way, but when I had to enter lots of numbers, I pulled it over in front on my right hand. I used my Adjustable Keyboard until Apple stopped supporting ADB and SCSI connections.”
This view is not shared by Scott Boyarsky, however, who describes the keyboard as “horrible” and says he “hated” typing on it.
Apple QuickTake Camera
Apple was very early to market with digital cameras, offering the “QuickTake” range from 1994. It was a product line that Steve Jobs put a stop to when he came back to the helm of Apple in order to streamline the company’s product portfolio.
Although hard to believe today, at the start of the QuickTake era, the concept of a film-less camera was a true novelty, as Mashable reader Scott Boyarsky explains.
“In 1994, while home from school, my best friend called me over to his parents house to show me a cool new digital camera. He said that it didn’t need any film, and you could quickly download the pictures to your computer and edit them in Photoshop. It was the Quicktake 100,” says Boyarsky.
“We thought it was amazing and quickly used it to snap up all sorts of pictures to be used as desktop backgrounds and icons in the latest Mac OS. I think it was a revolutionary product. Soon after, Sony followed with similar digital cameras.”
Apple TV hasn’t always been a small white box designed to sit under your television. Back in the early 90s, Apple actually made a television: The Macintosh TV.
Technically Sony made the TV (it was a 14-inch Sony Trinitron), but Apple combined the CRT display with a Mac in 1993 to create a new category of product that blurred the lines between computing and home entertainment.
Sadly, the TV was neither a decent TV nor a great computer, leading to sales of just 10,000 units and a halt in production just one year after launch.