The innovations of Apple Inc. are widely known as successes. They have made Apple the world’s second-largest in information technology. The company is just behind Samsung Electronics in revenue. Having just replaced Samsung as the world’s top mobile phone seller, it can be difficult to imagine Apple Inc. innovations not being so successful. However, there were several Apple products that were duds.
In the early 1980s, the Apple III was introduced. It was the first computer from Apple that was not designed by Steve Wozniak. The super machine was not so super, with a motherboard that had frequent crashes and got too hot, too fast. The result was a problematic system.
Also designed in the 1980s was the Lisa, a personal computer designed by Apple during the 80’s. This very expensive Apple innovation cost nearly $10,000 when it was launched. It was excessively slow and difficult to use forcing Apple to allow its owners to trade in the machine for the Mac Plus at a discounted price.
The Macintosh Plus was a 16 pound “portable” computer. Yes, 16 lbs. Imagine toting that big boy around, and then, turning it on only to find that there was no power. The battery design had issues that resulted in no power, even when it was plugged in.
Priced at $600, the Pippen console was predicted to sell 300,000 units when it was introduced in 1995, but it did not reach a quarter of that number in sales. It just could not compete with the wildly popular gaming consoles from Nintendo, Sega, or PlayStation.
The disc design mouse, otherwise known as the “hockey puck mouse”, was too small for an easy and comfortable grasp, and the round shape made it difficult to use. It was discontinued in 2000, after just two years on the market.
Introduced in 2000, the Power Mac g4 Cube was labeled as too expensive at about $1,600. The innovative design was cool, but it did not come with a monitor and had a manufacturing issue that caused the clear plastic case to crack.
When Apple and the band U2 joined in a partnership, U2 branded iPods was created. It offered U2’s single Vertigo through the iTunes store exclusively, and Apple produced an iPod commercial featuring the popular band. The first ever digital box set featuring all of U2’s albums was also created. With the price at $50 higher than their comparable iPod products, the U2 branded iPod was not very successful. There was no real incentive for consumers to buy it.
The Newton’s Message Pad was Apple’s first attempt at tablet/handheld technology. It was an expensive gadget that looked to be really cool, but was designed to read handwriting, which was something it did not do well.
With the iPod, iPad, Mac desktops, Mac Book Pro, iMac, and of course, the series of popular iPhones, as well as other Apple Inc. innovations have made Apple a household name, these innovations have also made the company over $182 billion in revenue. The company’s successes have far outweighed the failures. The brilliance of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne brought genius to information technology.
By Jennifer Barclay