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The Island of Lost Apple Products 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the food-tastes-better-on-an-igrill dept.
concealment writes "most of Apple's products are so popular that it seems everything the company does is destined to succeed. But it doesn't take much digging to find a trail of failures and false starts. Even in recent years, there are examples of products that seemed great but never resonated with consumers, and some that seemed so destined for failure it's hard to imagine why any company would have brought them to market. Here are some examples of Apple veering a bit off course."
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The Island of Lost Apple Products

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  • I bought a Smart Case and returned it 2 minutes after I started using it because it was extremely uncomfortable to hold. I never expected something so crappy from them.

    • by Arab (466938)

      I like the smart case, given it's really expensive for a bit of plastic/leather and some magnets but it's functional.

      The only reason I stopped using it was because I got a Logitec keyboard case.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not entirely Apple's work, but primarily so. It was an exciting concept (at the time) and I was sorry to see it fall apart.

    • Yeah, everything they seem to have listed is all relatively new.

      Pippin, MacTV, Copland, Cube, eWorld [wikipedia.org], What ever happened to ClarusWorks after it got spun off?

      • by bedouin (248624)

        ClarisWorks became AppleWorks, which was sort of like Apple's Microsoft Works and stagnated for years, especially after Pages and Keynote came out. The Intel switch was the final nail in the coffin for it. It definitely had some loyalists, though; many seemed to be K-12 educators.

        I think many of the iWork people came from Gobe Productive, which in turn was comprised of many ClarisWorks exiles. I guess the whole thing has come full circle in some ways. AppleWorks was such a kludge of legacy code that ope

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        Claris Works became Apple Works became iWorks which became Pages/Numbers/Keynote/Bento.

  • Not once again!
  • No Pippin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arab (466938) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:48AM (#41930145) Journal

    The Pippin should surely be on this list. Also some of those are still being sold by Apple today. If you are going to list Apple products that are crap and still in use how can you not list the Half Assed Game Centre?

  • by Scarletdown (886459) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:52AM (#41930169) Journal

    Why are the Apple III and the Apple Lisa not on the list? Granted, the Lisa was somewhat the predecessor of the Mac, but it itself was still a failure.

  • Innovation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomalpha (746163) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:00AM (#41930211)
    This isn't a bad thing. Good companies (not just apple) take risks and try out new things. It only takes one in ten to be a good product, and one in twenty to be a great product to keep the company going. The trick is to make sure they're not *too* ludicrous before you launch them, and if they don't work out, make sure you realise this quickly and fail fast [businessweek.com] If you don't keep moving and innovate, some other bugger out there will and you'll get left behind. I'm looking at you Microsoft. [standard imnotafanbois disclaimer; believe what you will; ymmv]
    • Actually, Microsoft does this as well, and they do have their hits, like Kinekt, and their Metro interface. Granted, the tiles stuff isn't completely new, but they improved it to a point of usability, just like Apple has with the iPhone. Metro works well in certain cases, especially phones an tablets, so well in fact that the concept is gaining popularity in iOS apps as well.

      Now to "making sure the idea isn't too ludicrous". That's where making Metro the UI for Windows 8 comes in...
  • by second_coming (2014346) on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:02AM (#41930217)
    if you want to come up with game changing designs/products.

    Apple have always been good at seeing how the market is moving and many times coming out with a product before the technology is good enough or the public were ready for it.

    Jobs was also prepared to take the kind of risks most big companies aren't.
  • by csirac (574795) on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:06AM (#41930225) Homepage
    I can't believe an entire platform of mobile computing was omitted from this, and yet ... texas holdem? Really? I demand a recount!
    • I liked the Newton, but it was too expensive for me at the time. Fortunately, I had a friend who had one, so I got to play with it. I really liked the "graffiti" writing-to-text feature. Palm also had a similar writing-to-text feature. I still have an old Palm T3, that I used for many years. I'd still be using it except the only way to exchange data between it and anything else is with SD cards (well, it does have IR communications, but nothing else I use does.) I am mostly happy with the Android tablet I n

  • G4 Cube (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I was expecting the G4 cube to be there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Gallery of Apple pocket tat from the last decade, half of which is still in production"

    I'm no apple fanboi, but this strange idea that the company burst into life with the launch of the iPod and has been on the up ever since is paying the company a disservice.

    • Actually the development of iPod/iTunes is where life starts. We could have aborted AAPL anywhere before that and Jobs would have just wound up teaming up with Woz to start a brand new company, launch the iPod and iTunes, and it would have turned out just the same. Companies don't burst into life at inception; they have to gestate first.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:46AM (#41930337)

    ... the island of lost accessories. Everything in this product was an accessory designed for core Apple products. A lot of those accessories aren't even notable, so why would Apple invest much in their success?

    You don't launch a multimillion dollar ad campaign over iPod socks or iPod/iPhone trinket apps after all.

  • The marketplace is the only place where success or failure will be defined so release something there and iterate.

    Companies in China do it a lot whereas in the West we try and get something perfect before release. Magazines are the exception as it is often cheaper to launch than to do the research to see if it would succeed or not.

  • Hardly epic fails (Score:5, Insightful)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Friday November 09, 2012 @07:25AM (#41930473)

    The only major failures I see there are Ping and the Rokr.

    The rest seem like toes in the water that were probably worth a punt at the time.

    The QuickTake camera was one of the first "affordable" digital cameras on the market. What was important to Apple was that people used Macs for digital photography and the QuickTake helped them play a role in creating that market. By the time it was dropped, big names in photography were producing consumer digicams - it was probably sensible for Apple not to go head to head with names like Nikon, Olympus and Fuji, or even Sony (who already had a name in video).

    Bet you 50 Internets that the Poker app was withdrawn because they started getting negative publicity from the anti-gambling lobby. Meanwhile, i'm sure the news that iPod socks failed to set the world on fire will bring Apple's share price crashing (NB: they [i]were[/i] meant to protect iPods - TFA makes it sound like Apple was trying to break into the hosiery market!)

    • nothing wrong with them whatsoever especially for the cold winter days ahead.

    • by DingerX (847589) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:08AM (#41930921) Journal
      It's all backwards: they are all epic fails, except for the Rokr. The Rokr demonstrated that Apple could generate a ton of interest and press in the Cellphone space, that people wanted such a device, but that the existing operator/handset maker dynamic was so broken, it required a radical new approach. In effect, when Apple went to negotiate iPhone terms with the carriers, they could point to the ROKR, and say "we tried it your way".

      Best of all, Apple got Motorola to license the tech from them.
      • by itsdapead (734413)

        In effect, when Apple went to negotiate iPhone terms with the carriers, they could point to the ROKR, and say "we tried it your way".

        I think that one fails Hanlon's Razor. More likely, Apple were terrified that the availability of music players on mobile phones would trash sales of the iPod and tried to do something about it in a hurry. Also. maybe they got something useful out of Motorola in return.

        Anyway, if you make an Epic Fail on purpose does that really make it a Huge Success? Risking the iTunes brand like that was a pretty stupid thing to do, and last time I looked Apple were still shifting useful numbers of iPods despite every

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Anyway, if you make an Epic Fail on purpose does that really make it a Huge Success?

          It does if it works. If it works, it's a good plan.

          Risking the iTunes brand like that was a pretty stupid thing to do

          Like what? Most people never heard of the ROKR.

        • by tyme (6621)

          itsdapead [slashdot.org] wrote:

          I think that one fails Hanlon's Razor.

          Don't you mean Hanlon's RAZR? (or, maybe, Hanlon's ROKR?)

  • Why ding Apple for products they tried and failed with, when the format iPod Nano has changed on the last 3 or 4 versions. Tall and thin => Different tall and thin => square => tall and thin again. I don't think that Apple knows where it is going with this one.

    • Why ding Apple for products they tried and failed with, when the format iPod Nano has changed on the last 3 or 4 versions. Tall and thin => Different tall and thin => square => tall and thin again. I don't think that Apple knows where it is going with this one.

      But they know what they are doing. If someone has a tall and thin iPod Nano then you can buy a different tall and thin as a birthday or Christmas present. And then you can buy a square one as a birthday present. And then a tall and thin one again. Lots of iPods are sold that way.

      The iPod Classic, on the other hand, is something that you buy for yourself because it is exactly what you want (or you don't buy it), it's not something you buy as a present. So there is no need to change it, because if you are

  • I didn't know they existed before reading this article, but I still miss them. :(
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Friday November 09, 2012 @09:47AM (#41931139)

    It is normal to have some failures on the way to success. That's what evolution is all about. Developing products is evolutionary. That's reality. For those who complain about failures it just makes me think they have never tried.

  • Worst Apple product ever is still 'on the market'. iTunes.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Worse by what measure?
      Installations? no.
      Users? no
      integration? no

      • Have you ever enjoyed using it? Nope, it is about as fun as Sony's old NetMD software and about as fast, stable and non-intrusive.

        Would you recommend that others use it if they didn't have to use it with their iDevice? Nope. There is better software out there for playing and managing your audio. Apple knows this, but they don't really care, because it is first and foremost a device management platform. Screw everything else.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:41AM (#41931561) Homepage Journal

    I hope they are only being paid the standard blogger rate of $10. Because you get what you pay for.

    Dude;
    Apple III
    Mac II FX
    eWorld
    Newton
    ANYTHING under Spindler
    The Cube
    Taco's review of the iPod

  • Any company that is trying to expand its product line will have false starts from time to time. What separates the good companies from the bad is at what point they realize they've got a loser and drop it, or know it's going to be a winner and pile all their resources behind a big push.

    Apple made a digital camera years ahead of its time, but almost no one has heard of it. The idea we know now was obviously a good one that would be a big hit with the consumer, but the technology just wasn't good enough, so

  • ... in Microsoft's corner: Win95, Bob, Zune, Vista, big serious backed-by-the-bosses stuff.
  • The camera was, in the end, rebranded Fuji product. They were good but not exceptional, in a growing market made up of people that had photography and not computing as a business. The rest of the items were trash on the fringe with nothing to make them worth keeping, they seemed like a good idea at the time. The article is a filler with none of the real Apple product dumps, like OpenDoc and Pippin, showing up.

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