Apple's Biggest Flops


Code Monkey
Staff member
While Apple seems to be on a success streak lately with their offerings it wasn't always that way. I know, I know... shocking! :D

While I am currently a Wintel user and earn a living programming using Microsoft tools I actually started off years ago on an Apple ][e. My own personal first PC was a Commodore VIC-20 which was soon replaced by a Commodore 64. Around that time my brother got his first Apple ][ which would lead to several years of Apples in the family. As time passed various Apple models came & went along with some Amiga models and even the occasional odd Mac or two. Eventually I got into building my own PCs and was soon drawn into the world of burning EPROM chips and soldering piggy-backed memory chips on full-size expansion cards. Those were the days.

[img2=right][/img2] From Wired, here's the list of the biggest flops from Apple (comments mine):
  • Newton - I remember working PT at the local Egghead. These things were the size of a brick, weighed as much, cost a small fortune, and had some nice features. It was like putting a modern hybrid engine in a 78' Ford Granada.
  • Pippin - A game machine from Apple? Perhaps if it was actually marketed under the Apple branding it would've had a chance but Apple guts in an ugly case marketed by Bandai in the game section did not stand a chance.
  • Twentieth Anniversary Mac - A futuristic looking Mac that would've looked perfect in the Hammer-Schlemmer catalog or in a Disney "Office of Tomorrow" display. Too bad the specifications were all retro.
  • Macintosh TV - Take a standard Mac and put a big monitor on it with a TV tuner; sounds good. Wait... what do you mean that you can't watch TV in a window? You can only switch the monitor between the TV or computer? Um, no thanks.
  • Mac Cube - I actually liked this one! I thought the design lent itself nicely to being on a office desk and actually being visually appealing instead of being a boring plain box holding the the computer components. The top loading ROM was a nice touch. Apparently it was considered too expensive.
  • Apple //c - Back in the late 80's I remember our local high school having a bunch of //c machines. They were perfect for the setting because their smaller size, as compared to the standard Apple //e, meant they could be in narrower spaces and also on A/V carts. This is another Wired choice that I disagree with.
  • Puck Mouse - Come on, a round mouse with one button?! Did Apple actually expect people to use that thing?
  • Lisa - Before the Macintosh was the Lisa. Windows based GUI with mouse controls, dual floppies... it was all there. Aimed at businesses, Apple's sales team had a hard time convincing business owners that spending several times the amount of a comparable PC was worth it.
I remember the neighborhood computer house. It had a room ddicated to this big machine that made lots of clicking and humming noises. Never did understand what the dad used it for.