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11 Of Apple's Worst Product Failures

Benzinga logo Benzinga 29-04-2015 Wayne Duggan

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has an unrivaled history of success. The company’s stock is up an astounding 2,470 percent in the past decade on the strength of revolutionary innovations such as the iPhone and iPad.

The tech world is anxiously awaiting new data on Apple’s latest product rollout, the Apple Watch, which will come later today when the company releases its quarterly earnings report after the market closes.

While it sure seems like everything Apple has touched in recent years has turned promptly to gold, the long-term success of the Apple Watch is not necessarily a sure thing.

Here’s a look at Apple's 11 biggest product flops, according to Info World:

1. Apple Lisa (1983-1985)

Apple Lisa (1983-1985)© Getty Images Apple Lisa (1983-1985)

A product that was supposed to revolutionize the PC world ended up a massive failure. Lisa’s $10,000 price tag was unpalatable to the public, and users also complained that the device was slow and ungainly.

2. Macintosh Portable (1989-1991)

Macintosh Portable (1989-1991)© AP Photo Macintosh Portable (1989-1991)

While modern consumers complain about the bulkiness of the smartphones in their pockets, it’s hard to imagine that Apple once marketed a 16-pound “portable” PC. Not surprisingly, competitors’ 6-pound notebook-style PCs soon drove the Macintosh Portable off the market.

3. Apple Newton MessagePad (1993-1998)

Apple Newton MessagePad (1993-1998)© Mudrats Alexandra/ITAR-TASS Ph/Corbis Apple Newton MessagePad (1993-1998)

An early ancestor of the iPad, the Newton was bulky and hard to read, and the battery life was frustratingly short.

4. PowerBook Duo (1992-1995)

PowerBook Duo (1992-1995)© Mudrats Alexandra/ITAR-TASS PowerBook Duo (1992-1995)

The PowerBook was an attempt by Apple to play catch-up in the notebook game, but the small keyboard, subpar screen and lack of an Ethernet port limited its mass appeal.

5. Macintosh Performa (1992-1997)

Apple’s attempt at a lower-end PC sacrificed much of the quality associated with the Apple brand, cannibalized sales of Apple’s pricier models, and still cost more than competitors’ PCs.

6. eWorld (1994-1996)

Apple Lisa (1983-1985)© Lisa Maree Williams/Bloomberg Apple Lisa (1983-1985)

eWorld was Apple’s failed attempt to compete with AOL Inc (NYSE: AOL), which was the only true Internet juggernaut in the mid-1990s.

7. Pippin (1995-1997)

When Apple’s core PC business was under heavy pressure in the 1990s, the company attempted to compete with the likes of Sega, PlayStation and Nintendo by creating its own gaming console. Apple never ended up producing a single Pippin, opting instead to license the design to other companies.

8. Copland OS (1994-1996)

Copland OS (1994-1996)© AP Photo Copland OS (1994-1996)

With the popularity of Windows 3.1 on the rise and Mac OS getting staler by the day, Apple demoed its new Copland OS in 1995. The unstable system was soon deemed hopelessly flawed, and its failure helped pave the way for the return of Steve Jobs to the company.

9. Macintosh clone (1995-1997)

Apple desperately attempted to stop the bleeding in the 1990s by licensing the rights for competitors International Business Machines Corp (NYSE: IBM) and Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE: MSI) to produce Macintosh clones. The plan quickly backfired when Apple started losing market share to its own licensees.

10. Apple USB Mouse (1998-2000)

Apple’s redesigned iMac line was a big hit. However, the bulky, disc-shaped USB Mouse didn’t fit many users’ hands, one of the few basic requirements of a mouse.

11. Power Mac G4 Cube (2000-2001)

Apple’s last major face-plant, the G4 Cube had appealing, futuristic aesthetics. Unfortunately, functionality was not its strong point. The unit tended to overheat, had no room for full-length expansion cards and lacked audio input.

2015 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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