The AppleGazette has a great roundup of some of Apple’s past products which turned out to be a bad move, all of which are a far cry from today’s iPod pop culture phenomenon. Many of them were great inventions, but were simply too ambitious or too expensive at the time of their introduction. As we’ve seen, introducing a new product to the market not only takes an affordable price, but also accurate timing.
Case in point is the G4 Cube — it’s one of my favorite Macs despite the fact that I’ve never owned one, as obtaining one is still a rather costly venture. When it was originally introduced in 2000, it retailed for $1799, and today it will still fetch quite a few hundred dollars. Compare that to most PCs built in 2000, which now function as hand-me-down computers.
Another gem is the The Apple Lisa, an interesting piece of hardware which was the precursor to the Mac and was the machine on which Apple first debuted a graphical interface. Having the opportunity to have used a Lisa at a recent TCF-NJ display by The Mothership, I can can say that the Lisa is undeniably Apple, but feels like a bit of a hack, appearing much like an old pixellated DOS game. As with the Cube, the Lisa was prohibitively expensive for most at the time of it’s launch.
Perhaps all of the failed electronics Apple has “thought too different” about in the past have served as guidelines as to what not to do, leading them into the current upward trend we’re experiencing these days.