Apple (AAPL - Get Report) unveiled a number of new products at its Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this week, showing off new MacBooks, a new speaker and a slew of updates to its various operating systems on which its hit devices run. Though these are likely to garner much of the media attention for the time being, it's important to keep in context that Apple has released some of the best-selling products of all time and has revolutionized whole industries on its own.
Music, phones, computers, and even advertising have been greatly affected as Apple has continued to grow in size and influence. What started as a computer company on April 1, 1976 has, in the ensuing four decades, transformed the world with its machines, software and line of thinking. Steve Jobs and, to a lesser extent, Steve Wozniak built Apple on making aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use products.
As Apple grew from its infancy to the $800 billion behemoth it is now, its reach expanded. It went from being only for hobbyists, geeks and technophiles to being a mainstay brand for the everyday person.
And while it's been credited with making some of the best products of all time, it doesn't do everything perfectly.
There have been a number of products Apple has made over the years that have been flops, including ones that were outright puzzling at the time and even today. Absurdly expensive computers, gaming systems that never quite took to the masses and products that were ahead of their time all have their unfortunate places in Apple's hallowed halls of product design.
Here's a look at Apple's ten best and ten worst products it's ever made, starting with the best.
The Apple II is the computer that revolutionized the industry.
Coming 12 months after the Apple I, the Apple II became the fastest-selling personal computer of its time, designed primarily by Wozniak.
This machine was one of the first personal computers that had color graphics and came with two gaming paddles right out of the box. In addition, eight slots built into the Apple II allowed users to expand it and customize it, including adding more memory, graphics and the ability to add a printer and a floppy drive.
The Apple II was priced at $1,298 when it first went on sale and went on to sell "well over 300,000 units."
Though the Apple II was a success, its successor, the Apple III was not. But Apple's computer after that changed everything -- the Macintosh.
In 1984, that all changed when Jobs unveiled the Mac to the world in a Super Bowl commercial unlike anything the world had ever seen. The Mac took the personal computing revolution to a level the Apple II never did.
Known for its distinctive beige design, the $2,495 machine came with a monitor, keyboard and a mouse and is remembered for its wondrous graphical user interface. Once sales of the device were so strong that it would be a hit, a second product came out named Mac 512K and the original Mac was named Mac 128K.
Jobs was fired Apple in the mid-1980s, and the company suffered as a result. Once he retuned, the company slashed products that didn't sell well and doubled down on design and ease of use, with none more prevalent of this mindset than the iMac 3G. (Pictured above is the latest offering in the iMac line.)
The iMac 3G was an all-in-one personal computer, with the monitor and CPU in one system, and it was the first computer where you could actually see the inside. The iMac 3G originally came in Bondi blue and was later released in thirteen colors.
It also included dual headphone jacks and built-in stereo speakers and is one of the first major products that Jonathan Ive, Apple's chief design officer, is credited with designing.
The original iMac was also the first computer to use USB ports as a standard. The first iMac cost consumers $1,299 in May 1998.
Despite the current mindset that it's clunky, poorly designed and needs a major overhaul, iTunes is credited with helping change the company's fortunes forever.
Apple introduced iTunes in January 2001. It let users store all the songs on a computer in one place, something which had never been done before. Following the success of the software on its own computers, it came to Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) Windows, expand its reach and changing the computing industry forever.
One of the more current products on the list, the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is another example of Apple pushing the design experience forward beyond what others are even dreaming about.
The Touch Bar replaces all of the function keys that have sat at the top of keyboards for decades, changing based on the software a user is using. It has features like system controls like volume and brightness and intelligent typing features such as emojis and predictive text.
Apple also brought its popular security system Touch ID to a Mac for the first time, letting people log in in a safer, more secure way. It also supports Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payments system.
The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at $1,799 for the 13-inch model.
During October 2001, Apple changed the world with a "thousand songs in your pocket" -- the iPod.
Though MP3 players existed long before the iPod, Apple reinvented the market, making it easier to use and consumers flocked to the devices as a result.
The original iPod is known for its famous click-wheel, which helped users scroll through their music library with ease. It originally came in 5 GB and 10 GB models, but in subsequent versions, Apple increased the amount of storage on the device.
The iPod may have changed the way we listened to music, but the iPod Video changed the way people watch videos.
Announced in October 2005, Apple launched the fifth version of the iPod, which had the capability of not only playing music, but also being able to view photos and watch videos. It came in 30 GB, 60GB, and 80GB sizes, as more users packed videos and photos onto their devices.
"An iPod, a phone and an internet communicator." That's how Steve Jobs described Apple's landmark product, the iPhone, which was introduced in January 2007 and to this day, is the preeminent smartphone on the market, known both for its exquisite design and ease of use.
In the first five quarters the phone was available, Apple sold 6.1 million units. It eventually cut the price and sales skyrocketed.
The iPhone 7 has continued to build on what Apple did with the iPhone 6, the first phones to have a significantly larger screen at 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches for the 7 and 7 Plus, respectively.
Along with the best camera and processor Apple has to offer, the iPhone 7 has waterproofing, taptic vibration on the Home button and Apple's first beginnings into augmented reality, with integrations into the camera.
Apple Music started off as a "me-too" product, going up against the likes of Spotify, but it has become a key part of Apple's push to expand its Services business.
It now boasts more than 20 million paying subscribers and has garnered exclusive content from artists such as Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift and others.
Apple Music is also making a push into video content, with James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" launching on the service August 8.
A product that was ahead of its time (later succeeded by the Mac), the Apple Lisa was the first personal computer to include a mouse and graphical user interface.
Its downfall was the $9,995 price tag, which kept it from reaching mass success. Both the Lisa and its successor, the Lisa II, were pulled from the shelves in 1986.
Perhaps a precursor to the iPad, the Macintosh Portable was so heavily promoted it had its first cover photo-shoot with a swimsuit clad model. But from there, it was all downhill.
The device weighed 16 pounds, whereas the current 9.7inch iPad Pro weighs just 0.96 pounds by comparison. Add in a price of $6,500 per computer and it was a recipe for failure.
Years before the iPhone, the Newton was the first personal digital assistant, a product that has become one of the worst products ever produced.
Then Apple CEO John Sculley tried to get people to like the product, but after an unfortunate first demonstration, the Newton never quite reached the success Sculley and Apple thought it would.
Upon his return to Apple in 1997, Jobs discontinued the $699 Newton.
Apple's iTunes may have been credited with helping turn the company's fortunes around the turn of the century, but today, the software is a bloody mess.
Critics have panned it for years as needing a major overhaul, with tech columnist Walt Mossberg writing in 2016 that Apple needed to simplify and renovate iTunes.
Apple has spent much of its time focusing on its various operating systems, tweaking them and adding useful updates. But its iTunes software needs a lot of work.
With Nintendo's (NTDOY) Switch currently capturing the minds of gamers, investors and the media alike, it's not hard to see why Apple wanted to have its own platform years ago. But it never worked out for Apple.
Pippin was meant to be Apple's chance to break into the gaming community, but in a market dominated by Sega and Nintendo, Apple's lackluster device couldn't break through. There were only 22 games for people to choose from, putting a crimp on the Pippin's chances of success.
Apple's QuickTake camera was Apple's first venture into digital photography. While it was the first consumer digital camera ever, it never resonated with consumers.
The camera, which was developed by Kodak, cost $749 and let users easily take photos and then upload them to their computers. But whether it was the high price or the wrong timing, the QuickTake did not sell well and was ultimately pulled from the market three years after launch.
The Macintosh TV is another product that was ahead of its time, combining television and computing. However, unlike the current Apple TV, users were not impressed.
The Macintosh TV only let users watch TV or use the computer, unable to do both at the same time, leaving customers unsatisfied.
Reportedly only 10,000 Mac TVs were made before it was discontinued, just four months after was released.
Another one of Apple's pricey flops, the 20th Anniversary Macintosh had an unconventional design, sporting a built-in television, FM tuner and Bose subwoofer.
Though there were high hopes for the Power Mac G4 Cube, ultimately the product was a major disappointment.
The G4 Cube started at $1,799 but the Power Mac G4 tower had the same features and was $200 cheaper. Additionally, the computer's functionality wasn't up to Apple's usual standards, including complaints that it cracked easily and overheated often.
Apple admitted the device was a failure, noting demand was less than half of expectations. disappointed, saying the demand was only one-third of what it expected.
The iMac G3 came in a number of colors, including Bondi Blue, Blueberry, Strawberry and more, had two hideous colors that nearly killed the device -- Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian.
The new colors were criticized ad nauseam and were ultimately pulled from the market.
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