7 products Steve Jobs got wrong

Oct 06, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
In this April 4, 1991, file photo, Steve Jobs, of NeXT Computer Inc., poses with his NeXTstation color computer for the press at the NeXT facility in Redwood City, Calif. Apple on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 said Jobs has died. He was 56. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(AP) -- Steve Jobs pushed the envelope many times when it came to product design, and the results weren't always pretty. Here are seven products created under his direction that failed commercially or functionally:

1. Apple III (1981) - The successor to the very popular Apple II was focused on business users and priced accordingly. Unfortunately, the hardware was unreliable. Apple lost the to the IBM PC, launched the same year, and a rapidly expanding market of PC clones.

2. Lisa (1983) - The first commercially produced computer with a cost $9,995 when it launched. It quickly fell into the shadow of the cheaper Macintosh, launched a year later.

3. NeXT Computer (1989) - Jobs' venture after being forced out of Apple created a computer that was in many ways ahead of its time, but in the vein of the Apple III and Lisa, it was also too expensive to catch on with mainstream users.

4. Puck Mouse (1998) - The new iMac was the first major product created after Jobs' return to Apple in 1996, and it was a big success, despite its tiny, round mouse. Users couldn't tell which way it was oriented by feel, and it tended to disappear in the cup of the hand, making it hard to use.

5. The Cube (2000) - This small was beautifully encased in a cube of clear plastic. It won design awards but was a flop in stores because of its high price. Also, it didn't really offer any functional benefits over other Macs. Apple's designs are iconic, but people aren't usually willing to pay a premium for design alone. The Cube idea lives on in the , a more successful but less eye-catching small Mac.

6. iTunes phone (2005) - It's easy to forget that the wasn't Apple's first venture into the cellphone business. It formed a partnership with . to launch the ROKR in late 2005. As a phone, it was decent if unexciting, but as a , it fell far short of the iPod. It could only hold 100 songs, and transferring them from the computer was a slow process. It was also criticized for not allowing users to download music over the cellular network, a limitation that also applied to the first iPhone. Some even called the ROKR "the iPhone."

7. Apple TV (2007) - Apple's foray into the living room was an uncharacteristically half-hearted effort - Jobs later referred to the Apple TV as a "hobby." It was a small box that connected to a TV and to a Mac in the home. A tiny remote allowed the owner to play music and movies from the PC on the TV. It was expensive, at $249, and complicated to set up and use. Movies purchased from iTunes were low resolution and looked blurry on HDTV sets. In 2010, Apple introduced a much improved, cheaper TV designed to connect directly to the Internet.

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User comments : 12

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jnjnjnjn
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 06, 2011
Its sometimes to early to call it a failure. NeXT is now iOS (OS X) and a huge success, Apple TV in its new incarnation might very well be a huge success too.

J.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2011
Was Steve Jobs one of the 1%?
How many of the 99% ers camping out on Wall Street are using Apple products and creating wealth for that company?
El_Nose
5 / 5 (1) Oct 06, 2011
Nah -- OS X is still free bsd - get over it
Vendicar_Decarian
2.2 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2011
"Was Steve Jobs one of the 1%?" - RyggTard

What is being measured? And at what end of the scale are you referring?

Apple makes some expensive iToys for adults who like to think highly of themselves while they remember the expensive juice they drank at an apple genius bar a few months back.

Apple is the Whammo of our time.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 06, 2011
VD, I thought you would be one of the "99%" socialists protesting the rich on Wall Street.
Vendicar_Decarian
2 / 5 (4) Oct 06, 2011
"VD, I thought you would be one of the "99%" socialists.." - RyggTard

As always, your Libertarian/Randite ideology has lead you to a false conclusion.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Oct 06, 2011
Was Steve Jobs one of the 1%?
How many $millions per year did he take in salary?

Really takes a dimwit of your caliber to lump an essential hippie geek into the "1%".

FYI, he was motivated by his passion to create, rather than by money. He would've done what he did even if it didn't make him rich -- something that's far beyond your comprehension and range of experience.
How many of the 99% ers camping out on Wall Street are using Apple products and creating wealth for that company?
Being discretionary spending, Apple's business is fundamentally geopardized by the ongoing global economic collapse. Particularly with Jobs and his panache gone, they are liable to be undercut and outmaneuvered by cheaper (foreign-designed and -made) substitutes in the years to dome. The fading of the brand begins today.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 06, 2011
So Jobs donated all his money while he was alive and lived modestly?

BTW, how many people does Apple employ worldwide and how much does Apple pay in taxes?
How many people have become wealthy buying Apple stock?

But if Jobs didn't care about prof, why did he take the company public? Why didn't he donate his technology to the world?

Apple has really been a greedy company by not licensing their HW/SW so other companies can profit from it like the PC HW.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Oct 06, 2011
So Jobs donated all his money while he was alive and lived modestly?
I don't know what Jobs had done with his money, but it's pretty widely known that he practically lived at the office. His job was his life's passion.
how many people does Apple employ worldwide and how much does Apple pay in taxes?
Not that many, actually. Apple mostly subcontracts work to cheap Chinese labor camps - excuse me - factories.
How many people have become wealthy buying Apple stock?
Paper wealthy, or real wealthy? Probably not as many as went bust on in the internet bubble of 2000, and most of them will probably keep on holding that stock all the way down.
why did he take the company public?
He wasn't the sole owner of the company. Venture capitalists tend to attach strings to funding of start-ups, you know (but you probably don't know.)
Why didn't he donate his technology to the world
Because it was his baby and he wanted to control it. Not his most admirable attribute.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Oct 06, 2011
double post... removed
Vendicar_Decarian
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 06, 2011
"how many people does Apple employ worldwide" - RyggTard

About 14,000 - virtually all in retail.

"why did he take the company public?" - He wished to acquire outside money.

"Why didn't he donate his technology to the world?" - RyggTard

Apple hasn't developed any technology since Lisa. Everything since then has been designed in the pacific rim.

"Apple has really been a greedy company by not licensing their HW/SW" - RyggTard

It certainly was the reason for the company's near bankruptcy.

Once they started to exit the computer field and start to make iToys that needed no external hardware support, the company began to make some money.
Billy Dee
5 / 5 (1) Oct 09, 2011
The Newton should be on this list.