10 Apple Products That Got The Ax

Forbidden Fruit

In the technology business, like in life, no one bats a thousand. Even Apple. The company has had its share of products that were subpar or ill-timed, and didn't last. It's also had some products that made sense for a time, but were culled in favor of focusing elsewhere. The latest of those moves was revealed this week, with reports that Apple has halted development of its AirPort wireless routers. In the following slides, we've rounded up 10 other products from Apple's history that have been declared dead and buried. R.I.P.


What it was: Video game console

Discontinued: 1997

What happened: The console, made in collaboration with Japanese firm Bandai, hit the market just about a week before the Sony PlayStation. But it was about double the price of the PlayStation and also suffered from marketing snafus -- resulting in poor sales and its ultimate discontinuation.

Apple QuickTake 200

What it was: Digital camera

Discontinued: 1997

What happened: Apple pioneered the concept of a digital camera with the QuickTake 100, which resembled binoculars, and later followed it up with models including the QuickTake 200, which was closer to the look of a typical camera. But it wasn't a smash success -- it was probably a bit ahead of its time -- and the return of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO in 1997 led to the dissolving of the QuickTake project.

Newton MessagePad series

What it was: Personal digital assistant

Discontinued: 1998

What happened: The MessagePad was the world's first mainstream handheld computing device, combining note-taking (including with a stylus) with other capabilities such as a calendar and even faxing. While far from perfect, the device still gained plenty of fans. But Jobs wasn't among them and he nixed the project after his return.

LaserWriter 8500

What it was: Laser printer for workgroups

Discontinued: 1999

What happened: Apple had a lengthy run as a printer manufacturer during the 1980s and 1990s, and is credited with sparking the era of desktop publishing with the release of the Apple LaserWriter in 1985 -- which was the first laserwriter to work with an easy-to-use PC. The company's last LaserWriter, the 8500, was introduced in 1997-- the same year Jobs returned. That meant the end of numerous non-computer product lines at Apple, including printers, although the LaserWriter 8500 would remain available for another two years.

Power Mac G4 Cube

What it was: Desktop computer

Discontinued: 2001

What happened: This very stylish Jony Ive-designed machine was also very expensive -- and it was such a flop in terms of sales that Apple stopped making it just one year after it was introduced.


What it was: Rackmount server

Discontinued: 2011

What happened: Launched in 2002, the Xserve was targeted at enterprise and education clients, and made sense at a time when Macs were a central and growing part of Apple's business. As Apple turned its attention toward mobile and away from Macs, however, it also scrapped its Xserve hardware project.

iPod Classic

What it was: Portable music/video player

Discontinued: 2014

What happened: The trailblazing click-wheel device was originally just known as the iPod, of course, and only later renamed iPod Classic. It was ultimately a victim of the innovations it helped inspire -- namely, the iPhone -- although the fact that it held on all the way until 2014 shows that there was some serious devotion to the click-wheel, both among Apple fans and within Apple itself.

Bluetooth Headset

What it was: Wireless iPhone headset

Discontinued: 2009

What happened: Priced higher than other Bluetooth headsets -- and lacking the ability to listen to anything besides phone calls (such as music) -- Apple's first crack at a Bluetooth headset for the iPhone failed to catch on. Apple's second attempt: the forthcoming AirPods, which bear some definite design similarities to the original Bluetooth Headset.

Thunderbolt Display

What it was: Stand-alone external monitor

Discontinued: 2016

What happened: Apple in 2016 is on something of a re-focusing mission, and after producing a number of stand-alone displays over the years, the company discontinued its last monitor, the high-end Thunderbolt Display, in June. Hopes that Apple might be looking to design its own monitors again in the future were subsequently dampened by Apple's revelation this fall of 4K and 5K monitors developed with LG.

Gold Apple Watch Edition

What it was: 18-karat gold version of the original Apple Watch Edition

Discontinued: 2016

What happened: Maybe the $10,000 starting price had something to do with it?