Tuesday, August 18, 2015

6 Apple products that were too far ahead of their time


The world just wasn’t ready for these glorious gems from Apple’s past

THERE’S NO DOUBT that the new MacBook is a wonderful machine, but there’s a question of whether its merciless removal of almost all ports has come just too early for most people – we’re not all quite as wireless as the MacBook would like us to be just yet.

It's not the first product Apple has launched where either the technology wasn’t ready yet to make them truly work, or users weren’t ready to move to a new way of doing things (or both). They just arrived too early…


Newton (1993)

Newton (1993)

A mobile computer for organizing your life – sounds good! And the Newton ran on ARM processors, just like the much later iPhone. But the hardware was too clunky and this kind of device really needed the mobile internet to take off.


QuickTake (1994)

QuickTake (1994)

The world’s first consumer digital camera took photos at a lowly 640x480 resolution, and you could store eight shots. Digital cameras have done okay since, though.


PenLite

PenLite

This unreleased tablet was dropped to support the Newton. Long before the iPad, it was basically a PowerBook Duo with a stylus, and would have worked with the Duo Dock.


iMac G3 (1998)

iMac G3 (1998)

USB 1.1 was the future, so Apple dropped legacy ports on its new PC… but you couldn’t connect your stuff to it.


G4 Cube (2000)

G4 Cube (2000)

A small workstation with parts placed around a central cooling core? Great idea. But the Cube was too expensive. Apple got it right with the Mac Pro.


MacBook Air (2008)

The MacBook Air is successful now, but it wasn’t always assured. The first version used iPod hard drives and was achingly slow. Flash storage and better battery technology was the key to making it popular later.


By Matt Bolton

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