So Long Cube! Apple Officially Kills The Cube (With Analysis)

by , 3:20 PM EDT, July 3rd, 2001

You may want to sit down for this, but Apple has officially killed the Cube. OK, it's not really that much of a surprise, but it is surprising that Apple has issued a press release to make the announcement. From Apple:

Apple® today announced that it will suspend production of the Power Mac™ G4 Cube indefinitely. The company said there is a small chance it will reintroduce an upgraded model of the unique computer in the future, but that there are no plans to do so at this time.

"Cube owners love their Cubes, but most customers decided to buy our powerful Power Mac G4 minitowers instead," said Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The Power Mac G4 Cube, at less than one fourth the size of most PCs, represented an entirely new class of computer delivering high performance in an eight-inch cube suspended in a stunning crystal-clear enclosure.

If you are interested in buying a Cube, check eBay or your local vendor while you can. The Cube's demise made headlines on CNBC with the heading of "So Long Cube, We Hardly Knew Ye'."

The Mac Observer Spin:

When Steve Jobs introduced the Cube, it was obvious he thought very highly of the machine. Who wouldn't? It had a G4, it was beautiful, and it was totally quiet, something that Mr. Jobs has thought VERY important for many years (Think Apple III). We too think that quiet computers are very important, but not too many consumers seem to care. Remember also that Mr. Jobs said that the Cube was designed for a Mac user, him. He loved that computer and considered it to be a major achievement for Apple. Despite this, the darned thing didn't sell very well. Killing the Cube must have been a tough decision for a company that was faced with a love of the product on one hand, and a lack of demand on the other. Shareholders should praise the move as it reaffirms that Apple puts business ahead of hubris. It wasn't that long ago when the opposite was true.

The Cube was hurt by a price tag that didn't match with consumer desires. It was priced for its style, size, and quietness, and not its features. It was an interesting conundrum for Apple, and one that defeated the company in the end. If the Cube had been priced like an iMac instead of a PowerMac G4 Tower, it may have performed better in the market place, but it was not to be.

What does this mean going forward? Will Apple's product line go back to the famous "Four Corner" model, or will the Cube be replaced by some as yet unknown product? There is little doubt that the G4 towers are about to undergo some revision, but the rumors of the long awaited Apple handheld don't seem all that credible. It is more likely we will see new fanless G4 towers, and a return to the Four Corner model with some aspects of the Cube rolled into both the new iMac and new PowerMac G4 line. We have two weeks to wait before we find out.