PC World Rounds Up “Six Worst Apple Products of All Time”

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PC-centric PC World magazine has published a piece with the provocative title of, "Six Worst Apple Products of All Time." While it may seem like an attempt to troll for page views -- and it may be -- at least five of the products they picked would most likely wind up on a similar list of even the most ardent Apple fan boy (or, those fan boys who actually know their Apple history).

PC World's six products include the Macintosh IIvi and IIvx, Macintosh TV, Pippin, Power Mac 4400, the "Hockey Puck" USB mouse for iMac, and the one controversial choice (in our view), the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (the TAM).

The full article offers the specifics on each product, including what it was and why the magazine picked it as one of Apple's "worst" efforts.

Apple's Twentieth Anniversary Mac (the TAM)
The TAM? What's not to like about this gorgeous hunk o' Mac?
Image courtesy of All About Mac



Here’s a link:


Bryan Chaffin

Thanks, Jimothy.  I clearly forgot the link, but have added it now! smile



I have to agree, Bryan - the weakest case is made for the TAM. Sure it was high priced, but the form factor and features were quite a bit ahead of its time.

If there were a better one for the list, I would replace the TAM with the Lisa. Not only was it high priced with limited power, but Apple actually had to rename it to get it sold… and when they couldn’t they literally threw them away. That never happened w/ the TAM; and since they destroyed the molds I think there’s an implication that it was only intended to be a one-off product, anyway.


Well, at least the Newton didn’t make this list. wink But Adam!!! Why do this? I mean, there’s not a product in here from the past 10 years…. Isn’t it sad that they have to reach that far back into Apple’s past to make a dig like this? Talk about the glass being half empty! Lame article, IMO—I mean, how many people reading _this_ article know about the IIvx???? How many _owned_ one? Weird article, and weird timing…. You are correct, I think, definitely trolling for page views. Sorry Adam, but this was one article you probably shouldn’t have written….


Mac Daddy

I think the TAM was in the Batman movie with Batgirl (4 I think).  Alicia Silverstone played Alfred’s granddaughter and she used his computer to view a disc on it about the Batcave and such.  Way cool stuff.  Just my 2 cents.

Charles Gousha

To be fair, the article was written by Adam Engst, and posted with the Macworld monniker.  If anyone has the legitimacy to make such long-lived claims, it would be him.  No politics or advocacy here… just a reasoned set of gripes.


I actually owned a IIVX. My wife ran DTP business with it for a few years. Got it cheap from CompUSA.


Do I see a trackpad on the keyboard of the TAM??

With all the focus on new gestures for the unibody trackpads why doesn’t Apple market a trackpad for desktops??

I’d get one in a minute.


Now that I have read Adam’s article….  $7000.00 + for the TAM??!!  That is almost as much as the 25th anniversary Corvette.


The TAM, no. The rest? Probably. And I might replace the TAM with the original Apple Portable (was that what it was called?) Clever, but hugely overweight and impractical.


This was the aniversary Mac. I believe it was the 10th Aniversary Mac at that time.


The Power Macintosh 4400 was rather different from most other Macintosh models, in that the floppy disk drive is on the left rather than right, and the casing is made of metal rather than plastic. Apple did this to reduce production costs, and in addition also used more industry standard components.  http://www.autoglassguru.com/state-AZ.html


Now why would a magazine centered on Wintel boxes want to bother naming Apple’s failures?  Running out of good things to say about Apple’s competitors?

I’d say MacWorld could run an article about M$ 6 worst, but it would be a short article: Win 3.1, Vista, Win 95, Win 98, Win 2000/ME, Office 2007.  (Could go on, but have to stop at six….)


The Apple III was far and away the worst Apple product in history. If we limit ourselves to the Macintosh era the Performa 5200 and 6200 take the crown.

In 1995 a perfect storm hit Apple dealers. In May Apple shipped the Performa 5200 and 6200, which had numerous design features which served only to cripple their performance. Add defective parts and frequent lock-ups and you’ve got a product we didn’t want to sell. A few months later Apple started shipping the PowerMac 7200, 7500, 8500 and 9500 with System 7.5.2, an OS that crashed every half hour. That left us with only one reliable computer to sell: the entry level LC 580, the last non PowerPC machine Apple made. The only color printer on the Apple price list was the Color StyleWriter Pro and every single one we’d sold in 1994 had died within 2 weeks of the warranty expiring. Customers actually asked us if there was a circuit inside that detected when they were a year old. Finally, in December Apple came out with new high end displays, the AppleVision 1710 and 1710AV. Fully 40% of them were dead on arrival and a further 20% died shortly after customers got them set up.

So we had virtually no consumer hardware to sell and no pro hardware to sell. It would have been a really good thing that everybody and their dog wanted a Zip drive, but they were perpetually on back order.

Even when the OS issues were sorted out the 1995 machines continued to cause nightmares for service people. The store had a Performa 5200 that’d had every single part inside replaced and yet still locked up at least twice a day so hard that even turning off the power switch on the back didn’t have any effect. Pulling the plug was the only way to unfreeze it so it would reboot.

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