It’s official. Apple (AAPL) is the first public company in U.S. history worth $1 trillion. That can buy you a lot of iPhones, but the road to the company’s latest milestone has been anything but smooth. After all, you don’t become one the richest companies in history without running into a few crater-sized potholes along the way.
The company founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 has given us the iPhone and iPad, revolutionized digital music, and is largely responsible for the way we use computers. But this article isn’t about Apple’s achievements. It’s about the near ruinous failures, slip-ups and just plain strange decisions the company has made throughout the years.
These are Apple’s biggest fails.
Launched in 1977, the Apple II was the computer that put Apple on the map. Despite slow initial sales, it became a blockbuster thanks to the VisiCalc spreadsheet program that made it a must-have for businesses and eventually schools. The Apple II was created by Wozniak, but the Apple III was not. The machine suffered from a litany of problems, including overheating and pieces popping out of its circuit board, despite being the first computer made with the full might of Apple’s newfound corporate status behind it.
The III was such a failure that if it weren’t for the Apple II’s sales, Apple would have been in dire straits as a company. In a 1985 interview with Playboy, Jobs said the losses from the Apple III were incalculable.
Things went from bad to worse for Apple with the release of the Lisa in 1983. The Lisa was a desktop computer important for its implementation of a graphical user interface aimed at business users. But at the time, the Lisa was more well known for its astronomical price tag: $10,000.
That price tag — coupled with the fact that the Lisa’s software would tax the overall system, making for sluggish performance — virtually guaranteed the machine would fail. The…
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