5 Best-Selling Apple Products You Haven’t Seen in Years
Over the years, Apple has released some extremely popular products, many of which have changed the way we use our gadgets. Just think of the way the iPod changed the way we listen to music, how the iPhone changed the trajectory of the smartphone, or even how the introduction of Siri paved the way for voice assistants on all the major computing platforms.
Many of the products that Apple has introduced in the past few years are ubiquitous. Half of your friends probably have iPhones, while everybody (and their child) seems to have an iPad at home. Many people at the office or at your local coffee shop can be spotted typing away on their MacBooks. But unlike major hits released in recent years, not all of Apple’s best-selling products are ones you still see routinely. Take a trip down memory lane and check out some of the best-selling Apple products that you never see anymore.
1. Apple II
As Chris Ciaccia reports for TheStreet, the Apple II “started Apple on the journey to what it has become today” when it was launched in 1977. At the time, it was the fastest-selling personal computer, and was one of the first to feature color graphics. It came with two gaming paddles, and had eight slots that enabled users to expand and customize it by adding more memory, better graphics, or connecting a printer and floppy drive. The Apple II became a line of computers that Apple produced up until 1993. The original model cost $1,298 when it first went on sale, but the company sold more than 300,000 units and the machine generated $79 million in revenue for Apple in 1979 alone.
2. The Macintosh
After the success of the Apple II, Apple failed with the Apple III, which Steve Wozniak later said was designed by the company’s marketing department instead of its engineering team. In 1984, Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh in a Super Bowl commercial, and things turned around for Apple.
The Macintosh came with a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse, and revolutionized computing with its graphical user interface (GUI). Unlike the Apple II, the Macintosh couldn’t be expanded or customized. It cost $2,495 when it was introduced. Its name was later changed to the Macintosh 128k to differentiate it from the many models that came after it. Though Apple officially switched from Macintosh to Mac in the 1990s, consumers nicknamed the machine a Mac since the first model, and the name has stuck.
3. iMac G3
The iMac G3, known simply as an iMac to the many kids who grew up with these computers in their classrooms, was the first Apple product to debut under Steve Jobs when he returned as CEO of the company. The machine was unveiled in 1998, and featured bright, translucent plastic in five different colors. The iMac G3 is one of the products that gets credit for Apple’s big turnaround in the late 1990s, and it’s at least partially responsible for remaking Apple’s image as a company that created simple and beautiful devices.
As Stephen Hackett reports for 512 Pixels, the iMac G3 was “the Macintosh that saved Apple.” Steve Jobs said that the “i” in “iMac” stood not only for internet and individual, but instruct, inform, and inspire. The company marketed the iMac G3 both to consumers and to the education market, where the iMac stood out as a simple solution.
4. The iPod
Everybody remembers having (or wanting) an iPod, but it isn’t nearly as common to spot one on the subway as it used to be. Nonetheless, the iPod was a major product both for Apple and for the world of consumer electronics. Apple launched the iPod in 2001, after portable MP3 players had been on the market for quite some time. But Apple made the Mp3 a product that everyone wanted. It featured a clickwheel for navigation, and was originally available with 5GB of storage for $399 or 10GB of storage for $499. Later, Apple added storage tiers up to 160GB, and launched devices including the iPod Mini, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, and iPod Touch — the one you’re most likely to see in the world today.
5. The original iPhone
The iPhone is one of the best-selling products of all time. (Which means that even though tons of people use new iPhones, we had to include the original iPhone among the best-selling Apple products you don’t ever see anymore.) Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, kicking off a major revolution in smartphone design. At the time, the device was exclusive to AT&T, and came in a 4GB version and an 8GB version, which cost $499 and $599. In the first five quarters of the iPhone’s availability, Apple sold 6.1 million units. More recent models of the iPhone now account for the majority of Apple’s revenue, and Apple recently announced that it has sold one billion iPhones.