Apple and design are virtually synonymous within the tech global, as the corporate’s often-bold aesthetic alternatives have the possible to form a era of goods.

However for all its design clout, every so often Apple pursues shape on the expense of serve as. Different instances, it simply makes some flat-out ordinary alternatives that make no sense.

Don’t consider us? Pass judgement on for your self. What follows is a listing of only a few of Apple’s worst design and user-experience choices over time.

The Macintosh TV

The Macintosh TV

In 1993, means prior to there used to be the Apple TV, Apple attempted to make a Macintosh TV. It’s principally section Mac, section TV, and via all accounts, it wasn’t in particular excellent at being both. The truth that it price $2,099 within the early 90s didn’t lend a hand (about $4,000 in nowadays’s cash).

Certainly, it offered so poorly that Apple discontinued the product in a bit over 3 months.

The Apple Newton

Apple’s first try at a private virtual assistant, the Newton, used to be arguably forward of its time. However at release, it merely wasn’t all that excellent. Specifically, the handwriting reputation — its headline characteristic — used to be terrible within the first few fashions. That isn’t too unexpected given handwriting reputation in 2021 nonetheless isn’t absolute best.

Apple Newton MessagePad

Then the Palm Pilot used to be launched, consuming up the Newton’s marketplace proportion — and it debuted with a extra dependable ‘Graffiti’ handwriting device.

Significantly, Steve Jobs perceived to hate the Newton, and promptly discontinued it upon his go back to Apple in 1997. Jobs’ disdain for the Newton would possibly’ve arguably even impressed the iPhone.

The unique iMac’s ‘hockey puck’ mouse

The unique iMac is iconic, however its incorporated mouse used to be horrible.

Apple Hockey Puck Mouse

It used to be completely round for some explanation why, which made it unnecessarily tricky to seek out the correct orientation with out having a look on the mouse. It used to be additionally egregiously uncomfortable for a tool that’s meant to be your number one means of interacting with a pc. That’s a disgrace, coming from the corporate that popularized the mouse within the first position.

The non-existent controls of the iPod Shuffle (Gen 3)

The iPod shuffle used to be already a unusual software, intended to allow you to play song in a small shape issue with no distracting display screen. However then the 3rd era of the software threw the infant out with the bathwater via getting rid of buttons altogether.

As an alternative, you might want to best regulate it the use of headphones that had a well matched inline far off, very much restricting listening choices and usually being a long way much less handy than just having buttons at the software. Happily Apple noticed its mistake and temporarily introduced again the buttons for the fourth (and ultimate) era of the iPod Shuffle.

The iPhone 4’s Antennagate

The iPhone Four is arguably some of the iconic and lovely devices ever made. I’ve heard many an Apple fan say it’s the best-designed iPhone of all of them. Smartly, aside from for one giant factor: merely keeping the software may just purpose it to lose sign.

The iPhone 4’s body iconic steel body additionally served as its antennas. By way of touching the telephone’s decrease left edge — a herbal position when keeping the telephone along with your left hand — one may just bridge the antennas, leading to important sign loss.

iPhone 4

This ended in Steve Jobs notoriously responding to folks’s court cases via pronouncing “simply keep away from keeping it this fashion.” That temporarily discovered itself in meme territory, albeit usally paraphrased as “you’re keeping it fallacious.”

Apple in the end stated the issue and began to provide bumper circumstances for customers that would scale back the issue. Then the iPhone 4S got here out, and Apple discovered a strategy to repair the issue whilst keeping up a equivalent design.

The Magic Mouse 2 and its absurd charger location

Few merchandise are as notoriously ‘Apple design’ because the Magic Mouse 2. At the one hand, the futuristic mouse presented a easy touch-sensitive floor to can help you use multi-finger gestures. But when it got here time to rate the mouse, the charging port used to be inexplicably tucked into the ground face of the software.

Apple Magic Mouse 2 charging

Because of this the mouse can’t be used whilst charging, an peculiar limitation that I’ve now not noticed on another wi-fi mouse since. Certain, you’d best must rate it from time to time, nevertheless it’s nonetheless completely nonsensical. The few instances you needed to get one thing executed however your battery used to be lifeless have been sure to be immensely disturbing.

It’s particularly puzzling as with regards to each different wi-fi mouse in the marketplace sticks the charging port at the best of the mouse, such that it could actually optionally be utilized in stressed mode, however it kind of feels Apple didn’t wish to interrupt the sleek best floor.

The trash can Mac Professional

The 2013 Mac Professional used to be top Apple design, a minimum of the sort that Home windows customers favored to make amusing of from around the aisle. At the one hand, it used to be a head-turner. Alternatively, it roughly appeared like a shiny trash can.

Mac Pro 2013

Apple controlled to pack numerous efficiency right into a small shape issue because of suave thermal control, nevertheless it totally neglected the purpose for plenty of execs because of its virtually entire loss of upgradeability and repairability.

The only excellent factor to return out of the trash can Mac Professional is that during many ways it kind of feels to have catalyzed Apple’s contemporary flip against appeasing skilled customers once more. In 2019, Apple introduced the present Mac Professional design, returning to a tower shape issue with easy-to-access parts.

That point Apple made you pay attention to U2

Remember the fact that time Apple mechanically added a U2 album into everybody’s iTunes library without cost? Forcing individuals who don’t give a darn about Bono to obtain the album if that they had computerized downloads enabled? It may not be a {hardware} design fail, nevertheless it positive is a peculiar consumer ride resolution.

It used to be a transfer that, on the time, gave the impression at odds with Apple’s stance on streaming song — many artists decried the at no cost obtain as devaluing song — and nowadays turns out at odds with Apple’s stance on privateness and consumer consent.


The iPhone 6 and six Plus have been notoriously vulnerable to bending, such that customers reported the telephone bending once they sat down with the telephone of their rear wallet. The body used to be weakest across the quantity buttons specifically.

Even though Apple claimed just a few customers skilled bending, inner Apple exams (published in court docket paperwork), confirmed the iPhone 6 Plus used to be 7.2 instances much more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s. Apple later rectified the problem via the use of a more potent form of aluminum within the iPhone 6S, even though the problem returned at the 2018 iPad Professional.

Charging the unique Apple Pencil

In every other example of ‘why does it rate like that?’ Apple’s unique Pencil charged via plugging without delay into the iPad’s lightning port. It made your iPad seem like an enormous fly swatter and gave the impression destined to result in broken connectors.

Whether or not or now not it used to be that gigantic of a deal is more or less but even so the purpose — it used to be an useless design selection. Fortunately, Apple moved to wi-fi charging for the Apple Pencil 2.

Apple cables basically

Apple cables had been notoriously vulnerable to cracking and fraying all the way through the years. This used to be particularly painful given their oft-proprietary nature, and a few customers even suspected a conspiracy that Apple merely sought after you to stay on purchasing equipment.

Apple Cable frayed
Credit score: Tony Webster

Fortunately, the corporate has began to beef up its cable high quality of overdue, the use of braided designs that seem harder.

The butterfly keyboard

Apple began the unlucky development of creating computer keys unnecessarily shallow with its butterfly keyboard, however the design used to be fatally mistaken. Butterfly keyboards have been in particular liable to getting just a little of particles trapped underneath the keys, rendering them unreliable and usally straight-up unusable. All within the identify of shaving off a millimeter or two.


Some folks favored the additional shallow, however to many people, it additionally merely ended in keys that felt like absolute trash, so I’m satisfied the corporate has noticed it are compatible to go back to excellent outdated scissor switches.

Apple HomePod’s restricted connectivity

The Apple HomePod used to be lovely darn forged when it got here to acoustics, nevertheless it used to be just too restricted in capability for its worth. It best labored with Apple units and required you to most commonly use Apple services and products or a handful of AirPlay-compatible ones. It didn’t release with multi-room fortify or the power to create a stereo pair. And Siri used to be now not as excellent or versatile because the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. And there used to be no strategy to attach it to a bodily audio output both.


When it got here to a wise speaker, respectable sound high quality merely wasn’t sufficient to justify the HomePod’s top rate $349 worth. Apple discontinued it in a bit over 3 years. One can’t lend a hand however surprise how a lot more a success the HomePod would possibly’ve been had Apple simply opened its walled lawn a bit bit.

The $1,000 track stand

There’s not anything in reality fallacious with the Professional Show XDR’s stand, aside from for the truth that it’s a $999 add-on… for a track that already prices $5,999.

Including insult to damage, even if you wish to use your personal stand, you must pony up $200 for an adapter, for the reason that show isn’t well matched out-of-the-box with the VESA usual each different track makes use of.

The 2021 MacBook Professional’s Notch

The iPhone X’s notch wasn’t fairly egregious sufficient to make this listing, making an allowance for that telephone ushered within the technology of skinny bezels and its notch is justified via Face ID. However at the 2021 Mac Professional, the notch is solely puzzling.

macbook pro notch

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