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Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers

Hockey puck mouse

Just thinking about it makes your wrists hurt, doesn't it? Apple's super-stylish iMacs were, by design, minimalist when it came to their peripherals, and Jony Ive's big splash included a rather regrettable one-button disc that helped shore up the bottom line of many third-party peripheral makers.


What. The. Puck?

Supposedly the hockey puck mouse wasn't so uncomfortable if you held it right, palming the mouse rather than holding it like a "claw" with your fingertips. Few of us actually bothered to do that however, grimacing through the first few days of use and then heading off to the store to get a more hand-friendly mouse.

Wrist-wrenching peripherals or not, Apple was on its way back, and the iMac would soon be equipped with MacOS X, the PowerBook, and a fresh crop of Intel-powered machines that would propel the company into a second golden age.

Apple would also establish itself as an entertainment powerhouse with the twin forces of the iPod and iTunes. Even those brands, however, were not immune to slip-ups.

iTunes Ping

The year was 2010 and Apple could do no wrong. The iPhone was huge, the Mac was setting record sales numbers, and iTunes was dominating music sales. There was only one area left for Apple to take over: social networking.

Enter Ping. The social network Apple shoe-horned into iTunes was pitched as a way to share music with all your friends as well as discover new artists.

Ping is dead, iTunes notice, credit screengrab iTunes

And nobody was sad.

Unfortunately for Apple, there were already dozens of other services that did the same thing, and pretty much all of them did it in a much better way than iTunes. Ping wasn't really a ghost town, as that term implies a place that once had inhabitants. It was a like a shiny business park that nobody ever bothered to lease out.

After two years of pretending that Ping wasn't a complete failure, Apple finally gave up on its social networking ambitions and killed off the service. It was embarrassing, but it did little to stop Apple.

So we now approach the present day. Sadly, Steve Jobs died in 2011, leaving the company to Tim Cook and a new generation of execs. Apple is one of the biggest brands in the world, and is still churning out record financial numbers on a regular basis.

That doesn't mean they can't still fall flat on their faces though; for example, how about the time...

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