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1996: Apple Pippin
1996: Apple Pippin
The Apple Pippin was a half-computer, half-console that flopped with consumers.
Apple's a hotshot tech company now, but the mid-'90s saw the company fighting for relevance after several failed products. The Pippin launched at CES 1996 as a network computer that could also be used to play games. Apple licensed the technology to Japanese toymaker Bandai, and the pair launched the multimedia device as a team.

The San Jose Mercury News called the Pippin the "future of cyberspace," but consumers were confused by the half-computer, half-console branding. The Pippin's 14.4 kpbs modem made the device super-slow, and few games were available for the Mac operating system.

The Pippin cost $600 -- almost double the price tag of consoles from rivals Nintendo and Sega. It's estimated that only about 10,000 Pippins were purchased in the U.S. The device is now considered one of the Apple's biggest flops.

PC World named the Pippin No. 22 on its list of the 25 worst tech products of all time. In their words: "Underpowered, overpriced, and underutilized -- that pretty much describes everything that came out of Apple in the mid-90s."



NEXT: 2001: Microsoft Xbox
Last updated January 04 2011: 11:17 AM ET
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