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Hits and misses in the Apple repertoire

From the Apple II to the iPad, Apple introduced one innovation after another. But there were a few flops too.

October 05, 2011
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote address at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco. Apple announced the death of Jobs on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 -- whose legacy included the Apple II, Macintosh, iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote… (Jeff Chiu / AP Photo )

Hits and misses in Steve Jobs' career (with year product was introduced):


Apple II (1977):  The machine that launched Apple and the personal computer industry. Apple II computers came with a keyboard, monitor and two disk drives.

Macintosh (1984): With a revolutionary graphical interface and mouse, the Macintosh immediately stood out as easier to use than the command-based IBM personal computer. About 70,000 Macs sold in the first 100 days.

Photos: Steve Jobs | 1955-2011

iMac (1998): The iMac computer debuts in translucent plastic "bondi blue," followed in 1999 by five candy colors — blueberry, strawberry, lime, tangerine and grape. About 2.7 million iMacs sold in the first two years.

iPod (2001): The portable player introduced the possibility of carrying an entire music collection in your pocket. Apple has sold more than 300 million iPods.

iPhone (2007): The revolutionary device merged phone, music player and computer into a stylish package. About 130 million have been sold.

iPad (2010): Despite skepticism about the market for a tablet-style device, iPad was a hit from the start, with 7 million sold in less than a year.


Apple III (1980): Apple's first attempt at a computer built for business cost as much as $7,800 and was rushed to market before many engineering issues were sorted out. It was abandoned a few years later.

Lisa (1983): The Lisa borrowed many of its features from an experimental project at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, including the mouse, windows and menus. But at $10,000, no one could afford it.

NeXT (1988): Ousted by Apple, Jobs developed the  NeXT computer, a sleek, powerful machine that academics adored but the public couldn't afford. Still, it was the machine on which the World Wide Web was created.

Power Mac G4 Cube (2000): A visually stunning 8-inch machine, packaged in a translucent white case, it suffered from a rash of problems, including cracks in the casing and a tendency to turn off.

Timeline: The life and work of Steve Jobs

Scott J. Wilson

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