A little while ago, I listed my top five Apple purchases. It was a fun experiment and seemed to encourage others to undertake the same exercise.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I revealed five pieces of Apple tech that have changed my life. That’s not hyperbole, either – they genuinely have.
That exercise was fun, too.
So, why not look at the other end of the spectrum, I thought. Which Apple products are my least favourite?
The list below was by far the most interesting to compile. So, let’s get into it.
1. The Pro Max iPhone
I used to be a big fan of large smartphones.
I remember taking a break from the iPhone for around six months when I traded my iPhone 5 for a Moto G. A couple of months later, I headed into an Apple store and picked up an iPhone 6 Plus. I was smitten, immediately, and ditched the Moto G for Apple’s first foray into large-screen smartphones.
I stuck with the biggies from that point forwards. But the XS Max was my last massive iPhone. It was just too big. Stupidly big, in fact.
Now referred to as the ‘Pro Max’, this particular iPhone variant is too big to fit in most pockets, doesn’t do anything interesting with the extra screen real estate, and can’t even tempt me with its slightly more impressive camera.
It’s no wonder I came so close to buying the iPhone 12 mini.
Give us a mini Apple Pencil with the next big iPhone, and I might be interested.
2. The 3rd generation iPad
Ooh, a retina screen on the iPad – how exciting!
Launched in March 2012, the 3rd generation iPad was the first to sport Apple’s pin-sharp, ultra-high DPI screen technology.
It looked amazing. Having access to a screen of that quality on a device of that size was, at the time, pretty revolutionary.
It’s just a shame that the iPad itself was a piece of garbage. Clearly, driving that screen called on more processing and GPU power than the A5X chip could muster. Because boy was that a slow iPad.
We have, of course, now reached the other end of the spectrum, thanks to the M1 iPad Pro. We’re now living in a world where iPads are too powerful for their own good. But, back then, the 3rd generation iPad was trying to do a little too much.
It was a momentary blip in what has otherwise been a solid line of iterations for Apple’s class-of-its-own tablet.
3. The ‘Trash Can’ Mac Pro
There are two Apple devices on this list that I’ve never owned. I haven’t even touched them, to be honest.
This is the first. And it makes the list because the trash can Mac Pro went against everything Apple should have been doing for professional users at the time of its release.
Launching a computer for that market which is nigh-on impossible to upgrade and whose spec subsequently languished untouched for years without the price ever falling is unforgivable. Worse still, it made them a laughing stock and prompted many power-hungry professional users to head Microsoft’s way.
Apple completely dropped the ball with this version of the Mac Pro. It was design over function (literally – the trash can design was dreadfully thermally inefficient and ergonomically stupid), and appeared to be attempting to fix a problem that didn’t exist.
This weird, naval-gazing computer was launched in 2013. It took Apple four years to admit they’d screwed up in a rare behind-closed-doors press briefing, and a further two years to launch a Mac Pro that actually made sense.
4. The Apple Watch Edition (1st gen)
I was an early adopter of the Apple Watch and, despite the fact I’m no longer tied to it quite as wholesomely as I once was, it remains one of Apple’s most impressive devices.
For some people, it’s life-changing (life-saving, even). For others, it has become the perfect fitness companion.
I think, of all current Apple products, the Watch has one of the most exciting futures ahead of it – particularly when it comes to its health capabilities.
But launching a version that was encased in 18-karat gold and with a starting price tag of $10,000 was utterly tone-deaf.
No one bought it. Obviously.
Watches can be very expensive, and I do love a nice watch. But I don’t love the idea of a very expensive watch that will become obsolete in a couple of year’s time and slow down to the point of being unusable.
The Apple Watch Edition was one of the worst examples of a tech giant misreading the room. It’s therefore no surprise that after a couple of somewhat less expensive iterations, the Edition line quickly vanished from Apple’s stores.
5. The AirPods auxiliary cable
I have a love-hate relationship with Apple. It’s the smart-dressed mate who you deeply admire but who, occasionally, will be the most obnoxious person in the room.
This manifests itself in some irritating decisions (get rid of lightning, Tim), and equally dreadful products – such as the auxiliary cable Apple expects you to buy if you want to plug your AirPods Max into a headphone jack.
It is the most flimsy cable I’ve ever purchased. And it costs £35. There is literally no excuse for it – particularly from a company whose market valuation is now heading deep into multi-trillion territory.
Well, that felt good.
Let me know what your least favourite Apple products have been in the comments, below!