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The 11 worst Apple products of all time

Lucy Hattersley | April 28, 2016
From inexplicable mice to melting Macs, here are the worst Apple product failures of all time

12-inch MacBook (2015)

We're a little ambivalent about adding the 12-inch MacBook to this list because it looks so utterly lovely; and it's entirely possible that updates to this line will end up producing the best and most future-looking laptop in Apple's stable. But in its first (and, as of April 2016, second) iteration, it's an overpriced, underpowered, luxury laptop with only one port that a lot of people have made fun of.

While my colleague Karen feels that having just that lone USB-C port to cover both accessories and power isn't the disaster some have called it, we still struggle to recommend this to any but the richest and most portability-obsessed laptop buyers. For power the Pro or even Air is a better option; on value for money the Air is clearly ahead. And both of those lines let you plug in multiple accessories and charge at the same time without gouging additional money for adaptors.

The 2016 update improved processing power and battery life by installing Intel's Skylake chips, and it comes in an unexpectedly charming pink now, but the central issue - that there are faster, cheaper laptops available elsewhere in Apple's own store - hasn't been solved.

(Macworld is not united in its dislike of the 12-inch MacBook, however. Another colleague has reviewed the second-gen model - 12-inch MacBook 2016 review - and characterises it as "a truly outstanding laptop that will be wrongly categorised as a luxury technological item". We will agree to disagree on this one.)

Apple's retail store bag

We revisited this article especially to add in this last failure, after paying a visit to an Apple Retail Store, and coming away with a wonderful MacBook Pro but still feeling frustrated. Why? Because of the terrible Apple carrier bag that we had to cart our MacBook around in until we made it home.

Yes, it's not exactly a product failure, but for a company that's so focused on design as well as the experience you get when you visit its stores, it seems like a bit of an oversight. With fiddly, tangly string that doesn't even fit over your shoulder when you go beyond the small iPhone-sized bags, we found ourselves struggling to carry our MacBook Pro home.

The MacBook-sized bag is so big that without being able to fit it over your shoulder it begins to drag along the ground, particularly when you're a bit on the short side. Plus, they're pretty much see-through, so if anyone had any doubt that you were carrying around an expensive piece of kit, it would be immediately eradicated by a second glance.


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