Top 10 Worst Things Apple Has Ever Done
Top 10 Worst Things Apple Has Ever Done

Top 10 Worst Things Apple Has Ever Done

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
Not all business decisions are met with universal acclaim. For this list, we'll be looking at some of Apple's choices that have been considered less than stellar. Our countdown includes The Puck Mouse, High Prices, Foxconn Working Conditions, and more!

Top 10 Worst Things Apple Has Done

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things Apple Has Done. For more videos on business, entrepreneurship, and success, check out our channel ContextTV!

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of Apple’s business decisions that have been considered less than stellar. This includes both hardware and software changes, as well as company policies.

Did we miss any worst decisions from the former home of Steve Jobs? Let us know in the comments.

#10: The Demise of the Home Button

With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Apple set a bomb off that forever altered the smartphone landscape. A former market once held exclusively by business users was now open to the general masses. Physical keyboards and clunky interfaces were replaced by a single button and a big screen. Competitors soon followed with similar type devices and everyone became used to using a home button on their phone. So when rumors circulated in 2017 that Apple was retiring the button, many long-time fans were put off. Despite the initial resistance, iPhone users were happy to gain more screen real estate, however, and even the competition followed suit.

#9: The Puck Mouse

In the early 1960s, Douglas Engelbart invented the first computer mouse. Since then, there have been countless variations of this novel piece of computer hardware. From trackballs, to vertical mice, and everything in between, plenty of variations have been attempted. In 1998, Apple opted to release their first mouse that used the new USB interface. Forever trying to distinguish themselves, Apple’s best idea at the time was to turn what was basically a hockey puck into a mouse. Forever considered one of Apple’s worst products, the device was universally hated by its users. It was awkward to hold and repeatedly spun in multiple directions. A quick slapshot in July of 2000 by the Apple Pro Mouse finally put an end to this terrible design.

#8: Hooked on iTunes

Originally designed to be nothing more than a media player, iTunes ballooned far beyond that. For years, many iPhone and iPod users were chained to this legacy desktop application. Users would have to sync music libraries to their devices instead of simply copy and pasting like with other devices and music software. Whether it was how slow the application ran, or the seemingly endless run of updates it asked for, iTunes eventually became a serious crutch for many of Apple’s most loyal fans. Thankfully for Mac users, it has now been retired and replaced by standalone apps like Apple Music. But Windows users, we’re sorry to say you might need to keep it around a bit longer.

#7: The Launch of Apple Maps

From the onset of the iPhone, Google Maps was the navigation app of choice. However, a dispute with Google’s exclusive rights to turn-by-turn directions on Android changed all that. In September of 2012, Apple Maps was announced to replace Google as the default mapping application on iPhone devices. Upon its release, Apple received major blowback from users regarding their new map offering. Many places were misspelled or omitted entirely. Map images were hit and miss and in some cases looked more like a theme park ride than roads. It was so bad that even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook made a formal apology less than a month after release. Come on, Apple! You can do better!

#6: The Tax Man Cometh

Tax season is always looming over us and for many people, it means a refund - or paying back what you owe. For Apple however, it was reported that they made use of some creative accounting to dodge paying large sums of taxes on their profits. Due to unique tax laws, Apple has been able to retain much of its profits by moving its money into offshore accounts in Ireland, the Netherlands, and even the small British Island of Jersey. The European Union ultimately fined them more than 14 billion dollars in back taxes. They did eventually bring some of that profit back to the United States, but to the tune of a $38 billion dollar tax bill.

#5: Epic Games v. Apple

Since the launch of the app store, many developers have complained of Apple’s high cut of app profits. Many feel the 30% royalty to Apple is just too high. For Epic Games, the makers of the game Fortnite, they decided they’d had enough. In August of 2020, Epic updated their iOS version of Fortnite, which gave gamers the ability to buy in-game currency from the video game developer at a lower rate - instead of full price from the app store. As quickly as the update went in, it was removed by Apple. A lawsuit followed citing Apple’s anticompetitive practices. It further escalated when Apple threatened to revoke their developer license, threatening all games using their licensed “Unreal” engine. That was later blocked in court, but the battle between the two continues to this day.

#4: So Long, Headphone Jack

First it was the home button. Then, came lightning ports instead of USB. Then, once again Apple decided to break with tradition and removed yet another vital part of the iPhone. With the release of the iPhone 7, the beloved headphone jack was axed from the smartphone’s hardware. This in turn caused major backlash from both users and business insiders. Many felt that Apple was forcing the use of wireless technology that wasn’t quite ready for the mainstream. Others were mad at not being able to charge their device while listening to music and having to carry around another dongle. The port remained on the iPad, but has not been seen on their phones since the original removal.

#3: Planned Obsolescence

With a yearly cycle of new phones, Apple’s critics have often wondered if the devices were made to degrade over time on purpose. It turns out this was actually true. The company released a statement in December of 2017 admitting to the practice. They stated that older iPhone devices were purposely slowed down to help maintain system performance. The company had already experienced issues regarding their batteries, but many fans weren’t buying that excuse. Online petitions and even several class-action lawsuits were filed against the company for their deceptive practices. They did eventually provide functionality in the devices to turn off these new “performance features”, but by then, the damage was done.

#2: High Prices

One thing that many consumers can agree on is that Apple products are expensive. The original Apple II computer sold for around $1300 back in 1977. Only a few years later, the likes of Commodore, Atari, and Texas Instruments would sell other personal computers for less than half that price. Even in 2021, whether it’s a phone or a computer, their prices continue to be much higher than many of their competitors. Apple claims the higher price is due to the superior quality of their products. Yet the before-profit cost of their devices are comparable to and sometimes lower than their competitors. With loyal fans continuing to line up for their hardware, a lower price is not likely on the horizon.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable, or should we say dishonorable mentions.

It's Never a Good Time to Buy an iPhone
Do We Get One Now, or Wait for Next Year’s Model?

The Apple Store
Maybe They Shouldn’t Call Themselves ‘Geniuses’

Not Supporting Flash
Maybe This Wasn’t Such a Bad Idea, After All

The Bending iPhone 6
Phones Shouldn’t Bend Like Silly Putty

#1: Foxconn Working Conditions

Like many other tech companies, Apple handles the manufacturing process in countries like China. Foxconn, the electronics manufacturer that makes Apple’s devices, has been repeatedly accused of unethical working conditions. 60 hour work weeks, forced accommodations at the factory, and $100 of earnings a month are just the tip of the iceberg. Employees reportedly exposed to deadly toxins suffered loss of feeling in their extremities, lightheadedness, and even the inability to use certain limbs. The pressure and working conditions in one of the factories even pushed some employees to take their own lives, forcing the company to install nets to prevent further attempts and to pledge wage increases. To their credit, Apple has worked with Foxconn to improve the situation, but the jury is out on whether things are really any better.