On Wednesday, Apple held its semi-annual Special Event, in which the tech giant introduces its new slate of shiny gadgets and explains why they're so much better than the versions you just spent thousands of dollars on. It's always a hoot.
Despite some exciting announcements, this year's event was tinged with controversy. Apple confirmed the dreaded rumors that the iPhone 7 would dispense with the headphone jack in favor of (included) wireless earbuds called Air Pods. Old-fashioned wired headsets will still work, but only with a special adapter.
If you're one of the many people who were shocked and dismayed by this news, you may have a short memory. This is hardly the first time Apple has blindsided fans with disappointing product announcements. Here are the 5 worst offenses in the history of the House that Jobs Built.
1. The Lightning cable (2012).
At 2012's keynote, Apple introduced the iPhone 5, blowing our minds with its 4-inch screen and LTE support (were we ever so young?). But fans were outraged at the announcement that it would require a new piece of equipment for charging and wired communication: the Lightning cable. Replacing the long-standing 30-pin connector, Lightning would be the new standard for all subsequent Apple products, meaning all previous cables were immediately obsolete unless you bought—you guessed it—an adapter. Sensing a pattern?
2. The 12-inch MacBook (2015).
At first, the hype for this ultra-thin luxury laptop was blistering. But sales quickly petered out as consumers realized that it was a flimsy, underpowered alternative to the already-thin MacBook Air. As you might have suspected, the true disappointment was cable-related. A mere three years after introducing Lightning as the end-all, be-all of connectors, Apple announced that Lighting wasn't good enough for this notebook.
Instead, in order to conserve space, the 12-inch would have a single port that handled all charging and accessory needs, like some sort of electronic cloaca. And that port would not be Lightning—it would be something new and confusing called USB-C. To connect your iPhone, you'd need another damn dongle. So many dongles.
3. The Apple USB Mouse (1998).
In the late 90s, a struggling Apple put itself back on the map with the colorful, user-friendly iMac—a welcome alternative to the beige post-apocalyptic PC towers of the day. Along with every iMac, Apple shipped their brand-new USB mouse, which was just as colorful but not nearly as user-friendly. Its perfectly circular shape made it about as comfortable to handle as an angry hedgehog. If you have any doubt, just ask anyone between the ages of 30 and 35. They'll show you their permanently deformed claw hands as proof.
4. The Macintosh TV (1993).
Even in its darkest times, Apple was always forward-thinking. 15 years before streaming services, they knew people would want to spend countless hours watching TV on their computers. But with 1993 technology, their best option was the Macintosh TV, which was literally just a computer/TV mashup. It had a switch so that when you got tired of playing BrickOut, you could flip it to TV mode, adjust the antenna, push your desk chair back six feet, and enjoy a brand new episode of Quantum Leap. The Mac TV was such a miserable failure, Apple only built 10,000 before discontinuing it three months later. Today, it's a valuable collector's item among people who hate Apple (mostly just Bill Gates).
5. Those damn Air Pods again (2016).
Sorry to keep harping on this, but come on. These things are a testament to Apple's legacy of solving mild inconveniences with huge inconveniences. Sure, traditional earbuds get tangled, but at least they're not weird little ear penises that will fall out of your pocket five minutes after purchase. Also, they have a five-hour battery life (but you can charge them with their included case, which also has a limited battery life). There's a reason everyone on Twitter is already clowning on them.
Oh, they also cost $159.