A Decade in Review: Apple’s 10 Best and Worst Products

A Decade in Review: Apple’s Ten Best and Worst Products

We are nearing the end of this decade, and over the past ten years, Apple has launched dozens of new products, including hardware, software, and services. The company had its ups and downs, though. It launched some groundbreaking products like the AirPods but also faced customers’ wrath due to its missteps with faulty MacBook keyboards.

We’ve already listed what Apple did in 2019 and our favorite Apple products of this year. Today, I am listing the ten best and ten worst products that I think were announced by Apple over the span of this decade, including hardware and software. I have listed them in no particular order.

Apple’s Ten Best Products Of The Decade (2010-2019)

It was hard choosing the top ten products from Apple since the company has such an excellent track record of releasing groundbreaking consumer tech products. However, here’s our carefully chosen list of some great launches by the iPhone maker over the past decade.

Apple AirPods

Apple’s first wireless earphones, AirPods, were truly revolutionary. While they were not the first truly wireless earphones to hit the market, they nailed down three aspects: battery life, call quality, and ease of use. With a battery life of 24 hours, AirPods last up to one whole week for most consumers. Even now, they are the easiest earphones to use, thanks to effortless pairing and auto play/pause features. AirPods also have the best call quality among all truly wireless earphones even three years after their launch.

Apple AirPods

A-Series Chipsets

The company first shifted from third-party processors to its own chipset with the A4 chip inside the iPhone 4. That was just the tip of the iceberg as that chip was still designed by Intrinsity for Apple. A few years later though, Apple surprised everyone by being the first to the market with its 64-bit A7 chipset.

It was a great move from Apple, reducing reliance on other brands. Nine years down, the line, Apple’s processors are not only the fastest in the industry but they’re up to three years ahead of their closest rivals.

Apple 12 Bionic Chipset

iPad Air

The iPad Air was really a well-balanced tablet. It had a pixel-dense screen, stereo speakers, cameras on the front and the rear, a fast processor, and long battery life. More importantly, Apple was able to greatly reduce the iPad’s weight compared to its predecessor, the iPad 4.

Apple iPad Air 2013 Space Grey

iPhone 11

One of the most well-priced products from Apple over the past decade, the iPhone 11 made all the right sacrifices to keep the price down. It uses the same processor, similar build quality, same stereo speakers, similar primary and ultra-wide cameras, same connectivity features, and battery life as that of the iPhone 11 Pro. And LCD screen and a missing telephoto camera are some things that most consumers won’t necessarily notice, especially with a much lower price tag.

Apple iPhone 11 Colors

iPhone X

The iPhone X was the freshest design Apple released after the iPhone 4. Be it the bezel-less OLED screen, Face ID, a new gesture-based navigation system, or the company’s first homegrown GPU, the iPhone X brought a lot of new features to the table.

Apple iPhone X

MacBook Air 2nd Gen. 13-Inch

One of the best reveals by Steve Jobs ever, original MacBook Air surprised everyone with its thin and light design. It still featured a full-sized display, a full-sized keyboard, and a dual-core processor. However, the 2nd Gen MacBook Air, which was released in mid-2011, was a much better product, thanks to its newer design, higher resolution screen, an Intel Core i-series processor, an additional USB port, and a Thunderbolt 3 port, an SD card slot, and longer battery life. All these improvements made the MacBook Air a real workhorse for many people.

Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch Early 2014

Mac Pro

Released earlier this month, the new Mac Pro is the monstrously powerful desktop that the pros were waiting for the last few years. It brought a truly modular design, various CPU options that go as high as a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 1.5TB RAM, up to 8TB SSD, up to two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs, support for third-party PCIe cards, plenty of ports, fast wireless connectivity, and even a speaker.

It starts at $4,999 and can go as high as $50,000+, but it really delivers when it comes to performance and upgradability, something that professionals value the most in high-end desktop computers.

Apple Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

Apple Music

After Apple revolutionized the music industry by letting consumers buy single music tracks online through the iTunes Store, the company felt a little left out with online music streaming becoming mainstream. However, the firm quickly snapped up Beats Electronics (and Beats Music as a part of the deal) in 2014, and launched Apple Music the next year.

A few years later, the company’s music streaming service is the second-largest in the business. Surprisingly, Apple launched the service for a wide variety of platforms, including all of its own platforms as well as Android, Android Auto, ChromeOS, Sonos, Windows, and even the web.

Apple TV 4K

When the company had released the first generation Apple TV in 2008, it wasn’t even close to being competent as a media streamer. It supported a very limited number of media formats and you couldn’t buy movies or music from the device. Over the past few years, Apple has made consistent improvements to the UI, feature set, and created an App Store where you can download all the apps you want. Heck, you can even play some pretty graphically intense games using your standard PS4 or Xbox controllers.

Apple Watch Series 2

Apple’s first smartwatch was pretty unimpressive. It used a square screen rather than a circular one, lacked any form of water resistance, had a confusing UI, and it couldn’t even last an entire day on a single charge. However, two generations later, Apple made it one of the best smartwatches in the market by adding a much more powerful processor, a brighter screen, making it swim-resistant, and extended battery life.

The company even added ECG and Fall Detection features with the next two generations, but I think that the company really turned it around with the Apple Watch Series 2.

Apple Watch Series 2 Features

Apple’s Ten Worst Products Of The Decade (2010-2019)

Most of Apple’s products released in the past decade have been really good, no wonder the company is doing really well. That also means that it is really hard to choose the ten bad products. But the company did have some missteps. So, let’s start with them.

AirPower

First announced in late 2017 alongside the iPhone X, the AirPower promised to wirelessly charge multiple Apple products at once, thanks to twenty charging coils. However, it reportedly proved too challenging for even Apple to keep the device’s temperature down. The wireless charger was never released, and the company removed all mentions of AirPower from its website. Later, Apple officially announced that it had to cancel the release due to its underwhelming performance. It remains the only Apple product in the past decade to be canceled before its launch.

Apple AirPower

HomePod

Apple’s only smart speaker to date, the HomePod, offers excellent audio quality. However, it has too many limitations to succeed. It works only with Apple Music, and it requires an Apple device to start the setup process. It also lacks the smartness as Siri is quite limited compared to voice assistant on competing smart speakers.

iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c was probably one of the most boring iPhones Apple has ever launched. It was cheap, but it also felt cheap on the outside, something Apple doesn’t usually do. It received decent reviews but it was an uninspiring product from the company and it didn’t really sell all that well.

Apple iPhone 5C All Colors

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus were really boring products compared to the iPhone X which launched alongside them. It neither offered a lot of meaningful upgrades from the iPhone 7 nor was it relatively lower priced compared to the iPhone X. No wonder, most people decided to spend a little extra and get the iPhone X.

Apple iPhone 8

MacBook Pro With Butterfly Keyboard

Probably the most criticized aspect of Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup since the 2015 refresh, the keyboard caused a lot of people a lot of pain and money. Even little dust particles stuck inside the keys can render a MacBook Pro useless and the device might have to undergo a motherboard replacement. No wonder, Apple switched back to scissor keyboard switches with the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Magic Mouse 2

Well, the Magic Mouse was never too ergonomic, to begin with, the Magic Mouse 2 is even worse due to the charging port being on the bottom. This meant that you can’t use it while it is charging. Apple still hasn’t released a successor with a better design. Hopefully, we will see a better version of it in 2020.

Magic Mouse 2 charging port

Apple Maps With iOS 6

The launch of Apple Maps in 2012 was a disaster, so much so that Scott Forstall took a fall for it. The first release of the company’s own mapping and navigation solution, which the company replaced with Google Maps, had poor levels of details and the mapping information was wrong on a number of occasions. Thankfully, Apple Maps much better now, but it is still lacking compared to Google Maps.

Apple Pencil 1st Gen

Yet again, an Apple product that’s listed among the ten worst products just because of its wrongly placed charging port.

Apple Ping

Do you remember Apple Ping? Does anyone remember Apple Ping? Well, I’ll remind you. It was a music-focussed social network where people could follow artists and friends, and their postings. It was available only through iTunes, and only in 23 countries. Due to the lack of consumer interested, Apple closed it down after just two years and replaced the service with Facebook and Twitter integration.

Apple Watch 1st Gen.

The original Apple Watch had too many issues, including short battery life, lack of GPS, a confusing UI, and had very few watch faces. Thankfully, the company made a lot of progress with the next few generations both in terms of hardware and software.

Apple Watch Edition

So, do you agree with our list of ten best and ten worst Apple products of the decade? Have you owned or currently own some of the products listed here? Let us know your thoughts on those products in the comments section below.