Apple’s Most Dubious Design Decisions in Recent History

Apple has always stressed the degree of thought that goes into its product design. Jony Ive writes in the prologue to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book published by the business in 2016, about how the company attempts to “design items that appear effortless” and “so simple, cohesive, and inevitable that there could be no sensible alternative.”

Apple's Most Dubious Design Decisions in Recent History

However, even Apple makes mistakes now and then, and a tech company’s cogent justification for the way a product should be developed can convert into end-user annoyance, or even a customer’s personal hell. We take a look back at some of Apple’s most dubious design decisions in recent memory. See if you agree, and let us know if there are any other Apple goods that you believe did not live up to their billing in the comments.

1. Magic Mouse 2

magicmouse2 1

The Magic Mouse 2 was announced in 2015 and was touted at the time as yet another Apple invention due to its touch-sensitive surface that can recognise swipes and motions as well as clicks. On the surface, Apple’s mouse appears to be a paragon of Apple design, with its elegant curves and smooth, seamless top surface, until you charge it.

Apple’s decision to place the charging port on the underside of the Magic Mouse 2 was widely criticised, leading many to believe that the company had compromised practicality for design. Arguably, Apple could have placed the connector on the front edge of the mouse, like most other wired and wireless mice do, allowing customers to charge it while using it. No, it does not.

Six years later, in April 2021, Apple revealed the next iMac, which offers some interesting utilitarian design modifications over its predecessors, such as the Ethernet port in the charging brick. The Magic Mouse 2 is bundled with the new iMacs and comes in a variety of colours to match the all-in-one computers.

but Apple still expects users to flip over their mouse and plug in a Lightning cable, which makes it not only unusable but also slightly pathetic-looking.

Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 originally went on sale in the United States for $79 and that’s the same price you’ll pay for it today

Apple Stores in the UK have started accepting walk-in customers

2. Apple/Siri Remote (2015-2021)

Siri Remote

It’s difficult to overestimate the amount of scepticism directed at the original Siri Remote since Apple initially included it with the Apple TV in 2015, and if you never got to use it, that may sound harsh.

After all, it included a clickable touchpad at the top that responded to swipes and motions for browsing tvOS, as well as two straightforward columns of buttons plainly positioned below for managing media playing. It even included an accelerometer and functioned as a game controller.

You can think everything is fine. In practise, however, most users believed it was a colossal blunder and an ergonomic disaster. The general view was that Apple’s Remote design was too small and too thin, which meant it got lost down the back of the sofa or between the cushions when it wasn’t making your hands seem uncomfortably large.

Then there was the non-intuitive button layout, which was best exemplified by the level of annoyance that resulted from inadvertently tapping the Siri button to return to the menu. Few people will ever forget the glass touchpad’s extreme sensitivity, which made onscreen navigating feel a little like watching Olympic curling.

All of this assumes you haven’t been holding it backwards, which practically every user does at least once a week. In dim light, one end of the remote was nearly unrecognisable from the other due to its strict symmetry. Not only that, but the Remote was only available in black and had no backlighting, as if Apple had purposefully designed it to be difficult to find in the dark.

Apple relegated the Siri Remote to the annals of tech history in 2021, when it debuted the updated Apple TV 4K and a much-improved, all-new Siri Remote with a new clickpad interface and five-way navigation.

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3. Apple Pencil (1st Gen)


Another product that looks silly when charging is the first-generation Apple Pencil, which was released in 2015, the same year as the Magic Mouse 2. When you think about it, Apple incorporated a male Lightning connector under the cap that allows it to be hooked into an iPad for power, which makes sense.

When the Apple Pencil runs out of battery, there’s usually an iPad nearby to connect it into, and to be fair, it charges very quickly, delivering roughly 30 minutes of use after only 15 seconds of being plugged in. In that regard, it simply works. But there’s no getting around the reality that it also looks strange.

This may be argued to be an example of Apple prioritising function over form, but it doesn’t appear to have considered the possible harm to both devices if you inadvertently whack the pencil on something while it’s plugged in. It is unknown how many iPad Lightning ports have been destroyed as a result.

When the Apple Pencil is plugged in and charging, you obviously can’t charge your iPad (unless you plug the pencil into an iPhone, for example), and it makes using your tablet awkward unless you use it in landscape mode. In other words, you cannot charge the pencil and the tablet simultaneously.

Apple still sells the first-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ for $99, but thankfully it adopted magnetic charging for the second-generation version, thus restoring a partial sense of harmony to the ‌iPad‌ lineup.

4. AirPods Max Smart Case

When Apple debuted its $599 high-end AirPods Max over-ear headphones in 2021, there was just as much online discussion over Apple’s accompanying Smart Case as there was about the headphones themselves.

The case, according to Apple, is intended to put the AirPods Max into a “ultra-low power mode that helps to save battery charge when not in use.” Granted, this is beneficial when your headphones lack a proper off switch, but it’s the strange appearance of the case that appears to elicit unexpected connections in the mind.

The Smart Case spawned an avalanche of memes that irreverently compared it to anything from handbags to lingerie, and even bodily parts. Aside from the bra parallels, most people would agree that Apple appears to have de-emphasized the practicalities of travel in its quest of iconic fashion. Nilay Patel of The Verge writes:

I have no idea what’s going on with the AirPods Max case, which is a goofy one-piece contraption that’s folded and glued over on itself to form a case. It looks very much like a purse when wrapped around the headphones, which is at once fun and clever and also not the point of a headphones case that needs to survive in a backpack. It does not appear very protective, feels like it will get dirty fast, and generally does not hold a candle to the nice hard cases that come with almost every other set of premium headphones.

You’d assume that a case that comes with a pair of expensive headphones would protect them when thrown into a backpack, but when it comes to Apple’s Smart Case, many customers advise you to reconsider. Because of the case material’s lack of coverage, the headphone’s metal is so prone to scratches that you’d be excused for erring on the side of caution and carrying them in your palm for all to see. And perhaps that’s the point.

5. Butterfly Keyboard (2015-2019)

macbook pro butterfly keyboard

Apple modified the keyboards for its pared-down MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops in 2015 and 2016, revealing new butterfly keys with home switches beneath each key that lowered thickness without sacrificing that gratifying press under the fingertips. Unfortunately, due to Apple’s rage-inducing proclivity for failure, it wasn’t long before the butterfly keyboard was dubbed one of the company’s worst design blunders.

All butterfly keyboards in MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air models released between 2016 and 2019 (and 2015 in the case of the MacBook) featured butterfly keys that simply didn’t last. The mechanism was so delicate and delicate that even the smallest bit of grit could shatter a key.

What made things worse was Apple’s laptop construction, which meant replacing that single borked key required taking your MacBook to an Apple repair center where the entire machine had to be completely disassembled.

In 2016, rather than supplanting the console discount, Apple presented a second-age form, proposing the issues had been fixed. Nonetheless, broken keys kept on being accounted for, causing Apple a deep sense of’s dismay. Rather than conceding rout, notwithstanding, Apple kept on beating its cherished dead pony by tweaking the butterfly instrument in progressive machines delivered in 2018 and 2019. Yet, the grievances didn’t disappear.

In May 2018, a spate of legal claims were brought against Apple in the interest of clients who had been impacted by broken butterfly keys and were irate that Apple had wouldn’t respect its guarantee commitments and fix the consoles for nothing.

After a month, Apple certainly recognized the issues when it sent off an “broadened console administration program,” for MacBooks outfitted with butterfly keys, and in May 2019, the program was extended to incorporate all MacBook models furnished with a butterfly console, albeit an out and out affirmation that it had placed its confidence in an awful plan was rarely approaching.

In an outstanding swipe at Apple for its refusal to acknowledge its configuration was naturally imperfect, the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern distributed an article composed up on one of the inadequate consoles, yet without rectifications. The article went standard, openly humiliating Apple.

We’ll probably never know how far reaching the console issues were, however we truly do know Mac clients inhaled a deep breath of help when Apple uncovered the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro with an updated “Sorcery” console with a scissor switch system including 1mm of movement, a transformed “T” game plan for the bolt keys, and an actual Escape key close to the Touch Bar.

6. Mac Pro (2013-2019)

2013 mac pro

“Can’t advance, my butt,” commented Apple’s Phil Schiller during the declaration of the upgraded Mac Pro in 2013. It was a snapshot of in front of an audience exorbitant pride that would go down in Apple legend, comparable to Steve Jobs’ “You’re holding it wrong” notwithstanding ‌iPhone‌ 4 recieving wire issues. Schiller’s kill was coordinated not at the crowd in participation, but rather at easy chair pundits who pointed at the current ‌Mac Pro‌’s absence of updates and asserted Apple had generally deserted its expert client base and was out of thoughts.

Apple accepted its extreme vision for the fate of the ace work area discredited the downers. Without a doubt, in spite of its somewhat specialty market contrasted with the allure of its other raving success items, Apple was showing it had taken extraordinary designing measures to develop. What’s more enhance it had. Profoundly. Everything inside was cooled by one huge fan at the top, which could turn more leisurely than more modest fans and keep the Mac calm under weighty burden.

Intel Xeon processors were twinned with double AMD FirePro workstation GPUs, empowering the machine to convey seven teraflops of figuring power. Yet, while the strong equipment and the dark aluminum chamber that housed everything was undeniably Apple-esque in its aspirations, there were remarkable worries. Everything was shrewdly intended to work on warm dispersal, yet that implied development must be served remotely by Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Most innovative stars couldn’t disregard its absence of interior openings to update designs cards and add more memory. Indeed, even Apple appeared to be uncertain how to refresh its internals – as of late as 2019, it was feasible to purchase a garbage bin ‌Mac Pro‌ from Apple without barely an update in the a long time since its delivery.

Apple was all around mindful of the analysis its ‌Mac Pro‌ update had drawn in, and wound up accomplishing something abnormal. The broadly cryptic organization scarcely at any point uncovers its arrangements for new items, however felt it needed to soothe developing worries from the Mac’s star base that the organization had become lost.

At a gathering with correspondents in 2017, Apple leaders apologized and conceded the 2013 ‌Mac Pro‌ model had been an error, having been planned into a warm corner. To redress the circumstance, Apple guaranteed a new measured ‌Mac Pro‌ framework more much the same as its conventional “cheddar grater” tower plan, another outer presentation, and another ‌iMac‌ Pro model for proficient clients. This time Apple followed through on its guarantees, and the “garbage bin” ‌Mac Pro‌ was let go in 2019.

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