Hardware

Tech reincarnations: 5 dud products that inspired later hits

NeXTcube (1990) | Apple Power Mac G4 Cube (2000)

The NeXTcube was the second iteration of the computer hardware sold by Steve Jobs’ NeXT Inc., which catered to the needs of higher education and business markets. Powered by a Motorola 68040, and with an MSRP of $10,000, approximately 50,000 cubes were sold. The NeXTcube ran the Unix-like NeXTSTEP operating system, which became the basis of Mac OS X.

The spiritual successor of the NeXTcube was the Power Mac G4 cube. While it was much more affordable at an introductory price of $1799, it suffered disappointing sales and was discontinued after a year. Reports at the time raised concerns about cracks in the polycarbonate case of the G4 Cube, though the company insists they are mold lines.

Image: Raffaele Mastrolonardo/ZDNet/Apple

By James Sanders

James Sanders is an analyst for 451 Research. He was formerly a Staff Technology Writer for TechRepublic.