Well, for starters, it was a massive flop.
So what exactly is the Apple Pippin? It’s the worst piece of marketing, that’s for sure. The Apple Pippin was supposed to be a “multimedia player platform”, being able to run games or browse the internet. And that’s… basically what it was. It sounds pretty great, but know that it was released in 1995, by which time the Sega Saturn, Playstation, and even Personal Computers had already jacked the gaming market.
So that’s one point down. But surely bad timing isn’t the only thing that brought it down so hard, now is it? Nope. Apple decided to do something pretty great with this Pippin thing. It allowed third-party companies to license it, work with it and develop content for it. Looking at how Apple stands today, that’s not something you’re very likely to see them do, now is it? So that’s great and all, but they made one huge mistake there. Licensees had to do the marketing all by themselves. No help from Apple whatsoever, and they even disallowed use of the word “computer” in the ads for the Pippin so as to not have it be mistaken for an Apple Computer.
Bandai was one of the licensees. They invested 93 million Dollars into the ads for the Pippin. Sounds pretty bad as is, but what if I tell you the ads didn’t catch on at all because they were rather poorly executed? They assumed people would be interested in browsing the internet, but most of the people couldn’t even grasp the concept of browsing the internet on such a device. Ouch.
It retailed for about six-hundred bucks, too. Rather expensive paperweight, right?