July 7, 2001: G4 Cube Discontinued

by Chris Seibold Jul 07, 2011

The Power Mac G4 Cube was widely hailed as a great computer, pundits couldn't stop gushing about the convection cooled, positively tiny tissue box design. The cube design smacked of originality in every area, whether it was the vertical slot loading media drive or the clever way the computer internals were accessed.

For all the impressive design, the cube wasn't compelling to computer buyers. While the cube cost $1,799 a bulkier, more expandable PowerMac G4 was available for $200 less. Faced with the proposition of getting a slickly designed cube or the more clunky, cheaper and more expandable G4 tower most opted for the tower.

To say the sales of the Cube were disappointing would be and understatement. Steve Jobs' first public mistake since taking the reigns at Apple was discontinued this week in July of 2001.


  • I still think that is the most beatiful/clever/stylish computer ever made, probably well ahead of its time (it shipped before even the first Mac OS X release).

    I bought one and loved it. I am not enough of a tinkerer to have upgraded it as others have done and eventually had to sell it to get a faster machine, build I do miss it.

    Its high points were its clever core design, which made upgrading RAM and the internal hard disk very easy), its total coolness (especially when combined with an Apple Display), its utter silentness, its compactness.

    Its low points were its beefy price, lack of upgradeability (especially the non-standard, low performance ATI graphics card, which was very difficult to upgrade and didn’t support Quartz Extreme).

    Commercially, it probably deserves to be called a failure, but I think it is a testament to the better qualities of Apple as a tech company: innovative, daring and very cool.

    TheJester had this to say on Jul 07, 2006 Posts: 1
  • I too bought one, and it’s still in very productive use.  I’ve never regretted the purchase.  It may have been pricey, but it’s still the coolest looking computer ever to grace the desktop.  It handles OSX flawlessly, and it runs everything I need it to run - from CAD to photoshop, to Word documents, without a hitch.

    Frankly, I think upgradeablility (other than the graphics card) has always been somewhat overated - as is evidenced by the popularity of the iMac.  Other than memory (and installing that on the Cube is just plain fun), I’ve never seen the need to upgrade the machine.  As a matter of fact, my previous Mac - the ugly but very functional 7500 also was never upgraded - even though that was one of it’s selling points.  I think people get sold on that feature as a necessity, but it’s really only a requirement for the true power users.  What I loved about the Cube (and is also apparent in the iMac) is that it was the essence of Apple’s core philosophy: just what you need, nothing more, nothing less, in an accessable and beautiful package.

    Yeah, it was expensive at the time.  But amortize the use I’ve gotten out of the machine, include the fact that’s it’s had no maintenance, and it now seems like a pretty cheap machine.  My office has upgraded their PCs many times since then…

    domarch had this to say on Jul 07, 2006 Posts: 12
  • Amazing to think how much of a slagging off the cube got at the time, yet how “cool” they’re viewed today.  They were a bit of a design classic and in a way, they live on through the Mac Mini…

    Toxic Clown had this to say on Jul 07, 2006 Posts: 2
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