A new captivating documentary explores the intriguing fate of Apple Inc‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Lisa computers, shedding light on the circumstances that led to the burial of thousands of unsold units in Logan, Utah. And Steve Jobs‘ possible hand in what is arguably the company’s worst failure.
The 30-minute documentary by The Verge uncovers the hardware issues and the steep $10,000 price tag that contributed to Lisa’s challenges, while also highlighting its groundbreaking features, such as windows, a mouse, and icons, which set the stage for user-friendly computing. In comparison, IBM’s competing device had a significantly lower price of $1,600.
Through interviews with key figures involved in the burial, including the original reporter and photo editor, the documentary reveals a narrative intertwined with elements of sabotage and intrigue.
One pivotal character in this story is Bob Cook, an Apple reseller who sought to re-purpose and sell the Lisa computers. With over $200,000 invested in improving functionality, upgrading hardware, and enhancing software compatibility, Cook’s efforts added another layer to Lisa’s complex journey.
Controversially, the documentary suggests that Apple co-founder Jobs played a significant role in Lisa’s fate. Allegedly, Jobs would direct potential customers to explore the Macintosh instead, making it challenging for Lisa to compete.
Bruce Daniels, former manager of Lisa software at Apple, recalls the impact of Jobs’ influence, stating, “And it’s kind of difficult to compete with the chairman of the board say, ‘Don’t buy this and this, buy my thing.’”
Despite attempts to revive Lisa through price cuts and rebranding as Macintosh XL, the documentary suggests that Jobs ultimately decided to discontinue the product.
The Apple Lisa, interestingly, was named after Jobs’ daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Alberto Arellano and Jessi Rexroad Shull
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