As sweet as the boss himself, Ted Lasso-themed ice cream is the result of Apple’s current collaboration with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a small high-end US-based ice cream parlor chain. Jeni’s x Ted Lasso: Biscuits with the Boss will be released on March 2, ahead of the Ted Lesso Season 3 premiere on March 15. The ice cream is described as “Crumbly shortbread cookies in buttery sweet cream. Salty, mouthwatering, conversation-worthy.” Every fan of the show surely wondered how those irresistible biscuits that Ted brings Rebecca every day actually taste, and, if you’re lucky enough to live near a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream shop or a grocery store that carries the lineup, you can find out for yourself while this limited-edition flavor lasts.
This delightfully silly collaboration got us thinking about other wacky Apple collaborations that you’ve probably forgotten (if you ever heard of them) or wish you could forget. Some, certainly, are best left forgotten...
Apple x U2: Songs of Innocence
The one that we wish we could forget but we just can’t is the day that Apple users suddenly had an entire new U2 album on our devices whether we wanted it or not.
On September 9, 2014, Apple gifted U2's new "Songs of Innocence" album to everyone with an iTunes account. Actually, it was foisted upon us; we had no choice in the matter. Apple seemed surprised by the backlash, but gamely released instructions on how to remove the album. I think Apple could have avoided all of the hassle by simply offering the option to opt in to the free album rather than installing it on our devices without permission. It was a rather bizarre and awkward decision that I'll bet Apple wishes it could take back.
Apple x Product(RED): Solid Rose Gold Apple EarPods
Remember when EarPods used to come bundled with a new iPhone? These simple but effective earbuds cost a whole $29 to buy separately, making them one of Apple's best value products to date. I still use mine from time to time and, if nothing else, they are a good backup in case my AirPods batteries die at an inopportune moment.
Back in 2013, when Jony Ive was Apple's senior vice president of design, he collaborated with designer Marc Newson to create some unique items to raise money for PRODUCT(RED), the charity headed up by U2's Bono — he pops up a lot in Apple land. One of the results of this collaboration was solid rose gold Apple EarPods, which were sold by Sotheby’s New York charity auction. Sotheby’s estimated the blinged out EarPods would sell for $20,000 to $25,000. But they actually went for an astounding $461,000. That’s right, nearly half a million dollars for wired earbuds made of gold (for a good cause, of course.)
Apple x Kodak and Fujifilm: Apple QuickTake digital camera
Back in the early days of digital photography, Apple made a digital camera called QuickTake. First shown at Tokyo Macworld in 1994, the Apple QuickTake 100 was released later the same year. Kodak built the first two models, the 100 and 150; Fujifilm built the third and final model, the 200. So what would you get for your $749? The QuickTake 100 had a built-in flash but no focus, exposure, or zoom control.
The fixed-focus lens was equivalent to a standard 50mm lens. The camera could store up to eight photos at 640x480 resolution or 32 photos at 320x240 (or a mix of the two.) You couldn’t preview your photos on the camera itself on that first model — rather, you used the bundled software to view and do basic editing on your computer. It sounds positively stone age by today’s digital camera standards, but at the time, the Apple QuickTake was cutting edge: it won the Product Design Award in 1995. Apple's QuickTake was one of the first digital cameras priced for the consumer market too, showing prescient awareness of the mass adoption of digital cameras to come.
Apple x Victorinox: Apple Swiss Army Knife
Alright, this one isn’t that weird, but it’s kind of cool. While the iPhone with its many, many functions has been described as a “modern-day Swiss Army Knife,” there is an actual Apple Swiss Army Knife out there. It came out in the early 1990s, and it’s really just a regular Swiss Army Knife with an Apple logo on one side. You might still be able to find them on eBay and other resale outlets.
Compared to other Apple memorabilia, these useful tools are downright reasonable. As Swiss Army Knives go, this is a pretty basic one, sporting what appears to be just a knife blade, flathead screwdriver/file, tiny pair of scissors, keyring, and toothpick.
Apple x Disney: Mickey’s Mac Club pin
As all Disney pin collectors know, the rarer the pin, the more valuable it is. This one fetches a pretty penny for sure. Back in 1991, Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering Bruce Gordon designed this cute pin specifically to give to members of the Macintosh User Group at Disney studios.
While I’d imagine that the pin was well-received by the Apple-inclined Disney imagineers, Disney management quickly pulled the pins. Why? Disney wanted to remove Mickey’s apparent endorsement of Mac computers. The pins were later re-released as The Mac Club instead, but it’s the earlier design that collectors clamor for.
Apple loves a good collab
Apple takes a lot of swings — some are hits and some are misses. While not every Apple collaboration results in long-lasting and successful product lines, there are plenty that do. Apple's long partnership with Beats has brought us tons of products we love, such as Beats Studio 3 and Beats Fit Pro. Who can forget Kim Kardashian's color-inclusive spin on these popular earbuds?
While the rose gold EarPods for PRODUCT(RED) were more of a publicity stunt (and fundraiser) than a real product, many of us love the stunning red shades of PRODUCT(RED) iPhones and Apple Watches and appreciate the charitable work done by the foundation. Apple's collaboration with Belkin has brought us a number of useful accessories too, while partnerships with Nike and Hermés have brought about some special features and unique looks to help Apple Watch users express their personalities. We all look forward to seeing who Apple collaborates with next, and for what...
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.