The Visual History Of The iConic Apple Mac

The Visual History Of The iConic Apple Mac

47 Years in the Making. The Mac Story. Scroll & Enjoy.

Last week I did the Visual history of the iPod I decided to the same for the Mac. It’s fascinating just being to scroll through the pictures and witnessing the innovation over the 3 decades. Enjoy!

1976: Apple I

It was designed and hand-built by Steve WozniakSteve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer.

1977: Apple II

It was the first consumer product sold by Apple Computer. The Apple II had the defining feature of being able to display color graphics, and this capability was the reason why the Apple logo was redesigned to have a spectrum of colors.

1984: Apple Macintosh

“Soon there’ll be just two kinds of people,” Apple’s ads said. “Those who use computers. And those who use Apples.”

Check out this epic ad:

1985: Apple Fires Steve Jobs

Apple’s board felt — not unreasonably — he was too young and temperamental to run Apple.

1986: Macintosh Plus

As an evolutionary improvement over the 512K in the 1984 Macintosh, it shipped with 1MB of RAM standard, expandable to 4MB, Had the new 3.5″ Floppy disk. with a price tag of US$2599 (equivalent to $5,620 in 2015).

1987: Macintosh SE

The $3,700 Macintosh SE added hard drive and expansion slots and changed to a new connector for the mouse and the keyboard. It was also the first Mac to include a cooling fan. A second floppy disk drive too.

1987: Macintosh II

The Macintosh II and Macintosh SE were the first Apple computers since the Apple I to be sold without a keyboard.

The Apple Macintosh II supported a colour display. A basic system with 20 MB drive and monitor cost about $5500, A complete color-capable system could cost as much as $10,000 once the cost of the color monitor, video card, hard disk, keyboard and RAM were added.

1989: Mac Portable

Macintosh team veteran Andy Hertzfeld described the Mac Portable as his least favorite Mac because it was “incredibly expensive and incredibly heavy.” The Macintosh didn’t sell too well, it cost (with hard drive) US$7,300 (equivalent to $13,959 in 2015).

1990: Mac Classic

Apple wanted their computers to cost below $1000 so they could get Macs to more consumers, however due it’s price it meant compromises for it’s power

1991: Powerbook 100

The Mac Portable didn’t do too well but Apple saw the potential and decided to reiterate and create the PowerBook 100. It did well, bringing in more than $1 billion in revenue in its first year and eventually winning recognition as one of the greatest computers of its era. Very ugly, sorry.

1993: Macintosh TV

This is really ugly, it has a TV tuner card and CD drive. Yes you could watch TV on it, didn’t sell too well though. They only made 10,000. Some say it was ahead of it’s time since in today’s world computers are essentially the new TVs.

1995: Macintosh Performa 6300

At this point Apple was really struggling, they weren’t bringing compelling enough products out. This line was eventually replaced by Apple’s G3 line.

1996: Power Macintosh 5400

The Power Macintosh 5000 series is notable for its all-in-one design that brought together a monitor, speakers, and case in one distinctive package with a subtle chin. The 5400 debuted in 1996, and was targeted to family and education markets.

1996: Steve Jobs Returns

Apple was in a terrible position and market share was falling as competitors like Microsoft were catching up. In his retrun he cut Apple’s product lineup from 350 to 10.

1997: Power Macintosh G3 beige

Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the focus of the Mac had shifted. It was about power, and capability — and that started with the Power Mac G3, He quickly updated this making it the fastest Mac ever made.

1997: 20th Anniversary Mac

Apple 1st 1996 marked the day the first Apple Computer was born. It vost $10,000. integrated TV, FM radio, and a separate subwoofer. If you bought one, a man in a tuxedo would bring it to your house and set it up for you.

1998: iMac

Steve is back! This had to show that Apple still had life and it sure did. The “i’ in the iMac represented the tranistion into the Interage age. The “i” followed into the other products; iPhone, iPod, iPad.

With the iMac, Apple made its first computer for the internet. Its multi-colored, curved case was as good-looking as a computer had ever been, and came with a high-end modem and processor. And it had USB ports two USB ports. It came with a CD-Rom rather than a Floppy Disk which infruirted critics (which we still see today) but Apple proved were right as industry eventually shifted to CD.

1999: iBook

The iMac was extremely sucessful, so Apple rightfully thought the next step would in a laptop. Marked Apple’s transition into a wireless world (well properly anyway). Super easy to carry around due it’s weird handle.

1999: Blue Power Mac G3

The theme continued throughout the new product lineup. Didn’t have a massive internal update but was a weclome improvement. Lovely design too.

1999: PowerMac G4 (Graphite)

Apple dialed back its design language with machines like the graphite PowerMac G4. Even 14+ years later, the G4’s style, lines and colors are close to fitting in with today’s Macs.

2000: PowerMac Cube

Good computer but it wasn’t more powerful than it’s predecessors, wasn’t compelling enough to create enough demand. over-priced, suffered from production flaws, and was prone to overheating.

2001: PowerBook

Same year the iPod came out which got most of the attention but this new laptop was a grea update from the iBook. With a 15.2-inch screen, it was the first Apple laptop to look like its MacBooks still do today. With the aluminium this industirial design was second to none. This was the pinnacle of the pre-Intel era.

2002: iMac G4

The design was short-lived, but it had surprisingly strong adoption among small businesses.

2003: PowerBook

Rather than a coming in 15-inch sizes, it came in 12-inch and 17-inch. Both powerful but the 17-inch felt uncomfortably large (as you can imagine) but once in it you remmebered the awesomness of a large LCD.

PowerMac G5

I used to edit vide content on this bad boy, beautiful specimen even to this day. Was super fast, was the Michael Jordan of computer engineering at the time. What a specimen.

2004: iMac G5

This form factor is still consistent in the iMac of today, a decade later. This was Apple’s vision of an all-in-one computer coming into fruition. I remember when I first saw this I thought it was just a display but not both, I was shocked and excited.

Added a 64-bit G5 processor to the equation as well. It came with displays as large as 20 inches, and the transparent white mouse and keyboard so many people still remember.

2005: Mac mini

Apple had high-end and consumer-friendly machines, but the Mac mini gave it a real option in the low-end market.

2006: iMac Core Duo

Apple shifted to Intel, worked out very well for them. The new iMac included a camera too, the beginning of selfiemania.

2006: MacBook Pro

Apple followed the iMac and shifted to Intel procressors. Design has pretty much remainded the same but a few modifations.

2006: MacBook

Targetd at education came in black and white, cheaper than the Macbook Pros. However they were discontinued, Apple felt by prodcuing a cheper laptop , they were comprimsing the laptop experience. Experience is paramount.

2006: Mac Pro

Updated Intel processors and dual disk.

2007: iMac

Following the design theme as the other products, this new iMac had an alumuin unibody, new hardware updates as per.

2008: MacBook Air

Pulled out from an envelope on stage to showcase it size and how ultra thin it was for a lpatop. Overpriced at first but as it eventually became cheaper, that’s when it started to shine. Becoming Apple’s entry level laptop.

2008: MacBook Pro

First Macbook to have the new aluminium unibody, making Macbooks both thinner, stronger and lighter. Jony Ive (Chief Design Officer) can explain it better than me:

2012: MacBook Pro Retina

This new Macbook came with the infamous Retina Display, adding those pixels weren’t cheap, a laptop repair can cost up to £300. Apple famously removed the disc drive too. Super slim for such a powerful laptop.

2012: iMac

Apple made the new iMacs lose weight, incredibly slim! A new drive that combines SSD with a tradional Hard drive. Even though it was slimmer it was even more powerfult than it’s prodecessor, cheaper too.

Oh yes, and that updated touch sensitive mouse.

2013: Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro (that semi looks like a dustbin) is smaller, lighter, and more powerful than virtually any professional machine it’s ever made. Incredibly small, I mean really small but it’s most powerful machine ever.

2014: 5K iMac

Updated display increasing up to 5K resolution.

2015: Macbook

Beautiful laptop available in Space grey, Gold and Silver. Very popular amongst students due to it’s form factor. Extremely slim, thanks to the redesigned trackpad and the logic board (about the size of a thumb). Apple’s first and only fanless macbook and controversioaly comes with only 2 inputs; USB-C and a headphone jack.

2016: Macbook Pro Touchbar

Finally the Macbook pro lineup got (real) upgrades since 2012. With the additon of a new feature, The Touch bar that replaces the function keys and it’s functionality changes depending on the app in use. In Apple fashion they removed all the (tradional) USB replacing it with 4 USB-C ports. They removed the SD card too, long term it’ll be standard.

They also released a model without the touchbar but simialr upgrades, this will essentially replace the Macbook Air.

That’s it, 32 years of Mac history. This took me foreverrrrrrr, thank you if you made it this far. Looking back, it’s pretty incredible how far they came and the technological advances Apple made. Here’s to the future.

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