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The Evolution of Apple Design Between 1977-2008

Design, Resources | Jan 22, 2009

With the 25th anniversary of the first Macintosh computer coming up on January 24th, 2009, we’re taking a look back in time at the evolution of Apple products.

Most have been notable leaps forward, while some were famous flops. Whether or not their inventions were accepted by the marketplace, Apple has consistently put out products that raise the bar for the computer and telecommunications industry.

The list compiled for this article is by no means a complete compilation of all Apple products. We chose to highlight those products where the design changes are best appreciated.

 

All-In-One Computers

Apple has sold “all-in-one” computers that have built-in monitors from its very early days. Although some models were classified as All-In-One, they had separate monitors packaged in the same box.

Apple II – 1977

1977 saw the invention of both the Apple II and the famous rainbow Apple logo. Steve Jobs added the colours to the logo to reflect the Apple II’s superior colour output. Colour graphics set the Apple II apart from its rivals on the market. Image: Wikipedia

Apple III – 1980

This next iteration of the Apple computer for business was created primarily to compete with business computing companies like IBM. Image: Wikipedia

Apple IIe – 1983

The Apple IIe keyboard was built in to the computer and did away with the numeric keypad. Image: Wikipedia

Lisa/Macintosh XL – 1983

While Lisa won the legendary race between itself and the Macintosh by being the first desktop computer to market with an intuitive GUI, it flopped with the public due to sticker shock at its $10,000 price tag and a lack of software titles. Image: Wikipedia


Apple IIc – 1984

The Apple IIc represented Apple’s first attempt at both a portable computer and “out-of-the-box” functionality. The only problem with classifying the IIc as a “portable” computer is the fact that it lacked a portable power supply. Image: Wikipedia


Macintosh – 1984

The Macintosh, for most of us, was the computer that started it all. In the first demonstration of the product at MacWorld, Steve Jobs pulled the very first Macintosh out of the bag and demonstrated product features that most of us take for granted now. Image: Wikipedia

Apple IIGS – 1986

The first 50,000 of these came with Steve Wozniak’s signature silkscreened on the front. Image: Wikipedia


Macintosh Plus – 1986

The Plus version of the Macintosh originally featured the same beige colour as the original Macintosh, but in 1987 was changed to the warm gray Platinum colour that would characterize Apple computers for years to come. Image: Wikipedia


Macintosh SE – 1987

Space for an internal hard disk and advanced SCSI support were some of the selling features of the SE. Image: Wikipedia


Apple IIc Plus – 1988

With this model, Apple did away with the 5.25″ floppy in the Apple II line and switched over completely to the 3.5″ floppy. Image: Wikipedia

 

Macintosh SE/30 – 1989

The SE/30 sported the capacity for expandable RAM and a 1.44mb floppy disk drive as standard. Image: Wikipedia


Macintosh Classic – 1990

The Classic was an adaptation of Terry Oyama’s and Jerry Oyama’s Macintosh 128K industrial design. Image: Wikipedia


Macintosh Classic II – 1991

Two cases actually came out for the Classic II. The pictured one has a speaker cutout on the left side for better sound. Image: Wikipedia

Macintosh Color Classic – 1993

This was the first colour compact Macintosh computer. Image: Wikipedia


Apple Macintosh LC 500 – 1993

The Apple MacIntosh LC series were sold as Apple’s upper low end computers for the mid 1990’s. Image: Wikipedia.

Macintosh Performa 5200 – 1995

This was one of Apple’s lower moments, featuring severely compromised hardware design. Image: Wikipedia

Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) – 1997

12,000 of these were produced. Apple broke the moulds and didn’t make any more in order to make the product seem more “exclusive”, a strategy that did not help the TAM’s sales numbers. Image: Wikipedia

PowerMac G3 All-In-One – 1998

These were sold to the educational market only. Image: Wikipedia

iMac G3 Tray-Loading, Bondi Blue – 1998

In doing away with the tower and keeping the computing power, Apple completely revolutionized the desktop computer industry. The iMac G3’s were available in a bouquet of various colours. Johnathan Ive, the designer who was later the mastermind of the Cube, designed the iMac G3. Image: Wikipedia

iMac G3 Slot-Loading Indigo – 1999

The above model set the standard for the rest of the iMac G3’s with a slot-loading CD ROM rather than a tray-loading model. Image: Wikipedia

iMac “Flavours” – 1998-2003

Different colours were eventually added to the original Bondi Blue. Image: Wikipedia

eMac – 2002

The eMac was made available as a cheaper option to the educational market than the iMac. Image: Trimir

iMac G4 – 2002

The iMac G4 was produced from 2000-2004 and represents the first iteration of Apple’s desire to “slim down” the components necessary for an out of the box personal computer experience. It was nicknamed the iLamp because of its swiveling monitor. Image: Marc Burr


iMac G5 – 2005

The G5 lacked the swivel functionality of the G4 but introduced the “behind-the-screen” component design principle which characterized future iMac designs. Image: Wikipedia


iMac (Intel Based) – Aluminum – 2007

The current iMac models pack all of the components necessary to the operation of a computer behind the monitor in a perfect realization of “slim design”. Image: Wikipedia

 

Desktop Computers

Macintosh II – 1987

This was the first “modular” design computer that Apple put out. All of the rest preceding it had been “all-in-one” models. Image: Wikipedia

Macintosh IIx – 1988

This was simply an update to the Macintosh II. One of its code names was “Spock”. Image: Wikipedia

Macintosh IIfx – 1990

This computer was introduced as the “fastest Mac” and was dubbed “Wicked Fast” by the then Product Manager, Frank Casanova. Image: Wikipedia


Quadra 700 – 1991

Introduced with the Quadra 900 as the first Apple systems to feature Ethernet networking. Image: Wikipedia


Quadra 800 – 1993

The case on this was smaller and not as accessible as others, earning it the “worst case of all time” title at Low End Mac. Image: Wikipedia


Quadra 630 – 1994

This last entry in the Quadra line featured an IDE drive, a slower yet cheaper replacement for the standard SCSI drives that earlier Quadras contained. This was the last in the Quadra line. Image: Wikipedia

Power Macintosh G3 – 1997

The PowerMac G3 was tested and proven to be the fastest desktop computer of its time by Byte Magazine. Image: Wikipedia

 


PowerMac G3 Blue and White – 1999

This shared the hardware with its predecessor but little else. The case was redesigned to bring it in line with the new iMac. Image: Apple.com

Power Mac G4 – 1999

This line was sold by Apple between 1994 and 2006. While the hardware varied between models, they all adhered to the same basic design principles. Image: Wikipedia

Power Mac G5 – 2003

At the time of its launch the Power Mac G5 was touted as the fastest computer ever built. Image: Wikipedia

 

Mac Pro – 2006

This machine integrated Intel’s 5400 chipset with Xeon microprocessors for a lightning fast processing speed. Image: Apple.com

 

Mini Desktops

PowerMac G4 Cube – 2000

This 8″ cube garnered a lot of kudos in the short time that it was in production. The designer of the Cube, Jonathan Ive, won several international awards for its design. Image by Apple.com



Mac Mini – 2005

This diminutive computer only measured 6.5″ by 2″. It weighed in at 2.5 pounds. Image: Apple.com

 

Notebooks

Macintosh Portable – 1989

The Macintosh Portable represented Apple’s first computer with a portable power supply and an active matrix LCD screen which sported a clearer picture than many desktop monitors of the time. Image: Wikipedia


PowerBook 100 – 1991

The PowerBook 100 was a result of a collaboration between Sony and Apple – Sony miniaturized the parts for Apple for the 100. The 140 and the 170 are the first PowerBooks completely designed by Apple. Mobile PC magazine named the PowerBook 100 as its “#1 gadget of all time” in a 2005 article. Image: Wikipedia

 

PowerBook Duo – 1992

This precursor to the MacBook Air was a subnotebook that interfaced with larger storage media either through a docking port or through cables. Image: Wikipedia



PowerBook 180c – 1993

First PowerBook to display 640×480 resolution and 256 colours. Image: Wikipedia


PowerBook 540c – 1994

The trackpad replaced the trackball with this model. Image: Wikipedia

PowerBook 1400 – 1996

This entry-level notebook came in a number of different configurations. Image: Wikipedia

eMate 300 – 1997

Personal digital assistant designed for classroom use and based on the Newton engine. Image: Wikipedia

PowerBook G3 – 1997

The Wallstreet model, pictured above, marked the last use of the rainbow-coloured Apple logo. The PowerBook G3 was a built-to-order laptop which allowed users to customize what they wanted on the machine. Image: Wikipedia


 

iBook – 1999

The first generation of the iBook featured a clamshell design and wireless networking. Image: eLanso

 

iBook G3 Dual USB – 2001

Many design advances were incorporated into this complete redesign, including the L-Shaped hinge for the screen and a slim-line design. Image: Wikipedia

PowerBook G4 – 2001

The titanium-skinned PowerBook G4 was the precursor to the MacBook Pro. Image: Wikipedia

 

iBook G4 – 2004

A slot loading drive and a lack of translucent design characterized this release of the iBook. Image: Apple.com

PowerBook G4 – Aluminum – 2003

Aluminum was used for the first time in this incarnation of the PowerBook. Johnathan Ive, the same award-winning product designer responsible for the Cube, designed this PowerBook. Image: Wikipedia

MacBook – 2006

2006 saw the introduction of the MacBook with now-standard features like the magnetic latch, the glossy display and the sunken keyboard. Image: Wikipedia

MacBook Pro – 2006

The aluminum standard by which all others are measured. In the case of the current MacBrook Pro, each case is constructed out of a single block of aluminum. Image: Wikipedia

 

MacBook Air – 2008

The MacBook Air was launched with a famous commercial that involved it being packaged up and shipped in an envelope. Image: Apple.com

 


MacBook – 2008

The latest version of the MacBook brings the aluminum case previously reserved for the Pro line into the regular MacBook. Image: Wikipedia


MacBook Pro – 2008

The most recent Pro design is available in a 15″ or 17″ model. Images via Apple.com

 

Keyboards

Macintosh Keyboard – 1984

This keyboard was standard issue with the Macintosh Plus and was the first keyboard to see the “Command” key. Image: Wikipedia


Apple Extended Keyboard – 1990

This keyboard represents the golden age of Apple keyboards for many fans. The large spaces between keys and the general feel of the board made it very popular. Image: Wikipedia


USB Keyboard – 1998

This board was packaged with iMacs beginning in 1998 and lasting until 2000. Image: Wikipedia


Apple Pro Keyboard/Apple Keyboard – 2000

This keyboard had the “Command” letters removed from the command key entirely. When it was originally introduced it was available in a clear case with black keys. After its name was officially changed to the “Apple Keyboard”, it was released only in white. Image by 2aday.com


Current Apple Keyboard – 2007

The current Apple keyboard features an aluminum enclosure and is the first since the Apple IIe keyboard to remove the Apple logo from the Command key. Image: Apple.com



 

Mice

Macintosh Mouse – 1984

While the Macintosh is responsible for making the computer mouse part of our everyday reality, it was actually an adaptation of the mouse designed for the Lisa and was not the first mouse used by Apple. Image: Wikipedia

Apple IIc Mouse – 1984

This mouse removed the contrasting colours featured on the Macintosh mouse and also offered support for gaming devices such as joysticks. Image: Wikipedia


Apple Desktop Mouse – 1986

Image: Wikipedia

ADB Mouse II – 1993

This update was included with all Macs between 1993 and 1998. Image: Wikipedia


iMac USB Mouse – 1998

This mouse was shipped with all iMacs for two years after its introduction. Image: Russell Heimlich.

Mighty Mouse Wireless – 2005

It was announced and sold for the first time on August 2, 2005. Before the Mighty Mouse, Apple had sold only one-button mice with its computers, beginning with the Apple Lisa 22 years earlier. Image: Apple.com

 

Displays

Apple IIc Flat Panel Display – 1984

Only 10,000 of these were ever produced, owing to the fact that you needed a strong light source to even see what was on the screen. Image: Wikipedia


AppleColor RGB – 1986

The first 640×480 stand-alone monitor made by Apple. Image: Wikipedia


Apple AudioVision 14 – 1993

This monitor featured a 14″ Triniton display. Image: Wikipedia


Apple Studio Display – 1998

This was released to be paired with the Power Macintoshes of the time and featured an active matrix LCD screen. Image by everymac.com


Apple Studio Display – Blueberry – 1999

This was released to complement the PowerMac G3 which was released in “Blueberry” at the time. Image by everymac.com




Apple Studio Display CRT Blueberry – 1999

This monitor kept the “Blue” theme going with an attractive design. Image by everymac.com


Apple Studio Display CRT – 2000

This monitor was the last CRT monitor that Apple shipped. Image by everymac.com


Apple Cinema Display 22″ – 2000

The 22″ active matrix LCD display on this model was tailored to work with the newly released PowerMac G4’s. Image: Wikipedia


Apple Cinema Display 20″ – 2003

Featured a 20″ active matrix LCD display. Image by Amazon.com

Apple Cinema Displays – 2004- Current

Current Apple Cinema Displays come in three different sizes; 20″, 23″ and 30″. Image by Apple.com


LED Cinema Display, 24″ – 2008

This display is touted as Mac’s “greenest” ever. Image by Apple.com

 

iPod

While other MP3 players were on the market before 2001, none could match the ease of use of the iPod. The iPod line consists of four different products; the iPod Shuffle, the iPod Nano, the Ipod Classic, and the iPod Touch.

The Newton – 1993

While the Newton was a massive flop at the time of its release, it laid the groundwork for Apple’s massively popular iPhone and iPod. Two ex-Apple Newton developers founded the company that developed the iPod’s OS, Pixo.

Ipod/Ipod Classic

Generation One – 2001

The first generation of the iPod was debuted in 2001 to rave reviews and a very eager market. Image: Wikipedia




Generation Two – 2002

The second generation of the iPod featured a touch-sensitive wheel rather than a mechanical wheel. Image: Wikipedia



Generation Three – 2003

The third generation saw the introduction of a thinner iPod. Instead of being simply touch-sensitive as the second generation was, the wheel on this iPod was completely governed by touch. Image: Wikipedia

 

Generation 4 – 2004

The fourth generation saw the Touch Wheel replaced with the Click Wheel from the iPod Mini. A special Harry Potter edition and U2 edition were released in this generation. Image: BatteriesForIpod

Fifth Generation – 2005

2005 brought this iteration of the iPod, unofficially dubbed iPod Video. Image: Les Numeriques


Sixth Generation – 2007

The sixth generation brought an official rename to “iPod Classic” in order to distinguish the iPod from the others in the line. Image: Wikipedia

iPod Shuffle – 2005

This first generation was introduced at MacWorld with the tag line “Life is Random”. Image: Apple.com

iPod Shuffle – 2006

The smaller iPod Shuffle is the smallest device made by Apple. It relies on flash memory rather than a hard disk like the other iPods. Image: Apple.com

iPod Shuffle in Colour – 2008

The Ipod Shuffle was updated in 2008 with four new colours. Image by apple.com

iPod Nano

First Generation – 2005

Image: eShop Macsales

Second Generation – 2006

Image: Les Numeriques

Third Generation – 2007

Image: Apple.com

Fourth Generation – 2008

Image: Apple.com


iPod Touch – 2007

The iPod Touch was launched to great media and consumer acclaim in March of 2007. The touch screen allows the user interaction with various games and applications. Steve Jobs has referred to the iPod Touch as the “training wheels” for the iPhone. Image: Apple.com

 

iPhone – 2007

The iPhone is the cellular phone of choice of nearly every tech aficionado, even winning over BlackBerry fanboys with its touch screen and wide range of cheap and free applications available from the iTunes AppStore. Image: Apple.com

Over the course of its lifetime as a company, Apple has been responsible for most of the groundbreaking design features that we have come to appreciate on any laptop, computer, or cellphone. Their consistent record as groundbreakers in the design field alone is enough to garner them a cult following; their technological advances simply cement their followers to whatever amazing product they will release next.

Written exclusively for WDD by Angela West. Some images courtesy of All About Apple

What were your experiences with legacy Apple or current Apple products? We want to hear from you.

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  • http://dsgn.pw-software.com Nokadota

    That is *quite* an evolution. Wow.

  • Stephanie

    They forgot the iPod Mini.

    • http://www.zeemidesign.com zeemi

      No, they just didn’t feature all apple products, as mentioned at the beginning of the article ;)

  • http://www.htootayzar.com Htoo Tay Zar

    Wow, so many products. Really nice compilation!!

  • http://www.marcofolio.net Marco

    That’s one of the most complete collections that I’ve seen. Well done :) .

    Congratulations to Apple!

  • http://www.dileepsharma.com/ Dileep K Sharma

    Awesome list. What a quick pace of developments over the few years within this space.

  • http://www.random-is.me Shaibani

    It’s really amazing when you put the first one and last one next to each other!

  • http://http//www.minimalshowcase.com/ Minimal Showcase

    You have clearly put a massive effort into this post!

    I was shocked to see the first Apple computers, never seen most of these before! The early models really were butt ugly!

    I never realised laptops were being made way back in 1989 either! Crazy!

    • Bozo Z Clown

      Remember that early Apple computers were much better looking than their contemporaries. The Apple II was competing with things like the Sol-20 and the SuperBrain which were epicly ugly.

  • http://www.online-photoshoptutorials.com Steve Tolley

    Great article, enjoyed seeing the full evolution was very interesting :D

  • John Peacock

    I got the beige G3 desktop when it came out – it was the first computer that was more or less as fast as I was and it seemed like the future. One thing that you can’t see in the photo here, and is possibly worth mentioning, is that although it was a standard beige box, the button that you pressed to open the casing was in the same translucent blue plastic that the first iMacs (and the next generation of G3 desktops) would be made of – Mr Ive foreshadowing things to come, perhaps.

    I gave it to a friend, who (amazingly) still uses it. For connecting to the internet, even. Luckily I don’t have to support it.

  • http://www.dailytrains.com DailyTrains

    A nice article. We just have to wait to see what comes next.

  • http://dutchproblogger.com Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Thanks a million for making the effort! My colleagues and I spend twenty minutes on pointing out the ones we’ve owned and loved.

    cheers

  • http://www.instantshift.com DKumar M.

    Where is Apple TV which is launched in 2007 ?? Also what about Apple’s first product ever “Apple I” ??

    I guess you need to cross check your research again !!!

  • http://sarsini.it Martin Sarsini

    I love Apple’s creativity, so distinctive and brave from some points of view. What I don’t like is people being proud of using Apple just because it’s “different” or it’s “original”, if only Apple had 95% of the market, PC users would have to be proud of it? Maybe no eheh :)

  • http://www.myhtmlworld.com sunil

    nice collection :)

  • http://blog.insicdesigns.com/ insic

    Great Post. I remember a man who was once featured in a tv show i think who has a vast collection of apple computers form the very first model. I just cant recall his name.

    • willy

      wow apple

  • reda lazri

    Awesome article, thanks

  • v-render

    This post is just like apple pie !
    sweet compilation of apple !

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  • Ida

    Hey, Your page looks like super-ugly in my new fav-browser Chrome. Please fix asap!

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      It’s a problem with Chrome. It cannot be fixed, we’ve looked forever. It’s a documented issue with Chrome. The next version of Chrome contains the fix. Please try a different browser.

    • http://www.pliggs.com Geoserv

      Chrome is riddled with issues, it’s almost as bad as IE when it comes to rendering some pages, I uninstalled it 2 days after I downloaded it. Try Firefox.

      I won’t tell you to download Firefox ASAP though.

  • http://refineddesigner.wordpress.com Kristin Andrews

    Pictures speak volumes. Thanks for compiling all this information into one post!

  • http://www.pushingbuttons.net Timothy

    Wow. Very thorough. But why not include the Apple I? It was their first computer…

  • http://www.pixelcentric.net Lauri Kieksi

    What’s labeled the 2006 iMac is actually the 2007-2009 design. The 2006 Intel iMac looked just like the iMac G5, with the all-white plastic faceplate. The black faceplate didn’t come until two revisions later, some time after the change from Intel Core Duo to Core 2 Duo.

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  • http://www.auntiewendidaycare.com/About_Me.html Child Care

    Great article.The evolution of Apple is very interesting Thanks a lot for the posting.

  • http://ifohdesigns.com matt

    really great collection here. someone did their homework!

  • http://www.faqpal.com Geoserv

    I love these kinds of posts, you forget how things looked years ago compared to know.

  • James

    Youve put the date wrong for the first ipod shuffle, it was released in 2005 not 2001.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Corrected, thanks!

  • Bruno

    Wow! So many changes in few years! I love apple!

  • http://www.startupz.fr Julien

    Amazing Thanks a lot for this review

  • http://www.blogdumac.com netslider57

    great post, thanks.

  • http://www.chrisrand.com/blog Chris Rand

    Excellent list. You might have found room for 1990’s odd but innovative Mac IIsi, which had the bizarre memory option of 5Mb, and was the first Mac to have sound-in (recording) facilities, which got many people into the Mac’s audio capabilities for the first time. I only threw mine out, reluctantly, in 2005.

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  • http://www.vaporland.com vaporland

    it’s scary how much of that stuff I have owned…

  • http://www.umarpirzada.com utp

    Apple has always stood out as a company who make their products look good and I guess people tend to pay more for that novelty factor. Great company with a great CEO or former CEO Steve Jobs.

    Hopefully the legacy can continue…they posted excellent Q4 results as well much to surprise of everybody around in these days of the financial crisis.

    Its the WOW factor that sells it for them it seems.

  • http://www.justinberkovi.com Justin Berkovi

    You’ve missed out the LC series?! They were very popular at the time.

  • http://nneon.net Nneon

    I only just joined the mac bandwagon in the last few years but I still remember using some of those machines back in school…

    I love your posts, keep them coming.

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  • http://www.aldrinponce.com webz

    great compilation, it really remember if we live on the previous generations where the computers are just newly enhance but later it become more techy…. great stuff

  • http://dancehalldrug.org April

    Indeed an innovation. Let’s salute Mac people for being creative. How I wish I have a Mac and an iTouch. Haha.

    • willy

      your an apple, lets make an evolution.

  • http://www.ariyoshahry.net Ariyo

    Awesomeness! quite an evolution indeed.

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  • http://twitter.com/farrhad Farrhad A

    This is a brilliant post!
    Lovely compilation :)

    I just tweeted it yo my followers, I am sure they will love it :)

  • http://minute44.com Dan

    It’s crazy to see how things evolve in such a short space of time. When I did some reading about the iPod I was shocked to find that the first one was released in 2001… seeing how far they’ve come it feels like they’ve been with us much longer.

    There were a few things missed. You only showed one generation of iPhone and iPod Touch when the design of the second gen version of both devices changed quite a bit. At the same time, there are a lot on that list that I wasn’t even aware of such as the 20th anneversary Macintosh.

    Great post!

  • http://www.betonblog.de blogschrift

    Every evolution has its loosers, therefore please do not forget the hairy primates and pre-perfect ancestors of the current beauties, e.g. the PowerMac 4400!

    See here: http://lowendmac.com/ppc/power-macintosh-4400-7220.html

    This work horse made it for me over years and was great to work with (standard PC hardware (horribile dictu!), but easy to extend), but hard to watch at it ;-)

    • Rolf Raess

      One of such a PPC with ZIP, Floppy and CD-Reader was used by our secretary for more than 7 years. It was quite a workhorse; including the Apple Laserwriter (300 dpi). WYSIWYG was not common standart at this time…

  • http://spotmeon.blogspot.com Gaurav M

    indeed very informative timeline present past n futre

  • http://giobautista.com Gio

    Good job! Technology evolves fasts.

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  • Chris

    I remember seeing my first Apple in college. (Graduate work, actually) I came home and told my roommate about these cool machines/little computers. It was the Apple II. It had a whopping 40K of RAM! We couldn’t imagine needing more than that because they were only used to teach a very basic (literally, BASIC) programming language on a high school level. Word processing hadn’t been invented for it yet…or at least we hadn’t heard of it.

    Over the years I migrated to DOS machines (pre-Windows) with various jobs. I’ve been back with Apple/Mac for the past 15 years. What a ride it has been!

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  • http://www.blogfullbliss.com Adrian

    Compaq was actually the inventor of the “mouse”, not mac.

    • zee zigazaga zee

      compaq? no, according to wikipedia:
      “Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute invented the mouse in 1968.
      The first marketed integrated mouse – shipped as a part of a computer and intended for personal computer navigation – came with the Xerox 8010 Star Information System in 1981″

    • Vasilis

      Douglas Engelbart was the inventor of the mouse, introducing a prototype of 3-button wooden mouse in 1968. He is one of the leading pioneers in human computer interaction as well as GUI architecture and design.

  • http://www.eggrage.co.uk John

    AWSOME post. This must have taken SUCH a long time to put together.

    And actually adrian, Xerox were the inventors of the mouse, but you’re probably far too young to know that.

  • http://find.brentshepherd.com Brent Shepherd

    Wow great chronology! It’s really cool to see the evolution of their designs. Especially for the ipods. Look at how much slicker and more minimalist they became over 5 generations.

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  • DominusOminous

    A very nice effort but seriously flawed in at least one critical way. No mention whatsoever is made of the 7500/8500/9500 series of machines with an introduction in Aug. of ’95. These machines were very key landmarks in several ways.

    First, they were the first machines to use Power PC CPUs installed on a removable daughtercard for easy speed boosts, with the 7500 sporting a 100 MHz PPC 601 chip. This was a VERY big deal and a feature that lasted through the G4 era.

    Second, they were the first to offer the PCI expansion-card architecture which was a big move toward compatible design in the days of essentially NO compatibility with the older NuBus slots.

    Third, all three were stunningly easy to access for updates and service; the very first computer cases on the market where design became a really hot feature. Everything on a 7600 was available for access within about 12 seconds and no tools were needed unless you wanted to pull a drive. Compared to the typical chassis in the period this was absolutely unheard of.

    Very arguably, these are the machines that got us started on the road we find ourselves on today, in one way or another. They were the first really EXCITING Macs in a very long time.

    • mikel

      I totally agree with you, the PowerMac series were the pre-Quadras, and set the precedence for what was yet to come in the next series. I had a classmate that paid thousands for the Quadra 950. I think she’s still paying for it. I still vaguely remember at one time that Apple was sourcing out their processor technology to other vendors so they could expand their marketshare. Needless to say, Apple retook the reins and that strategy was laid to rest.

  • http://iacobionut.com Iacob Ionut

    Awesome post . Steve Jobs did a great job at Apple these past few years .

  • http://www.joyoge.com/ joyoge designers’ bookmark

    great chronology! thanks for your post

  • http://www.welcometoreality.de cassio

    Nice list. But you forgot the iPod mini and the white mouse before the Mighty Mouse.

  • http://www.hollandarehberi.com ati

    I still miss my Ipod mini :-)

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  • Munaf Patel

    Great un beliveable give great knowage

    Thanks

  • http://vmalni.com Buzzlair

    once read this, you probably want to hit the bookstore and look for inside steve’s brain by lander kahney. its an interesting reading .

  • http://ifry.ru potap

    cool =)
    i love my ipod touch =)

  • arihant

    Ultimate is the word

  • http://www.acairns.co.uk Web Design Dundee

    apple have indeed come a long way :)

  • http://www.brainpickings.org Maria Popova

    Interesting that this frames the Newton as a predecessor to the iPod, while it was actually pretty much its antithesis – a product aimed squarely at the business community, not the personal leisure market, and one that, to top it all off, flopped miserably.

    Either way, what a delightful trip down memory lane. I remember my first steps into computing, at the ripe age of 11, in front of a brand new Performa. *Sigh*

  • http://webyardimi.com pinar

    i really enjoyed your article, thank you for the list must have been a hard work.

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  • sophi

    GREAT EVOLUTION!!!!!

  • http://cirodesign.com CiroDesign

    Very nice list!

    “Macintosh Classic – 1990
    The Classic was an adaptation of Terry Oyama’s and Jerry Oyama’s Macintosh 128K industrial design. Image: Wikipedia”

    Actually the Mac Classic was designed by R. Jung and D. Patton of Patton Design.

    How about a doing the same thing for Apple printers? :)

  • http://web.mac.com/isc456 Marco160

    Quel plaisir de revoir toutes ces machines qui ont contribué à notre quotidien durant de nombreuses années :-)
    Très belle présentation historique !

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  • http://kyro.fr Kyro

    Oh there’s the iMac I made for the Wikipedia, great :D

  • D Pencil Pusher

    great article, where can I get the wallpaper on the iMac 2007

  • Damion

    What a trip down memory lane… remembering the high school days of using the apple IIe

  • http://blogs.usemac.ru/sashok Root_Sashok

    Nice. Apple always leading in design

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  • any

    Where is my LC?

  • http://www.zquatro.com Leoferr

    Uoh!!!
    I saw Macintosh SE – 1987 once at my uncle studio!

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  • http://www.fundacionweb.com Alejandro Miranda

    Forgot, Quadra 950, LC and LCII. I have Classic II, Classic color, LCII, power book 520c, if you need new images.

    Thanks for your post.

  • Cool

    cool , WOW gr8 Technology :)

  • ~M

    No MacTV? That was the first computer I ever bought. ~M

  • Tal

    Hi, Great article, But you forgot the “glass” single button mouse, the one before the mighty mouse, and the ipod mini.

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  • Suresh Abraham

    It is nice to see all the collection in one post. Keep it up

  • http://midiaville.com.br/blog Orides Tomkiel

    O meu primeiro computador foi um Macintosh Classic, ainda tenho algumas peças dele.

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  • http://www.joseluiscruz.info/ Kraken

    The Classic II was my very first Mac. :_)

  • http://www.bijusubhash.com Biju Subhash

    Added to my RSS Reader

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  • http://weblogwithnoname.blogspot.com Chris Tucker

    FYI, that’s the Apple Extended Keyboard II up there.

    The original Extended is somewhat different. The POWER key is identical to the other keys, there is no height adjustment and the rainbow Apple is located at the lower left hand corner.

    There is a slight, but noticeable difference in the “feel” of the keys between the two keyboards. Both keyboards use real key switches, and not the conductive polymer contacts used in most “modern” keyboards. As a result, the “feel” of the Extended and Extended II keyboards is vastly better than that of “modern” keyboards.

    BTW, I’m writing this on my own Apple Extended Keyboard. 22 years old and works as well as it did the day it came off the assembly line. I doubt that the new Aluminum keyboards will last anywhere that long.

  • http://amberweinberg.com/ Amber Weinberg

    Great images of all our favorite products ;)

  • Hans van der Vliet

    I miss my first Mac: IIcx

  • Marc J

    Nice work – and I hate to be a hater, but it’s a shame that you hop through the later PowerMacs – ie the Quicksilver G4 wasn’t the first/only G4.

    That said, it’s great stuff. Hat off.

    (I had the first [sawtooth] G4 at the BBC and people would keep coming in to see it whilst I was trying to work – as the last person to join and the first to get the G4 it was rather awkward! It was then I first saw the Apple fanboi effect and I was instantly bitten – bought myself one for home – which was the first Quicksilver – ie pre speed-hole G4).

  • http://fastmac.com Abbi Vakil

    Very nice article, brings back some great memories. Fastmac put out some shirts to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Mac and some of the designs show every Mac ever made. Check it out here: http://fastmac.com/apparel

  • Peter

    The “Keyboard in 2000″ comment claims that it was the first keyboard to remove the word “Command.” However, no other keyboard prior to that had the word Command on the key. The first keyboard to include the word Command was much later, on the current Aluminum keyboard.

    Also, the picture shown for the first AppleColor RGB Monitor is not the right image. That is an older Apple II color monitor. Here is the correct image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppleColor_High-Resolution_RGB_Monitor

    Other notable Macs missing: The original LC’s, the original Power Macs 6100/7100/8100, Centris series, and how could they leave out the most popular Mac ever, the Mac IIci?

  • Vasilis

    That is a great timeline. You may would like to add the other great achievement of apple: the evolution of its GUI, from the advent of mac interface to the current ipod.

  • Mike

    Apple Cinema Display 22″ – 2000
    Thats cool
    Do they have like a new one

  • http://www.sonfilmizle.com sonfilmizle

    super site :)))

  • jake

    yea… you skipped the first gen of ipod touch. it didn’t have the volume buttons on the side. and the reg iphone also..

  • AKR

    Just what I was searching for. Nice compilation – no, nice is too mild – awesome compilation. Thanks.

  • Monestier

    wow! thank you so much ! it really helped me in my computer project =)

  • SpindlyMan

    There are a lot of products that are missing. :(

  • Andy

    All over an interesting read. Well done!

  • http://blog.rainer.eschen.name rainwebs

    A great journey through (Apple) computer history. Amazing how Apple still influences the technical advances in computing.

  • http://frenchdoorblindsinfo.com Mac Lover

    Ahh…the Apple Macintosh LC 500 brings back many memories. Great presentation..thank you for the share down memory lane!

  • Chris H

    I remember when I was a kid, that Coles (a big supermarket chain here in Australia) used to run a promotion where if you did your grocery shopping there and sent the receipts to your kids school, they would collect them and subsequently score a couple of free Apple Macintosh computers for the school. Probably somewhere around the 1990 models. Wish they still did it today… ;-)

  • http://www.pomme-c.com/ LaurentB

    I count over 25 vintage Macs in my collection, including a TAM.
    Your review makes me wonder why I didn’t even bother to put it online!
    Great job! You inspired me to do something similar.

  • Sidney

    amazed to see that the Titanium G4 PowerBook isnt much difference than the current uni-body model.

  • http://azizuanaziz.blogspot.com Azizuan Aziz

    awesome!

  • http://www.squiders.com Web Design Kent

    I was using my iphone today thinking how I still think its from a sci fi movie.. gotta love Apple

  • http://www.aydesign.net web tasarım

    Nice list. But you forgot the iPod

  • http://www.execflyer.com chris air charter

    feeling rather old, as i remember these initial Apple Machines. Back then a 32k machine with 8k memory extension was the bees knees. It is unbelievable to think how far we have come. Whatever happened to Dragon computers?

  • http://www.kaplang.com/blog Michelle

    wow I just love seeing how something so great has evolved over time, thanks for sharing :)

  • Aldo

    This is a great post. But, What about the printers?
    I have an Imagewriter II with a very nice design and is still working.
    Salutes.

  • http://lazycomic.blogspot.com/ Steve

    Your stories would be much more captivating if your webserver actually managed to serve the photos as quickly as the ads. The advertising shows up pronto and then your ads S L O W L Y creep up, with some not showing at all as my computer decides just to give up and move on.

    I understand the profit motive (believe me I do), but if I can’t see the content of your article, it’s counterproductive.

    Oh, and I love Apple…even the cumbersome Newton :)

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      We were experiencing server problems earlier which have now been resolved. Do you still have a problem loading the site?

  • http://www.modaemulher.com.br Moda Feminina

    I loved the blog you are the parabens. I wish you success and hope confirir new material soon.
    Hugs

  • http://www.netlabs.fr/blog Raphaël

    Wonderful post ! Good Job

  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65 field jacket

    haha we have come a long way

  • http://www.mintzwebdesign.com Margie Mintz

    I loved going through these pictures. So much change so fast!
    Our macs never die! My son has my first imac – the bubble, and it still hasn’t had a problem. (that he hasn’t caused!)
    thanks,
    Margie

  • Davis

    Muy buena la información, espero la sigan actualizando!!!!! EXCELENTEEEEEEEEEE…!!!!!!

  • http://www.thehdblog.net HD DSLR

    Huuuge post with many photos

  • http://www.squiders.com Web Design Maidstone

    It took them a while to get it right but they sure got there in the end, field leaders in everything they produce (design ways at the very least)

  • http://blog.fazai38.com Fazai38

    Did you just forget about the air mouse?

  • http://www.chriatianlouboutintrade.com cheap christian louboutin

    It took them a while to get it right but they sure got there in the end, field leaders in everything

  • http://www.mediatech.si MediaTech

    Wow, can’t wait to see what comes next :) Thanks, nice article

  • http://www.cheapshock.com/ Cheapshock

    Rare pictures. I’m a big fan of Apple for many years. Don’t stop moving Apple. Apple design is the best.

  • http://www.yoomark.com yoomark

    grate history was displayed.I am comparing it with my monitor.LOL

  • http://www.applehistory.zzl.org/ Logan

    My family are Apple Fanatics. In my house:

    Apple iPod Shuffle (1Gen.)
    Apple iPod Nano (3Gen.) (x2)
    Apple iPod Nano (4Gen.)
    Apple iPod Touch (2Gen.)
    Apple iPhone 3G
    Apple iPad

    I wanna switch to a Mac soooooo bad :-)

  • http://www.sitegratisgratis.com.br Criar site

    I loved the blog you are the parabens. I wish you success and hope confirir new material soon.
    Hugs

  • http://www.permatec.de/ permatec

    Its really fantastic to see the actual history of apple.I really like the big one……Hahahahha

  • http://www.joycechoice.com Used Cars Mansfield Ohio

    I have a iPhone.Happy to the earlier version of Apple product

  • http://www.aamikcrane.com PA Crane Rental

    Hehehe,Revolution type post brother.How can you collect so much hot images.Do you see a new advertise of intel core i5.In there he try to see earlier history of PC.Thanks for your collection.

  • Carlos

    Hi!

    Great!, but you forgot the transparent mouse.

  • Rolf Raess

    Our secretaries got the Mac SE 1987 for typing scientific paper (physics) with Greek and mathematical signs including graphics (“publish and subscribe” to spare space on the disk). At this time the Mac’s were the only computers being able to show it on the screen and printing it correctly. (Wysiwyg…).
    The average lifetime of the Mac SE and all the following models was 5 to 7 years, using it trough all the worktime of our offices. We were writing with MS-Word and I remember the first program was on a 400 kB Floppy Disk (unbelievable, it was able to make serialletters).
    From my point of view, Apple was truly the pioneer, through all these years beginning 1984.

  • Rolf Raess

    Our secretaries got the Mac SE 1987 for typing scientific paper (physics) with Greek and mathematical signs including graphics (“publish and subscribe” to spare space on the disk). At this time the Mac’s were the only computers being able to show it on the screen and printing it correctly. (Wysiwyg…).
    The average lifetime of the Mac SE and all the following models was 5 to 7 years, using it trough all the worktime of our offices. We were writing with MS-Word and I remember the first program was on a 400 kB Floppy Disk (unbelievable, it was able to make serialletters).
    From my point of view, Apple was truly the pioneer, through all these years beginning 1984.

  • http://www.prispresseren.dk Lego

    Amazing, they got some of the best designs ever made, but also some of the worsts.

  • WallMountedHDD

    Some really awesome stuff over the years. It’s a damn shame they had to turn into a cult. :-/

  • http://www.goblinridge.co.uk Yorkshire Web Design

    Wonderful article, a real trip back in time.. Thanks for sharing, Ted.

  • http://www.mintzwebdesign.com Margie Mintz

    That was a great look back.
    I never owned a computer until the first iMac came out. I basically fell down the reabbit hole. I’m designing websites and teaching web design.
    A lot can happen in a short time!
    Margie Mintz
    Mintz Web Design

  • http://www.hospedagemdesitesgratis.org hospedagem de sites gratis

    Brings back memories. Thanks for the ride!

  • Clary

    The iPod touch is an evolution!!!

  • http://www.kevinkane.com Kevin Kane

    Beautiful. I’d like to switch to a Mac. Is there a webpage that shows how to connect three monitors to a Mac? I use three displays now on a PC.

  • http://www.kevinkane.com Kevin Kane

    Rolf, thanks.

    I’d like to be able to have three (not just two) monitors (each about 23″) connected to my Mac. I’ve googled but I haven’t found any resources that show this is simple to setup without experiencing any problems.

    The most informative page I’ve found is this one: http://daggle.com/macbook-pro-multimonitor-4-monitors-at-once-1577

    But it seems a lot of troubleshooting is involved.

    Can you recommend any resources for setting up three monitors for the Mac? Thank you.

    • http://none Rolf Raess

      Hi Kevin
      What I found for 3 screens on a Mac is this -> http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/solutions/mac/

      Maybe is for any help to you. There is also known that for certain Mac you need another graphic card (I think only for Desktop Mac possible)

  • http://www.kevinkane.com Kevin Kane

    Rolf, thanks again.

    I actually hate the Matrox devices: :)

    1. They force you to stretch the resolution across screens, so it’s not as easy to use your extra screens independently.

    2. Your monitors all must be the same resolution to work properly with Matrox devices.

    I prefer using USB to DVI adapters for adding extra displays. I show how I use them here: http://www.kevinkane.com/2009/08/boost-productivity-52-and-save-2-5-hours-daily-with-multi-monitors/

    But Jeff Atwood knows how to do three displays on a Mac: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/03/does-more-than-one-monitor-improve-productivity.html

  • http://www.dotsensebd.com dotSense

    i never seen before like this details about apple evolution…this is the best post. thanks for share details like this. Great Presentation. BIG THANKS.

  • http://pixelcards.net Ben

    Excellent post mate! First post in a long time that I couldn’t avert my eyes from!
    Thanks very much! Have learnt a lot about Apple’s history and thoroughly enjoyed it!
    Ben

  • http://www.broadeninghorizons.co.uk Marty

    Agree with most of the comments, great trip down memory lane, however for me, like Peter mentioned some time ago it wasn’t complete.

    During my time with Apple I’ve had a IIci (not shown), an LC475 (not shown), an LC630 (listed as a Quadra 630) which came in two versions, one with and one without a TV tuner and remote control (the little black panel on the front of the image shown was the remote receiver) but the LC(Low Cost) range featured a cut down version of the CPU compared to more expensive macs and no maths co-processor.

    There were the Centris series and then there were the 6100, 7100 and 8100 series.

    Prior to the release of the Bondi iMac which came in a few revisions there were also a horrendous series of 3rd party Macs, Can’t remember the company, Computers Unlimited or something like that? But they made a horrible red and yellow (Quadra 800 style) tower version (I believe titled Manhattan and something else?) and although not specifically made by apple, they briefly allowed other companies to manufacture compatible computers.

    After Apple’s Flavours range of iMac they also released the charcoal AV version of the iMac.

    Other than that, nice list, really enjoyed seeing some of their product range and always wanted a Twentieth Anniversary and Cube.

  • Troy F.

    You forgot the crystal USB mouse that came with the 2005 eMac and the 2005 iMac flat screen, also the eMac was not a “cheaper” alternative to the iMac the latter only had a barely 15 inch screen compared to the eMac’s 17 inch screen and it had a better cpu : the G4 chip.

  • http://wpleet.com wordpress elite

    Wow.. Nice compilation i really need this for my new post topic on apple’s evolution.

  • Jonas vdb

    It’s pretty clear (in my opinion) that the brain behind (the modern)  isn’t Steve Jobs but Jonathan Ive. All iconic Apple products are from his desk … Nevertheless, I’m not saying Jobs is a “nobody” in the company (far from it), but it’s Ive who was able to (really) turn the tide (financially).

    And Wauw! thank you for the products (Apple), and the beautiful, nostalgic article (author)

  • http://todoilustracion.blogspot.com jorge

    excellent selection is amazing how technology changes through the years to big steps. and what we are currently experiencing boom ….