Mac-Magic! 22 Facts About Apple Mac That You Should Know

By | February 1, 2014
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It’s birthday time, and that too of an entity all of us are very much familiar with. Mac was launched in late-January 1984 – and on its 30th b’day, we take a trip down memory lane about some facts associated with it.

 

When Steve Jobs presented the Apple Macintosh on the 24th of January, 1984 – not many really believed that it could compete with Windows PC systems. Thirty years have passed, and Mac has more than held its own in the global computer markets. Although Windows still remains the leader in desktop computing OS, the market share of Mac is steadily moving upwards. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Apple Mac, we take a look back at a few interesting facts about it:

 

  1. The first Apple computer – Steve Jobs, then a twenty-one-year old youngster, had the guts to leave a plush job to collaborate with computer engineering wizard Steve Wozniak – to create the very first Apple computer. The chunky machine bore a price tag of nearly $670!

  2. Keyboard and monitors – what’s those? – Apple I, which came out in 1976, did not resemble a computer in the way we visualize it at present. The device only had loops of wires and cables and circuits, and did not even have a monitor or a keyboard. Not surprisingly, marketing it initially was a bit of a problem.

  3. Arrival of Mac – According to people related to the field of iPhone app development in India and overseas, this was one of the most defining events in the timeline of Apple Inc. Jobs had been frustrated by internal unrest within the company, and had taken charge of the Macintosh project (then perceived as a low-value project). The ‘1984 will not be like 1984’ commercial for Mac became a part of Apple’s folklore.

  4. Color screens – The first-launched version of Apple Mac did not have any color features. Jobs and his team changed up things with the Mac II, which could support nearly 17 million colors (with the help of an external graphics card). The price of Mac II was not competitive though, by any stretch of the imagination.

  5. The first Apple laptop flopped – At least it wasn’t the big success that most Apple products are expected to be. However, the 1989 launch of the Macintosh Portable did reveal that the company wanted to design computers that could be used from any location.

  6. Money Matters – In the modern day world, when iPhone application development companies from all over are raking in huge revenues, it is easy to forget about the profitability of the Apple Macintosh. It was revealed in a report that the company made around $1280 on every Mac machine – more than double of the money flowing in from the sale of an iPhone handset.

  7. Apple vs Microsoft – Apple and Microsoft were at loggerheads from the very start, and things came to pass in 1988 – when Apple sued Microsoft for allegedly ‘stealing’ copyrighted graphic user interface (GUI) systems. The lawsuit verdict went against Apple though, and there was a bad buzz about the company for some time.

  8. The ouster and return of the genius – Steve Jobs’ journey with Apple Inc. was not a uniformly smooth one. Inspite of the promising start to Mac systems, internal quabbles led Jobs to resign from Apple in 1984, and start another company – NeXT Inc. 13 years later, Apple was in such a bad shape, that the then-CEO had to get Jobs back on board. Ironically, that CEO (Gil Amelio) was fired at a board meeting soon after.

  9. Speed – A high operational speed has been one of the standout features of all Mac versions. Once, a race between the performance of a 1990 Mac Classic was tested against that of a Windows Dell PC (2007). The former won, in a canter.

  10. Most popular Mac system – Surveys have shown that almost half of all the Mac-users across the world have the MacBook Pro computer. The user-friendly features and the superior reliability of the model have led to its widespread acceptance among people.

  11. Can a Mac flop? – Oh yes it can, and there have been several cases of Mac models not finding a decent-enough market. The biggest disappointment in this regard has got to be the Mac Mini. The sales figures of the widely hyped MacBook Air also fell way short of expectations.

  12. Fierce competition – In 1990, Microsoft showed clear signs of edging out Apple, after the Windows 3.0 platform had been released. Apple responded by designing and launching Macintosh LC, IIsi and Classic – three relatively cheaper Mac models. None of the three were poorly-received, but they were not big money-spinners either.

  13. Visual appeal – Jobs wanted to break the conventional visual features of computers, which, till 1998, bordered on the boring. That was when the colorful iMac made its appearance, with the Apple CEO even challenging Mac-lovers to get all the five versions that were launched. Disk drives and USB ports were present on iMac systems, instead of the soon-to-be-useless floppy drives.

  14. Internet Explorer on Mac – That’s right – the old Mac OS9 did have a version of the Microsoft Windows Explorer. Firefox (more well-known as ‘Camino’ to Mac-geeks) and Chrome took over later, and IE made an exit from the Mac OS framework.

  15. What does OS X mean? – If you are using a Mac OS X system, you should be aware of the meaning of the platform’s name, right? OS X is the acronym for ‘Operating System Extreme’ – which, remarkably, uses features of OPENSTEP (from NeXT, the company Steve Jobs had founded when he was out of Apple).

  16. A cube-shaped computer! – Never shy of experimenting with device design features, Jobs and his colleagues brought out the Power Mac G4 Cube in 2000. The machine had a protective casing around it, and could be put in any spacious cubical structure. Power Mac G4 Cube was not quite the financial success that Apple had hoped it would be.

  17. The man behind the Mac design – It wasn’t Jobs who actually designed the iMac. That credit goes to Jonathan Ive, who was later officially recognized for his creativity and imagination. Ive also designed the iPhone and the iPod – and deserves much applause for the ease with with which people can now use the various iPhone apps.

  18. Launch of the iPhone – 2007 was a landmark year in the timeline of Apple – with the launch of Apple TV and iPhone. The company, hitherto known as ‘Apple Computer Inc’, was renamed to ‘Apple Inc’. The timing for this name-change was right – for Apple was increasingly diversifying its electronic products.

  19. End of the PowerPC microprocessor – A year earlier, the era of Mac computers with PowerPC microprocessors came to an end. Instead, the new Mac systems were powered by the x86 processor, and a customized Boot Camp software program. The latter helped many users to set up Windows OS on their Mac systems.

  20. First Mac with wi-fi card support – As early as 1999, Apple managed to introduce the concept of wireless web access, with the iBook G3. At the time, using a computer without wires and cables was nothing short of a miracle, and Steve Jobs indeed make the launch event of iBook G3 look like a magic show.

  21. The steady increase in exposure – Any person with the remotest knowledge about computer usage is familiar with the name of Apple at present – but things were not the same three decades back. In fact, there was a time when delivery personnel in Japan thought that Apple was into marketing…not computers, but apples!

  22. And then, there was iTunes – The year was 2008 (18.7.08, to be precise) when the iTunes app store was launched. The range of iPhone and iPad apps showcased at the store grew steadily, and have, at present, surpassed one million. People find it easy to download apps from iTunes, and the latter has also helped many mobile application development companies make handsome money!

The MacBook Air Platinum is the most pricey Mac system, and only five units of it were released in the markets. Apple had to ward off allegations of environmental abuse (most prominently by GreenPeace), and Jobs and Wozniack had to face severe fund crunch during the nascent years of the company. It’s remarkable how Apple successfully competed with Microsoft and Exxon, and finally surpassed them – to become the most valuable public company and technology company in the world. If it had not been for Steve Jobs’ vision and the charm & usability of the Mac systems, modern-day computing would have not received that extra dash of sophistication.

 

Happy 30th Birthday, Mac!

 

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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