Apple's interactive timeline puts 30 years of Mac into perspective

Apple introduced the Macintosh 30 years ago and the company is celebrating this milestone with a highly interactive and modern timeline on its website.

For any company, staying in business for 30 years is a tremendous achievement and while Apple has certainly had its highs and lows, the company is doing exceptionally well at this point in time and shows no sign of slowing down.

But the Mac has been the image of the company since the start. Yes the iPhone and iPod have made their mark and the iPad is the best selling tablet in the world but it was the Macintosh computer that got the company started.

While you may love or hate Apple, which, to be honest, it is quite silly to love or hate any company, it’s hard to ignore the impact that they have had on the market and computing in general. With the ability to take complex products and distill them into intuitive products, Apple has created its hallmark signature.

The Macintosh computer line has transformed considerably over its 30 year lifecycle and the future of the Macintosh will certainly bring with it change as well. With consumers increasingly adopting casual computing devices like the iPad, desktop computing is slowly scaling back its importance in the consumer’s daily routine. We certainly don’t think desktops will go away for the foreseeable future as they still have many useful applications but as hardware advances and devices become smaller and faster, the peak of the desktop’s lifecycle has likely passed.

You can check out Apple’s 30 year timeline here and it highlights many of the achievements of the platform over the past 3 decades.  While the next 30 years will likely result in even more dramatic changes, we would expect that during that time the Macintosh name will only grow in strength.

Apple has done well for itself during the last 10 years and it all started with the iPod.  Looking forward, the world will be watching to see if the company can continue down the path of taking good ideas and turning them into blockbuster products.  

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Mac's have been growing year on year, while PC's continue to decline

Here's a cool chart showing that

http://asset1.cbsistatic.com/c...2012/07/03/mac-pc-ratio.png

WhatTheSchmidt said,

Chicane - And how much of that success is owed to the Mac, the topic of this article? None. Apple was a complete and utter failure until it decided to stop focusing on the computer business and turn to MP3 players.

You obviously weren't around in the late 70's and 80's then. I wasn't, but I'm not ignorant to the impact the original mac had.

DomZ said,
Mac's have been growing year on year, while PC's continue to decline

Here's a cool chart showing that

http://asset1.cbsistatic.com/c...2012/07/03/mac-pc-ratio.png

You obviously weren't around in the late 70's and 80's then. I wasn't, but I'm not ignorant to the impact the original mac had.

Windows has an estimated 2 billion users world wide. PCs had a large surge but now pulling back a little because people don't need to upgrade, and that indicates a failure.

Meanwhile Apple builds planned obsolescence into their products forcing users to upgrade every couple years otherwise they will not release software for your computer, and that means success?

Also, the percentage growth stat of Mac is meaningless. If you have 100 products in use, and add/subtract 5, that is a big increase. If you have 100 million products in use, and add/subtract 5, that change is negligible.

Finally, IDC showed Mac sales for 4Q 2013 down YOY, from 1.68 million to 1.60 million. Not exactly the wild growth you like the profess. That failure of an OS Win8 sells 1.68 million in a couple days. It took Apple an entire quarter.

The only failure here is the idea that two companies cannot coexist and succeed in their respective markets accordingly. Microsoft and Apple aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Neither company is stupid either, seeing as they both produce software for each other's operating systems too.

This whole fanboy camp crap is getting incredibly old, seeing as not even companies are this damn bitter. They go where the money is.

dead.cell said,
The only failure here is the idea that two companies cannot coexist and succeed in their respective markets accordingly. Microsoft and Apple aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Neither company is stupid either, seeing as they both produce software for each other's operating systems too.

This whole fanboy camp crap is getting incredibly old, seeing as not even companies are this damn bitter. They go where the money is.

I agree with everything except the "seeing as not even companies are this damn" part. Apple spent years creating commercials directly attacking Microsoft. Every conference they have they get up on stage and directly attack Microsoft. Just today (or was it yesterday?) they go on the attack. But then Microsoft creates commercials that directly compares features between an Apple and a Microsoft product, and no only do the fanboys complain, but some exec at Apple whined also.

Apple always acts like they are the underdog, and whine and complain when they don't get a fair shot. Now that they are in the lead in some areas, they still whine and complain that they are not getting a fair shot. While I have Apple products - right now I am compiling a project on my Mac while listening to my iPod - the whiny is getting really tiresome.

WhatTheSchmidt said,

Apple always acts like they are the underdog, and whine and complain when they don't get a fair shot. Now that they are in the lead in some areas, they still whine and complain that they are not getting a fair shot.

As soon as someone makes an argument that a company 'whines' I just want to switch off. Can you link to the recent article about the Apple exec 'whining' about the recent Microsoft adverts? I'm sure you'll find plenty of fanboy vitriol on the net, just as you would when someone criticises Microsoft products - I'm not even going to dispute that. But I'd be pretty surprised if Apple executives have publicly come out to complain about Microsoft's advertising.

Chicane-UK said,

As soon as someone makes an argument that a company 'whines' I just want to switch off. Can you link to the recent article about the Apple exec 'whining' about the recent Microsoft adverts? I'm sure you'll find plenty of fanboy vitriol on the net, just as you would when someone criticises Microsoft products - I'm not even going to dispute that. But I'd be pretty surprised if Apple executives have publicly come out to complain about Microsoft's advertising.

Some recent, not too long ago, a couple years ago, a while ago, and really long ago.

Last night:
http://www.neowin.net/news/app...-would-be-a-waste-of-energy

And then there was the conference (WWDC?) last year where Apple got on stage and did an hour long bashing of Office in favor of iWork.

Articles such as this one:
http://www.neowin.net/news/mai...ndows-complex-and-expensive

Then there was Apple's ads that ran for years, one in particular made fun of Microsoft spending money on advertising, when Apple was spending money on advertising.

And then there is the famous "Microsoft has no taste" quote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOgOP_aqqtg

WhatTheSchmidt said,

I agree with everything except the "seeing as not even companies are this damn" part. Apple spent years creating commercials directly attacking Microsoft. Every conference they have they get up on stage and directly attack Microsoft.


You're mistaking bitterness for business strategy. If the ads work, then by all means.

Also, what does that say about Microsoft then when they make direct attacks on Apple? Are they bitter too now? No, again, just a marketing ploy.

Bitterness is what you see with maybe Apple and Samsung as they wage wars, but even those two companies settle their differences when money is involved. Realistically, it's ALL about money. Has nothing to do with the drama people make it out to be. Microsoft and Apple for instance have deals in place regarding patent use, and get along pretty well despite what you see in commercials. I think some people read way too far into it though sadly.

WhatTheSchmidt said,

Some recent, not too long ago, a couple years ago, a while ago, and really long ago.

Last night:
http://www.neowin.net/news/app...-would-be-a-waste-of-energy

And then there was the conference (WWDC?) last year where Apple got on stage and did an hour long bashing of Office in favor of iWork.

Articles such as this one:
http://www.neowin.net/news/mai...ndows-complex-and-expensive

Then there was Apple's ads that ran for years, one in particular made fun of Microsoft spending money on advertising, when Apple was spending money on advertising.

And then there is the famous "Microsoft has no taste" quote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOgOP_aqqtg

You consider this whining? Seriously? Apple saying they don't feel that converging their desktop and mobile operating systems is whining? To me it's just them passing a comment on their competitors strategy, and saying it's a philosophy they don't agree with. And observations about Windows 7 being 'complex' or 'expensive' again is just general business trash talk.

One that immediately springs to mind in a similar vein is the infamous interview with Ballmer slating the iPhone after it got announced. The CEO's are perfectly entitled to pass judgement on the competition. They hope it'll make headlines, and sway peoples decisions.

I don't see it as whining. Just business.

CSheep said,

You just can't help yourself, huh?
he is right. If any other OEM has only sold 150M of one product in 30 years while others sell a similar product which has sold in the billions, you would easily say they were a failure. Right?

I mean lets be honest. The double standard you all have for Apple is so lame these days. In 30 years we still cant tell the fans anything.

Apple can sell a Mac today that has the same hardware as a Windows PC for the exact same price and make it the same way. Why won't they? Because they are arrogant. If the Mac today was the exact price of a Windows PC with the same specs which is roughly about $1100, it would now sell equally or higher than many PC brands especially now that you can run Windows. But Apple doesn't want this because they don't want to see as just another Windows OEM, because after all according to Steve, the Mac isn't a PC. Its just a Mac. lol

WhatTheSchmidt said,

Windows has an estimated 2 billion users world wide. PCs had a large surge but now pulling back a little because people don't need to upgrade, and that indicates a failure.

Meanwhile Apple builds planned obsolescence into their products forcing users to upgrade every couple years otherwise they will not release software for your computer, and that means success?

Also, the percentage growth stat of Mac is meaningless. If you have 100 products in use, and add/subtract 5, that is a big increase. If you have 100 million products in use, and add/subtract 5, that change is negligible.

Finally, IDC showed Mac sales for 4Q 2013 down YOY, from 1.68 million to 1.60 million. Not exactly the wild growth you like the profess. That failure of an OS Win8 sells 1.68 million in a couple days. It took Apple an entire quarter.



Very spirited. I like you!!!

dead.cell said,

You're mistaking bitterness for business strategy. If the ads work, then by all means.

Also, what does that say about Microsoft then when they make direct attacks on Apple? Are they bitter too now? No, again, just a marketing ploy.

Bitterness is what you see with maybe Apple and Samsung as they wage wars, but even those two companies settle their differences when money is involved. Realistically, it's ALL about money. Has nothing to do with the drama people make it out to be. Microsoft and Apple for instance have deals in place regarding patent use, and get along pretty well despite what you see in commercials. I think some people read way too far into it though sadly.


I don't think they read to much I to.it. Steve Jobs loved MS and Samsung until they decided to compete in the same market. APPLE sued them both claiming theft. They lost the first and should have this time.

Even when both Jobs and Gates were o stage with that bald guy, Jobs still took several shots at Gates. GATES as usual was always smiling. Even to his death Gates stood by Steve. After all Gates had no reason to hold down his head. Just think for almost 2 decades Gates had more money in his pocket than Apple had period.

APPLE all out attack on Windows with the Mac bs PC ads just showed that Jobs couldn't let go.

Gates has never spoken bad of Apple or Jobs.ever! So we certainly aren't exaggerating.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
<snip>

Your getting personal feelings and business decisions confused. Apple has taken the offensive in many ways, as has Microsoft, Samsung, and so on. At the end of the day though, they are still open to making trades, agreements, and contracting each other out when necessary if it means both can profit from it.

Business owners, CEOs, and leaders are free to have opinions after all.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
he is right. If any other OEM has only sold 150M of one product in 30 years while others sell a similar product which has sold in the billions, you would easily say they were a failure. Right?

He's telling the truth from a certain point of view. All I see are attempts at revising history, and cherry picking data that they think helps back up their, "facts." And if someone wants to pass off a widget as a failure based solely on the amount of units sold, then I think that person really has no business weighing in on an issue until they're able to remove their blinders and think clearly.

Let me ask you something. In the tech industry, one of the, if not the fastest moving industry right now, what failure has been able to last 30 years? The Mac failed at dominating the PC market, we can all agree with that, but does that mean the Mac is a failure as a whole? No. The reason why Apple keeps making the Mac line is because Apple keeps making money off of it. They get what they put into back, and then some.

The Mac line may no longer be Apple's main source of revenue anymore, but it brings in about $20 BILLION a year. If the Mac division was spun off into its own company, it would place just outside of the top 100 on the Fortune's 500 list. What failure can do that?


I mean lets be honest. The double standard you all have for Apple is so lame these days. In 30 years we still cant tell the fans anything.

?

Apple fans are human. Humans can be hypocritical. This includes Microsoft fans. Take note if you want. The next time an article is posted about the Surface being sold out, you'll see people patting themselves on the back and declaring it a success. When an article is posted about Apple selling out of iPhone, you'll see those exact same people spin it as a negative. Claims like Apple is limiting supply to create artificial demand, clut of Apple, blah blah blah, Apple is doomed.

Apple can sell a Mac today that has the same hardware as a Windows PC for the exact same price and make it the same way. Why won't they? Because they are arrogant. If the Mac today was the exact price of a Windows PC with the same specs which is roughly about $1100, it would now sell equally or higher than many PC brands especially now that you can run Windows. But Apple doesn't want this because they don't want to see as just another Windows OEM, because after all according to Steve, the Mac isn't a PC. Its just a Mac. lol

Arrogant? Apple didn't want to join the race towards the bottom. Ask Dell how that worked out for them.

Gates has never spoken bad of Apple or Jobs.ever! So we certainly aren't exaggerating.

Gates may not speak ill of the competition, but his company has no problem doing it.

benthebear said,

He's telling the truth from a certain point of view. All I see are attempts at revising history, and cherry picking data that they think helps back up their, "facts." And if someone wants to pass off a widget as a failure based solely on the amount of units sold, then I think that person really has no business weighing in on an issue until they're able to remove their blinders and think clearly.

Let me ask you something. In the tech industry, one of the, if not the fastest moving industry right now, what failure has been able to last 30 years? The Mac failed at dominating the PC market, we can all agree with that, but does that mean the Mac is a failure as a whole? No. The reason why Apple keeps making the Mac line is because Apple keeps making money off of it. They get what they put into back, and then some.

The Mac line may no longer be Apple's main source of revenue anymore, but it brings in about $20 BILLION a year. If the Mac division was spun off into its own company, it would place just outside of the top 100 on the Fortune's 500 list. What failure can do that?

?

Apple fans are human. Humans can be hypocritical. This includes Microsoft fans. Take note if you want. The next time an article is posted about the Surface being sold out, you'll see people patting themselves on the back and declaring it a success. When an article is posted about Apple selling out of iPhone, you'll see those exact same people spin it as a negative. Claims like Apple is limiting supply to create artificial demand, clut of Apple, blah blah blah, Apple is doomed.

Arrogant? Apple didn't want to join the race towards the bottom. Ask Dell how that worked out for them.

Gates may not speak ill of the competition, but his company has no problem doing it.

What? Dell didn't race to bottom. They were the 2nd largest PC maker for well over a decade. In fact even tho Dell is a younger company compared to Apple, Dell has sold 10's as many computers. Dell average roughly 10M PCs per quarter. Dell has only fallen to number 3. No big deal.

Dell chose to go another direction. I don't think Dell is worried about the other OEM's. Everyone gets a turn to be top dog. Dell lost its way, but they still sell way more PC than Apple ever will even if the totally stop selling them.

As far as the fans? Yet I agree.

IBm however did fall to the bottom. Totally out of the game period. Compaq wold have too if HP didn't buy them. Times change, Dell is still a business favorite and that is where they are concentrating their efforts.

n_K said,
Hahaha, another case of 'macs just don't work'.
So it didn't open on your Mac? On my Windows PC it opened just fine.

Actually ... in 1984 the Mac actually was affordable $2,500 ish... PC AT, for US$4000-6700.
So yes I would say they were a revolution... now as the PC prices dropped they have stayed the same..

So yes I would say at 30 years congrats... Now if only they would make a "Budget" Version with upgrades...

Edited by redvamp128, Jan 24 2014, 6:05pm :

redvamp128 said,
Actually ... in 1984 the Mac actually was affordable $2,500 ish... PC AT, for US$4000-6700.
So yes I would say they were a revolution... now as the PC prices dropped they have stayed the same..

So yes I would say at 30 years congrats... Now if only they would make a "Budget" Version with upgrades...

In 1984 your only PC option was an IBM which IBM was very expensive. That is why when Compaq found a way to make a PC compatible without using IBM licensing, they all ran IBM out of the PC making business.

I also don't recall a Mac being that cheap. I recall them also being rougly $3500. $2500 would get you a very stripped down one, like what...64K Mac? The 128K was bad enough. I also recall some Macs costing as much as $10K....I never seen a Windows PC cost that much...no even PC's that ran early Windows or even OS/2.

Yes I remember I actually paid 2,900$ for our model I opted for the dual floppy model. But still at the $3,500 price point that still was about 1,000$ less than the offerings from IBM.

As an external software contractor I worked on the Apple Mac project from 1981 to 1984, and had a pretty good look at what REALLY happened besides all the mythology. Here are some of my observations:

When Jobs visited Xerox the "revolutionary" demo he was shown was a product called Bravo X running on a Xerox Alto. This is what influenced him to think about GUIs. The designer of Bravo X, Charles Simonyi, had been not only "thinking" about GUIs for several years but had more or less invented them. He was the first to perfect WYSIWYG. Simonyi left Xerox and moved to Microsoft (not Apple) where he influenced design greatly. His Bravo X product was reincarnated and is what we all know as Microsoft Word today. This was started BEFORE Apple put the Mac group together.

Steve Jobs didn't start the Mac group. Jobs spent a year putting his "vision" into that wonderful Apple success the Lisa. When Lisa bombed Jobs muscled into the Mac group that was already up and running.

The original agreement with Microsoft was that Apple would focus on hardware and Microsoft software. Apple agreed that Microsoft would supply 4 applications for the release of the Mac. Jobs later screwed Microsoft over and secretly started work on the MacWrite word processor which was bundled free with every Mac. It's obvious today who won that battle.

The term "Macintosh" originally came from the Microsoft team working on the project. The Macintosh apple (fruit) is the sweetest apple and grows in Washington State where Microsoft are headquartered. Apple's name for the project was SAND (Steve's Amazing New Dream).

When Apple built the first Mac hardware in 1983 they couldn't get their operating system to boot. They asked Gates for help and he allocated one of his bright young MS-DOS programmers to work on it. He got the first Mac to boot over a weekend.

The original Mac team at Apple had a number of true "superstars". It's a shame that Jobs' abrasive manner and temper eventually drove every single one of them out of Apple with each refusing to ever speak to him again let alone work for/with him.

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