Today marks the 20th anniversary of Jobs unveiling the fourth and last product in the grid, the iBook, at the 1999 Macworld Expo in New York City.
Targeted at shoppers and college students, the iBook simply stood out from different notebooks of its period with its distinctive clamshell-like design, consisting of onerous, translucent plastic casing topped with mushy, colourful rubber. Initial colours included Blueberry and Tangerine, with later fashions obtainable in Graphite, Indigo, and Key Lime.
The unique iBook, priced from $1,599, was outfitted with a 12.1-inch show with an 800×600 decision, a full-sized keyboard, and a trackpad. It additionally featured a retractable deal with alongside its hinge, with Apple calling it an “iMac to go,” though it was decently heavy at 6.7 kilos — even for its time.
Above all, the iBook was the first mass shopper product with assist for wi-fi networking, with the 802.11b commonplace permitting for speeds as much as 11 Mbps. Wireless assist was not inbuilt and required buying an non-compulsory $99 AirPort wi-fi card and a $299 AirPort base station.
Jobs demonstrated the iBook’s wi-fi networking by strolling throughout the stage with the pocket book whereas loading a web site, with the viewers erupting in cheers. He then positioned it by way of a hula hoop to show there have been no cables hooked up.
Memorably, a youthful Phil Schiller even jumped from a peak whereas holding the iBook because it wirelessly transferred accelerometer knowledge. Referencing the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 touchdown, Schiller quipped “this is definitely one small step for man, and one giant leap for wireless networking.”
Other tech specs included a 300MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 3.2GB onerous drive, 32MB of RAM, ATI Rage Mobility graphics, 10/100 Ethernet, a CD-ROM drive, and as much as six hours of battery life. To hold prices down, it had no FireWire port, video out, or microphone, and just one speaker and one USB port.
Apple went on to introduce a redesigned iBook with a extra conventional pocket book design in May 2001, adopted by the white polycarbonate MacBook in 2006, however the unique will at all times be an vital a part of Apple’s historical past.
Last 12 months, YouTubers iJustine and MKBHD teamed as much as unbox an unique, sealed iBook:
For extra nostalgia:
We invite any readers who nonetheless personal an iBook to share a photograph in the feedback part.