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The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or techn ...
s designed and marketed by
Apple Inc Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States. Apple is the largest technology company by revenue (totaling in 2021) and, , is the world's biggest company by market capi ...
. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular among students, creative professionals, and software engineers. The current lineup includes the
MacBook Air The MacBook Air is a line of ultrabook computers developed and manufactured by Apple Inc. It consists of a full-size Computer keyboard, keyboard, a machining, machined aluminum case, and, in the more modern versions, a thin light structure. The ...
and MacBook Pro laptops, as well as the
iMac iMac is a family of All-in-one PC, all-in-one Mac (computer), Mac desktop computers designed and built by Apple Inc. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its debut in August 1998, and has evolved through ...
,
Mac Mini Mac Mini (stylized as Mac mini) is a small form factor (desktop and motherboard), small form factor desktop computer developed and marketed by Apple Inc. , it is positioned between the consumer all-in-one iMac (Intel-based), iMac and the profes ...
,
Mac Studio Mac Studio is a small-form-factor workstation A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or computational science, scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by a single user, they are commonly connected to a loc ...
and
Mac Pro Mac Pro is a series of workstation A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or computational science, scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by a single user, they are commonly connected to a local area n ...
desktops. Macs run the
macOS macOS (; previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac (computer), Mac computers. Within the market of ...
operating system. The first Mac was released in 1984, and was advertised with the highly-acclaimed "1984" ad. After a period of initial success, the Mac languished in the 1990s, until co-founder
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
returned to Apple in 1997. Jobs oversaw the release of many successful products, unveiled the modern
Mac OS X macOS (; previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac (computer), Mac computers. Within the market of ...
, completed the 2005-06 Intel transition, and brought features from the iPhone back to the Mac. During Tim Cook's tenure as CEO, the Mac underwent a period of neglect, but was later reinvigorated with the introduction of popular high-end Macs and the ongoing Apple silicon transition, which brought the Mac to the same ARM architecture as iOS devices.


History


1979–1996: "Macintosh" era

In the late 1970s, the
Apple II The Apple II (stylized as ) is an 8-bit computing, 8-bit home computer and one of the world's first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products. It was designed primarily by Steve Wozniak; Jerry Manock developed the design of Appl ...
was one of the most popular computers on the market, especially in education. After IBM introduced the
IBM PC The IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly known as the IBM PC) is the first microcomputer released in the IBM PC model line and the basis for the IBM PC compatible de facto standard. Released on August 12, 1981, it was created by a team ...
in 1981, its sales quickly surpassed the Apple II; in response, Apple introduced the
Apple Lisa Lisa is a desktop computer developed by Apple, released on January 19, 1983. It is one of the first personal computers to present a graphical user interface (GUI) in a machine aimed at individual business users. Its development began in 19 ...
in 1983. Though the Lisa's
graphical user interface The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows User (computing), users to Human–computer interaction, interact with electronic devices through graphical icon (comp ...
was partially inspired by the work of
Xerox PARC PARC (Palo Alto Research Center; formerly Xerox PARC) is a research and development company in Palo Alto, California. Founded in 1969 by Jack Goldman, Jacob E. "Jack" Goldman, chief scientist of Xerox Corporation, the company was originally a div ...
, it also went far beyond PARC's prototypes, and introduced original innovations: the ability to drag-and-drop files, menu bars, and double-clicking. This was to no avail: the Lisa was hampered by its high $9,995 price and lack of available software, and failed in the market. Parallel to the Lisa's development, a skunkworks team at Apple was working on another project. Conceived in 1979 by
Jef Raskin Jef Raskin (born Jeff Raskin; March 9, 1943 – February 26, 2005) was an American human–computer interface expert best known for conceiving and starting the Macintosh project at Apple Inc., Apple in the late 1970s. Early life and education ...
, the Macintosh was envisioned as an affordable, easy-to-use computer for the masses, with the Lisa's graphical interface. Raskin named the computer after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh. The initial team consisted of Raskin, hardware engineer
Burrell Smith Burrell Carver Smith (born December 16, 1955) is an American engineer who, while working at Apple Computer, designed the motherboard (digital circuit board) for the original Macintosh. He was Apple employee #282, and was hired in February 1979, i ...
, and Apple co-founder
Steve Wozniak Stephen Gary Wozniak (; born August 11, 1950), also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, computer programmer, philanthropist, inventor, and entrepreneur, technology entrepreneur. In 1976, with business partner Steve ...
;
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
joined it in 1981 after being removed from the Lisa team, and was able to gradually take control of the project due to Wozniak's temporary absence from the company following an airplane crash earlier that year. Upon its 1984 release, the first Macintosh was described as a "revolution" by the New York Times. Sales initially met projections, but then sputtered as customers were polarized by its groundbreaking interface, and disappointed by the machine's poor performance and initial lack of applications. Most members of the original Macintosh team left Apple, and Jobs became publicly embroiled with CEO
John Sculley John Sculley III (born April 6, 1939) is an American businessman, entrepreneur and investor in high-tech Startup company, startups. Sculley was vice-president (1970–1977) and president of PepsiCo (1977–1983), until he became chief executi ...
; Jobs left to found
NeXT Next may refer to: Arts and entertainment Film * Next (1990 film), ''Next'' (1990 film), an animated short about William Shakespeare * Next (2007 film), ''Next'' (2007 film), a sci-fi film starring Nicolas Cage * ''Next: A Primer on Urban Paintin ...
. The first Macintosh nevertheless generated cult enthusiasm from buyers and some developers, who rushed to develop entirely new programs for the platform, including
PageMaker Adobe PageMaker (formerly Aldus) is a discontinued desktop publishing computer program introduced in 1985 by the Aldus Corporation on the Apple Macintosh. The combination of the Macintosh's graphical user interface, PageMaker publishing software, ...
, PowerPoint, and Excel. The Macintosh is credited with popularizing the graphical user interface. It also reflected Jobs' obsession with
typography Typography is the art and technique of typesetting, arranging type to make written language legibility, legible, readability, readable and beauty, appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, Point (typogra ...
, and came bundled with a variety of fonts. It was the first
WYSIWYG In computing, WYSIWYG ( ), an acronym for What You See Is What You Get, is a system in which editing software allows content to be edited in a form that resembles its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product, such as a printed d ...
computer, and due in large part to PageMaker and Apple's
LaserWriter The LaserWriter is a laser printer with built-in PostScript interpreter sold by Apple Inc., Apple, Inc. from 1985 to 1988. It was one of the first laser printers available to the mass market. In combination with WYSIWYG publishing software like ...
printer, it ignited the
desktop publishing Desktop publishing (DTP) is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal ("desktop") personal computer, computer. It was first used almost exclusively for print publications, but now it also assists in the creation of variou ...
revolution, turning the Macintosh from an early let-down into a notable success. In late 1985, Bill Atkinson, one of the few remaining members of the Macintosh team, embarked on a journey to create a
Dynabook The KiddiComp concept, envisioned by Alan Kay in 1968 while a PhD candidate, and later developed and described as the Dynabook in his 1972 proposal "A personal computer for children of all ages", outlines the requirements for a conceptual portab ...
, Alan Kay's concept for a tablet computer that stores and organizes knowledge. Sculley rebuffed him, so he adapted the idea into a Mac program,
HyperCard HyperCard is a software application and development kit for Apple Macintosh The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use an ...
, whose "cards" could store any information — text, image, audio, video — with the
memex Memex is a hypothetical electromechanical device for interacting with microform documents and described in Vannevar Bush's 1945 article "As We May Think". Bush envisioned the memex as a device in which individuals would compress and store all of ...
-like ability to semantically link cards to each other. HyperCard was released in 1987 and bundled with every Macintosh. In the late 1980s, Jean-Louis Gassée, a Sculley ''protégé'' who had succeeded Jobs as head of the Macintosh division, made the Mac more open and expandable to appeal to tech enthusiasts and make inroads in the enterprise market. This approach led to the successful 1989 release of the
Macintosh II The Macintosh II is a personal computer designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc., Apple Computer from March 1987 to January 1990. Based on the Motorola 68020 32-bit CPU, it is the first Macintosh supporting color graphics. When introduced, ...
, which appealed to power users and gave the lineup momentum. However, this unwillingness to compromise on features foiled Apple's first
laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a screen and alphanumeric keyboard. Laptops typically have a Flip (form), clam shell Form factor (design), form factor with the computer scr ...
, the
Macintosh Portable Macintosh Portable is a laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a screen and alphanumeric keyboard. Laptops typically have a Flip (form), clam shell Form factor (design) ...
, which was almost as heavy as the original Macintosh and cost twice as much. The Mac Portable doomed Gassée, who was fired soon after its release. Since the Mac's debut, Sculley had opposed lowering the company's profit margins, and Macintoshes were priced far above entry-level
DOS DOS is shorthand for the MS-DOS and IBM PC DOS family of operating systems. DOS may also refer to: Computing * Data over signalling (DoS), multiplexing data onto a signalling channel * Denial-of-service attack In computing, a denial-of- ...
computers, He also resisted licensing the Mac OS to competing hardware vendors, who could have undercut Apple on pricing and jeopardized its hardware sales, as
IBM PC compatible IBM PC compatible computers are similar to the original IBM Personal Computer, IBM PC, IBM Personal Computer XT, XT, and IBM Personal Computer/AT, AT, all from computer giant IBM, that are able to use the same software and expansion cards. Such ...
s had done to IBM. These early strategic missteps caused the Macintosh to forever lose its chance at becoming the dominant personal computer platform. Though senior management demanded high-margin products, a few employees disobeyed and set out to create a computer that would live up to the original Macintosh's slogan: computer for the rest of us", which the market clamored for. In a pattern typical of Apple's early era, this once-renegade project was endorsed by senior management following market pressures, and in 1990, the effort birthed the
Macintosh LC The Macintosh LC is a personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user ...
and the affordable
Macintosh Classic The Macintosh Classic is a personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an ...
, the first model under $1,000. Between 1984 and 1989, Apple had sold one million Macs. It sold 10 million over the following five years. In 1991, the Macintosh Portable was replaced with the smaller and lighter
PowerBook 100 The PowerBook 100 is a portable subnotebook Subnotebook, also called ultraportable, superportable, or mini notebook, was a marketing term for laptop computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical notebook-sized laptop. Types and ...
, the first laptop to place a palm rest and
trackball A trackball is a pointing device consisting of a ball held by a socket containing sensors to detect a rotation of the ball about two axes—like an upside-down ball mouse (computing), mouse with an exposed protruding ball. Users roll the ball t ...
in front of the keyboard. The PowerBook brought a billion dollars of revenue within a year, and became a status symbol. By this point, the Macintosh represented 10% to 15% of the personal computer market. Fearing a decline in market share, Sculley decided to enter in an alliance with IBM and Motorola to create a new standardized computing platform, which led to the creation of the
PowerPC PowerPC (with the backronym Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC – Performance Computing, sometimes abbreviated as PPC) is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA) created by the 1991 Apple Inc., App ...
processor architecture, and the failed
Taligent Taligent Inc. (a portmanteau A portmanteau word, or portmanteau (, ) is a Blend word, blend of wordsMichael Spindler Michael Spindler (22 December 1942 – 2017) was a German businessman who was president and CEO of Apple Inc., Apple from 1993 to 1996. Spindler was born in Berlin. Personal life From 1985 until his death in 2017, Spindler lived between Paris, Fr ...
continued this approach when he succeeded Sculley as CEO in 1993. He oversaw the Mac's transition from Motorola 68K to PowerPC and the release of Apple's first PowerPC machine, the well-received
Power Macintosh The Power Macintosh, later Power Mac, is a family of personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be ...
. Many new Macintoshes suffered from inventory and
quality control Quality control (QC) is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in Production (economics), production. ISO 9000 defines quality control as "a part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements" ...
problems. The 1995
PowerBook 5300 The PowerBook 5300 is the first generation of PowerBook laptops manufactured by Apple Computer to use the PowerPC processor. Released in August 1995, these PowerBooks were notable for being the first to feature Hot swapping, hot-swappable ex ...
was plagued with quality problems; some units even caught fire, and the laptop was the subject of several recalls. Pessimistic about Apple's future, Spindler repeatedly attempted to sell Apple to other companies, including IBM, Kodak, AT&T, Sun, and Philips. In a last-ditch attempt to fend off Windows, Apple yielded and started a
Macintosh clone A Macintosh clone, also known as a Clonintosh (a portmanteau of "Clone (computing), Clone" and "Macintosh"), is a computer running the Mac OS operating system that was not produced by Apple Inc. The earliest Mac clones were based on Macintosh clon ...
program, which allowed other manufacturers to make computers that ran
System 7 System 7, codenamed "Big Bang", and also known as Mac OS 7, is a graphical user interface-based operating system for Macintosh computers and is part of the classic Mac OS series of operating systems. It was introduced on May 13, 1991, by Apple Co ...
; however, it only cannibalized the sales of Apple's higher-margin machines. Meanwhile, the far-superior
Windows 95 Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was Software release life cy ...
was an instant hit with customers. Apple was struggling financially; its attempts to come up with a successor to the obsolete and unstable Mac OS — Taligent,
Star Trek ''Star Trek'' is an American science fiction media franchise created by Gene Roddenberry, which began with the Star Trek: The Original Series, eponymous 1960s television series and quickly became a worldwide Popular culture, pop-culture Cul ...
and Copland — had all failed, and its hardware was stagnant. The Mac was no longer competitive in the market place, and its sales entered a tailspin. Corporations abandoned the Mac in droves, replacing it with cheaper and more sophisticated
Windows NT Windows NT is a Proprietary software, proprietary Graphical user interface, graphical operating system produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released on July 27, 1993. It is a processor-independent, multiprocessing and multi-use ...
machines for which far more applications and peripherals existed; even Apple loyalists saw no future for the Macintosh. Once the world's second largest computer vendor after IBM, Apple's market share declined precipitously from 9.4% in 1993 to 3.1% in 1997.
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, te ...
was ready to abandon
Microsoft Office Microsoft Office, or simply Office, is the former name of a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketin ...
for Mac, which would have slashed any remaining business appeal the Mac had; Amelio tried to negotiate a deal with Gates, to no avail. In 1996, Spindler was succeeded by Gil Amelio, who searched for an established operating system to acquire or license, which would form the foundation of a new Apple operating system. He considered
BeOS BeOS is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (com ...
, Solaris, Windows NT, and NeXT's
NeXTSTEP NeXTSTEP is a discontinued object-oriented, computer multitasking, multitasking operating system based on the Mach kernel and the UNIX-derived BSD. It was developed by NeXT, NeXT Computer in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was initially use ...
, eventually choosing the latter. Apple acquired NeXT on December 20, 1996, and with it came its founder, Steve Jobs.


1997–2011: Steve Jobs era

NeXT had developed the mature
NeXTSTEP NeXTSTEP is a discontinued object-oriented, computer multitasking, multitasking operating system based on the Mach kernel and the UNIX-derived BSD. It was developed by NeXT, NeXT Computer in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was initially use ...
operating system, whose strengths lied in its multimedia and internet capabilities. NextSTEP was also popular among programmers, financial firms and academia for its
object-oriented programming Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm based on the concept of " objects", which can contain data In the pursuit of knowledge, data (; ) is a collection of discrete values that convey information, describing qua ...
tools which allowed applications to be written far more rapidly. In an eagerly-anticipated speech at the January 1997
Macworld ''Macworld'' is a website dedicated to products and software of Apple Inc., published by Foundry, a subsidiary of IDG Inc. It started life as a print magazine in 1984 and had the largest audited circulation (both total and newsstand) of Macin ...
trade show, Steve Jobs previewed Rhapsody, a merger of NeXTSTEP and Mac OS which would be the foundation of Apple's new operating system strategy. At the time, Jobs only served in an advisory role, but became Apple's ''de-facto'' CEO after Amelio was fired in July 1997. He was formally appointed interim CEO in September, and permanent CEO in January 2000 To turn the company around, Jobs streamlined Apple's operations and began layoffs. He negotiated a deal with
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, te ...
: Microsoft committed to releasing new versions of Office for Mac for five years, investing $150 million in Apple, and settling an ongoing lawsuit in which Apple alleged that Windows had copied the Mac's interface. In exchange, Apple made
Internet Explorer Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer, commonly abbreviated IE or MSIE) is a series of graphical user interface, graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft which was used in the Microsoft Wind ...
the default Mac browser. The deal was closed hours before Jobs announced it at the August 1997 Macworld. Jobs brought focus back to Apple. The Mac lineup had been incomprehensible, with dozens of hard-to-distinguish models; he streamlined it into four quadrants, a laptop and a desktop each for consumers and professionals. Apple also discontinued several Mac accessories, including the StyleWriter printer and the Newton PDA. These changes were meant to refocus Apple's engineering, marketing and manufacturing efforts so that more care could be dedicated to each product. Jobs also stopped licensing Mac OS to clone manufacturers, which had cost Apple ten times more in lost sales than what they paid in licensing fees. Jobs made a deal with the largest computer reseller, CompUSA, to carry a "store within a store" that would better showcase Macs and their software and peripherals; according to Apple, the Mac's share of computer sales in those stores went from 3% to 14%. In November, the online Apple Store launched, which offered built-to-order Mac configurations without a middleman. When
Tim Cook Timothy Donald Cook (born November 1, 1960) is an American business executive who has been the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. since 2011. Cook previously served as the company's chief operating officer under its co-founder Steve Jobs. ...
was hired as chief operations officer in March 1998, he shuttered Apple's inefficient factories and outsourced Mac production to Taiwan. Within months, he rolled out a new ERP system and implemented just-in-time manufacturing principles; this practically eliminated Apple's costly unsold inventory, and within a year, Apple had the most efficient inventory turnover in the industry. Jobs' top priority was "to ship a great new product". The first was the
iMac G3 The iMac G3, originally released as the iMac, is a series of Macintosh personal computers sold by Apple Computer from 1998 to 2003. The iMac was the first major new product release for Apple under Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO and cofounder ...
, an all-in-one computer which was meant to make the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...
intuitive and easy to access. While PCs came in functional beige boxes, Jony Ive gave the iMac a radical and futuristic design, meant to make the product less intimidating: it was shaped like an egg, and its case was made of translucent plastic in "
Bondi blue Blue-green is the color Color (American English) or colour (British English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property deriving from the spectrum of light interacting with the photoreceptor cells of the eyes. ...
" color. Ive also added a handle on the back to make the computer more approachable. Meanwhile, Jobs decided the iMac would be "legacy-free", replacing the ADB and
SCSI Small Computer System Interface (SCSI, ) is a set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and Peripheral, peripheral devices. The SCSI standards define SCSI command, commands, protocols, electrical, optic ...
ports with an infrared port and the cutting-edge
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an technical standard, industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and communication protocol, protocols for connection, communication and power supply (Interface (computing), interfa ...
. He also controversially removed the
floppy disk A floppy disk or floppy diskette (casually referred to as a floppy, or a diskette) is an obsolescent type of disk storage composed of a thin and flexible disk of a magnetic storage medium in a square or nearly square plastic enclosure lined wi ...
drive and replaced it with a CD drive. The iMac was unveiled in May 1998, and released in August. It was an immediate commercial success, and became the fastest-selling computer in Apple's history, with 800,000 units sold before the year ended. Vindicating Jobs on the Internet's appeal to consumers, 32% of buyers had never used a computer before, and 12% were switching from PCs. The iMac reestablished the Mac's reputation as a trend-setter: for the next few years, translucent plastic became the dominant design trend in numerous consumer products. Apple knew had it lost its chance to compete in the Windows-dominated enterprise market, so it prioritized design and ease of use to make the Mac more appealing to average consumers, and even teens. Apple also instituted a more collaborative product development process for the Mac, the "Apple New Product Process", which implemented
concurrent engineering Concurrent engineering (CE) or concurrent design and manufacturing is a work methodology emphasizing the parallelization of tasks (i.e. performing tasks concurrently), which is sometimes called simultaneous engineering or integrated product develo ...
principles. From that point, the Mac would no longer be primarily crafted by engineers, with design as an afterthought. Instead, Ive and Jobs would first define a new product's "soul", before it was jointly developed by the marketing, engineering and operations teams. The engineering team was led by the product design group, and Ive's design studio was the dominant voice throughout the development process. The next product quadrant was the Power Mac G3 (nicknamed "Blue and White") which was well-received by creatives and scientists. It was followed by the
iBook iBook is a line of laptop computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer from 1999 to 2006. The line targeted entry-level, consumer and education markets, with lower specifications and prices than the PowerBook, Apple's higher-end ...
, which imitated the iMac's design, with colorful translucent plastic and a handle. The iBook introduced several innovations: it lacked a mechanical latch, instead relying on a strengthened hinge to keep it closed, its ports were located on the sides rather than on the back, and it was the first laptop with built-in
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi () is a family of wireless network Communication protocol, protocols, based on the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, which are commonly used for Wireless LAN, local area networking of devices and Internet access, allowing nearby digital d ...
. It was best selling laptop in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 1999. Finally came the professional-oriented Titanium PowerBook G4, the lightest and thinnest in its class, and the first laptop with a wide-screen display; it also debuted a magnetic latch that made the lid pop elegantly. The design language of consumer Macs shifted again from colored plastics to white polycarbonate with the introduction of the 2001 Dual USB "Ice" iBook. In order to increase the iBook's durability, it did away with doors and handles, and gained a more minimalistic exterior. Ive attempted to go beyond the quadrant with
Power Mac G4 Cube The Power Mac G4 Cube is a Macintosh The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular a ...
, an attempt to innovate beyond the
computer tower In personal computing, a tower is a form of desktop computer whose computer case, case height is much greater than its width, thus having the appearance of an upstanding tower block, as opposed to a traditional desktop or "pizza box form factor, ...
and make a professional desktop that was far smaller than the Power Mac. The Cube failed in the market, and was withdrawn from sale after a year; however, Ive considered it beneficial, since it helped Apple gain experience in complex
machining Machining is a process in which a material (often metal) is cut to a desired final shape and size by a controlled material-removal process. The processes that have this common theme are collectively called subtractive manufacturing, which utilizes ...
and miniaturization. The development of a successor to the old Mac OS was well-underway. Rhapsody had been previewed at
WWDC The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is an information technology Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of Data (computing), data . and information. IT for ...
1997, featuring a Mach kernel and
BSD The Berkeley Software Distribution or Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD) is a discontinued operating system based on Research Unix, developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California, Berke ...
foundations, a virtualization layer for old Mac OS apps (codenamed Blue Box), and an implementation of NeXTSTEP APIs called OpenStep (codenamed Yellow Box). Apple open-sourced the core of Rhapsody as the Darwin operating system. After several developer previews, Apple also introduced the
Carbon Carbon () is a chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetravalent—its atom making four electrons available to form covalent bond, covalent chemical bonds. It belongs to gro ...
API, which provided a way for developers to more easily make their apps native to Mac OS X without rewriting them in Yellow Box. Mac OS X was publicly unveiled in January 2000, with the modern
Aqua Aqua is the Latin word for water. It is used in many words which relate to water, such as aquatic life. In English, it may also refer to: Arts * Aqua (color), a greenish-blue color Business * Aqua (skyscraper), an 82-story residential skysc ...
interface, and a far more stable
Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of Computer multitasking, multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Corporation, AT&T Unix, whose development started in 1969 at the Bell Labs research center ...
foundation, with
memory protection Memory protection is a way to control memory access rights on a computer, and is a part of most modern instruction set architectures and operating systems. The main purpose of memory protection is to prevent a process (computing), process from acc ...
and
preemptive multitasking In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computer, computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes, and development of both computer hardware , hardwa ...
. Blue Box became the
Classic environment This is a list of macOS built-in apps and system components. Applications App Store The Mac App Store is macOS's digital distribution platform for macOS apps, created and maintained by Apple Inc. based on the iOS version, the platform was an ...
, and Yellow Box was renamed Cocoa. Following a
public beta A software release life cycle is the sum of the stages of development and maturity for a piece of computer software ranging from its initial development to its eventual release, and including updated versions of the released version to help impro ...
, the first version of Mac OS X, version 10.0 Cheetah, was released in March 2001. Since 1999, Steve Jobs had a new strategy in mind: the Mac would become a "digital hub", the centerpiece of people's "digital livestyle". In 2001, the iMac DV gained
FireWire IEEE 1394 is an interface standard for a serial communication, serial bus for high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer. It was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Apple Inc., Apple in cooperation with a numbe ...
, allowing it to connect to camcorders; users could easily create movies with the bundled
iMovie iMovie (known at times as iMovie HD) is a preinstalled video editing software, video editing application developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS devices. It was originally released in 1999 as a Mac OS 8 application bundled with the ...
. Apple later gave the iMac the ability to burn CDs, and released
iTunes iTunes () is a software program that acts as a Media player (software), media player, media library, mobile device management utility, and the client app for the iTunes Store. Developed by Apple Inc., it is used to purchase, play, download, ...
, which allowed users to rip CDs, make their own playlists, and burn them to a blank disc. Later still, users could organize their photos with
iPhoto iPhoto is a discontinued Digital photography, digital photograph manipulation software application developed by Apple Inc. It was included with every Macintosh personal computer from 2002 to 2015, when it was replaced with Apple's Photos (Apple ...
, and create songs with
GarageBand GarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS devices that allows users to create music or podcasts. GarageBand is developed by Apple for macOS, and was once part of the iLife software su ...
. More crucially, Jobs' digital hub strategy culminated in Apple's entrance into other markets, with the
iTunes Store The iTunes Store is a digital media store operated by Apple Inc. It opened on April 28, 2003, as a result of Steve Jobs' push to open a digital marketplace for music. As of April 2020, iTunes offered 60 million songs, 2.2 million apps, 25,000 ...
,
iPod The iPod is a discontinued series of portable media players and multi-purpose mobile devices designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPod Classic#1st generation, first version was released on October 23, 2001, about months after the Ma ...
, iPhone, and
iPad The iPad is a brand of iOS and iPadOS-based tablet computers that are developed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. The iPad was conceived before the related iPhone but the iPhone was developed and released first. Speculation about the development, ...
, and Apple's transformation from a Mac-focused company, ''Apple Computer Inc'', into ''Apple Inc'', the world's most valuable company. By January 2007, the iPod came to represent half of Apple's revenues. Apple continued to release new Mac models, such as the white "Sunflower" iMac G4; Ive designed a display that could swivel around and be moved with one) finger, so that it "appear dto defy gravity. In 2003, Apple released the aluminum 12-inch and 17-inch
PowerBook G4 The PowerBook G4 is a series of notebook computers manufactured, marketed, and sold by Apple Computer between 2001 and 2006 as part of its PowerBook line of notebooks. The PowerBook G4 runs on the Reduced instruction set computing, RISC-based Powe ...
, proclaiming the "Year of the Notebook". With the Microsoft deal expiring, Apple also replaced Internet Explorer with its new browser,
Safari A safari (; ) is an overland journey to observe wildlife, wild animals, especially in East Africa, eastern or southern Africa. The so-called big five game, "Big Five" game animals of Africa – lion, African leopard, leopard, rhinoceros, Africa ...
. The first
Mac Mini Mac Mini (stylized as Mac mini) is a small form factor (desktop and motherboard), small form factor desktop computer developed and marketed by Apple Inc. , it is positioned between the consumer all-in-one iMac (Intel-based), iMac and the profes ...
was intended to be made in the U.S., but domestic manufacturers were slow and had insufficient quality processes, so Apple chose Tiawanese
Foxconn Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Hon Hai Technology Group in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, ...
instead. The cheaper, "headless" Mac Mini was introduced at Macworld 2005, alongside the
iWork iWork is an office suite of applications created by Apple Inc. for its macOS and iOS operating systems, and also available cross-platform through the iCloud website. It includes the presentation program, presentation application Keynote (presen ...
office suite.


Intel transition and "back to the Mac"

With PowerPC chips falling behind in performance, price, and efficiency, Steve Jobs announced that all Macs would transition from PowerPC to Intel processors, revealing that Mac OS X had been adapted to run on both architectures since 2000. Users could keep running PowerPC apps using
Rosetta Rosetta or Rashid (; ar, رشيد ' ; french: Rosette  ; cop, ϯⲣⲁϣⲓⲧ ''ti-Rashit'', Ancient Greek: Βολβιτίνη ''Bolbitinē'') is a port city of the Nile Delta, east of Alexandria, in Egypt's Beheira Governorate, Beheir ...
, and even run Windows natively using Boot Camp. This led to a few years of growth in Mac sales. After the iPhone's 2007 release, Apple began a multi-year effort to bring many iPhone innovations "back to the Mac", including
multi-touch In computing, multi-touch is technology that enables a surface (a touchpad or touchscreen) to recognize the presence of more than one somatosensory system, point of contact with the surface at the same time. The origins of multitouch began at CER ...
gesture support, instant wake from sleep, and fast
flash storage Flash memory is an Integrated circuit, electronic Non-volatile memory, non-volatile computer memory storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. The two main types of flash memory, NOR flash and NAND flash, are named for t ...
. At Macworld 2008, Jobs introduced the first MacBook Air by taking it out of a manila envelope, touting it as the "world's thinnest notebook". The MacBook Air favored wireless technologies over physical ports, and lacked
FireWire IEEE 1394 is an interface standard for a serial communication, serial bus for high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer. It was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Apple Inc., Apple in cooperation with a numbe ...
, an
optical drive In computing, an optical disc drive is a disk drive, disc drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives ...
, or a replaceable battery. Users could access discs inserted into other computers on their
local network A local area network (LAN) is a computer network A computer network is a set of computers sharing resources located on or provided by Node (networking), network nodes. The computers use common communication protocols over digital signa ...
through a feature called Remote Disc. A decade after its launch, journalist Tom Warren wrote that the MacBook Air had "immediately changed the future of laptops", starting the
ultrabook Ultrabook is a marketing term, originated and trademarked by Intel, for a category of high-end laptop computers. They were originally marketed as featuring ultra thin form factor and light weight design without compromising battery life or perf ...
trend.
OS X Lion OS X Lion, also known as Mac OS X Lion, (version 10.7) is the eighth major release of macOS macOS (; previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. ...
gained new features from the iPad, like
FaceTime FaceTime is a proprietary videotelephony Videotelephony, also known as videoconferencing and video teleconferencing, is the two-way or multipoint reception and transmission of audio signal, audio and video signals by people in different l ...
, full-screen apps, document autosaving and versioning, and a bundled Mac App Store to replace software install discs with online downloads. Apple devices gained deeper integration, with AirDrop allowing them to send and receive files wirelessly. iPhone-like multi-touch technology was progressively added to all MacBook trackpads, and to desktop Macs through the Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad. The second-generation MacBook Air, released in 2010, added an iPad-inspired standby mode, "instant-on" wake from sleep, and
flash memory Flash memory is an Integrated circuit, electronic Non-volatile memory, non-volatile computer memory storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. The two main types of flash memory, NOR flash and NAND flash, are named for t ...
for storage. The MacBook Air also began an increased focus on the environment for the Mac; it was free of toxic chemicals like mercury,
bromide A bromide ion is the negatively charged form (Br−) of the element bromine, a member of the Halogen, halogens group on the periodic table. Most bromides are colorless. Bromides have many practical roles, being found in anticonvulsants, flame-r ...
and PVC, and came in a smaller packaging. The
iMac iMac is a family of All-in-one PC, all-in-one Mac (computer), Mac desktop computers designed and built by Apple Inc. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its debut in August 1998, and has evolved through ...
and unibody MacBook Pro gained enclosure redesigns using more recyclable materials like aluminum and glass. On February 24, 2011, the MacBook Pro became the first computer to support Intel's new
Thunderbolt A thunderbolt or lightning bolt is a symbolic representation of lightning Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge during which two electric charge, electrically charged regions, both in the atmosphere or with one o ...
connector, which had two-way transfer speeds of 10Gbit/s, and was backward-compatible with
Mini DisplayPort The Mini DisplayPort (MiniDP or mDP) is a miniaturized and less common version of the DisplayPort DisplayPort (DP) is a digital display interface developed by a consortium of PC and chip manufacturers and standardized by the Video Electroni ...
.


2012–present: Tim Cook era

Following a period of deteriorating health, Steve Jobs resigned as CEO on August 24, 2011, and
Tim Cook Timothy Donald Cook (born November 1, 1960) is an American business executive who has been the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. since 2011. Cook previously served as the company's chief operating officer under its co-founder Steve Jobs. ...
was named as his successor. At WWDC 2012, the MacBook Pro with Retina display was unveiled, featuring a thinner body, faster processor and graphics, a high-resolution Retina display similar to the
iPhone 4 The iPhone 4 is a smartphone that was designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the List of iOS devices, fourth generation of the iPhone lineup, succeeding the iPhone 3GS and preceding the iPhone 4S, 4S. Following a number of notable leaks, ...
, the MagSafe 2 charging port, and quieter impeller fans on the 15-inch model. It received largely positive reviews, with Nilay Patel of The Verge calling it "one of the best displays to ever ship on a laptop". In November 2012, the
iMac iMac is a family of All-in-one PC, all-in-one Mac (computer), Mac desktop computers designed and built by Apple Inc. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its debut in August 1998, and has evolved through ...
was redesigned with thinner edges, faster processor, and the removal of the SuperDrive. At WWDC 2013, the new Mac Pro was introduced, with Phil Schiller exclaiming "Can't innovate anymore, my ass!" in response to critics who said that Apple could no longer innovate without Jobs. This new model featured a miniaturized design with a glossy dark gray cylindrical body and internal components organized around a central cooling system. Tech reviewers praised the 2013 Mac Pro for its power and futuristic design; however, it was poorly received by professional users, who criticized its lack of upgradability and the removal of expansion slots. The iMac was refreshed with a 5K Retina display in 2014, making it the highest-resolution all-in-one desktop computer at the time of its release. The MacBook was reintroduced in 2015, with a completely redesigned aluminum unibody chassis, a 12-inch Retina display, a fanless low-power Intel Core M processor, a much smaller logic board, a new Butterfly keyboard, a single
USB-C USB-C (properly known as USB Type-C) is a 24-pin USB connector system with a rotationally symmetrical Electrical connector, connector. The designation C refers only to the connector's physical configuration or form factor and should not be co ...
port, and a solid-state
Force Touch Force Touch is a Haptic technology, haptic technology developed by Apple Inc. that enables Touchpad, trackpads and touchscreens to distinguish between various levels of force being applied to their surfaces. It uses Pressure sensor, pressure sens ...
trackpad with pressure sensitivity. It was praised for its portability, but criticized for its lack of performance, the need to use adapters to use most USB peripherals, and a high starting price of US$1,299. In 2015, Apple started a service program to address a widespread GPU defect in the 15-inch 2011 MacBook Pro, which could cause graphical artifacts or prevent the machine from functioning entirely.


Early neglect of professional users

The Touch Bar MacBook Pro was released in October 2016. It was the thinnest MacBook Pro ever made, replaced all ports with four
Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt is the brand name of a Interface (computing)#Hardware interfaces, hardware interface for the connection of external peripherals to a computer. It has been developed by Intel, in collaboration with Apple Inc., Apple. It was initially ...
(USB-C) ports, gained a thinner "Butterfly" keyboard, and replaced
function key A function key is a key on a computer or computer terminal, terminal computer keyboard, keyboard that can be programmed so as to cause an operating system command interpreter or application program to perform certain actions, a form of soft key. ...
s with the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar was criticized for making it harder to use the function keys by feel, as it offered no tactile feedback. Many users were frustrated by the need to buy
dongle A dongle is a small piece of computer hardware that connects to a Computer port (hardware), port on another device to provide it with additional functionality, or enable a pass-through to such a device that adds functionality. In computing, the ...
s, particularly professional users who relied on traditional USB-A devices,
SD card Secure Digital, officially abbreviated as SD, is a proprietary format, proprietary non-volatile memory, non-volatile Flash memory, flash memory card format developed by the SD Association, SD Association (SDA) for use in portable devices. The s ...
s, and HDMI for video output. A few months after its release, users reported a problem with stuck keys and letters being skipped or repeated. iFixit attributed this to the ingress of dust or food crumbs under the keys, jamming them. Since the Butterfly keyboard was riveted into the laptop's case, it could only be serviced at an
Apple Store The Apple Store is a chain of Retail, retail stores owned and operated by Apple Inc. The stores sell various Apple products, including Macintosh, Mac personal computers, iPhone smartphones, iPad tablet computers, Apple Watch smartwatches, Apple ...
or authorized service center. Apple settled a $50m class-action lawsuit over these keyboards in 2022. These same models were afflicted by "flexgate": when users closed and opened the machine, they would risk progressively damaging the cable responsible for the display
backlight A backlight is a form of illumination used in liquid crystal displays (LCDs). As LCDs do not produce light by themselves—unlike, for example, cathode ray tube (CRT), plasma (PDP) or OLED displays—they need illumination (available light, ambie ...
, which was too short. The $6 cable was soldered to the screen, requiring a $700 repair. Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive continued to guide product designs towards simplicity and minimalism. Critics argued that he had begun to prioritize form over function, and was excessively focused on product thinness. His role in the decisions to switch to fragile Butterfly keyboards, to make the Mac Pro non-expandable, and to remove USB-A, HDMI and the SD card slot from the MacBook Pro were criticized. The long-standing keyboard issue on MacBook Pros, Apple's abandonment of the
Aperture In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels. More specifically, the aperture and focal length of an optical system determine the cone angle of a bundle of ray (optics), rays that come to a focus (optics), focus ...
professional photography app, and the lack of Mac Pro upgrades led to declining sales and a widespread belief that Apple was no longer committed to professional users. After several years without any significant updates to the Mac Pro, Apple executives admitted in 2017 that the 2013 Mac Pro had not met expectations, and that the company had designed themselves into a "thermal corner", preventing them from releasing a planned dual-GPU successor. Apple also unveiled their future product roadmap for professional products, including plans for an
iMac Pro The iMac Pro is a discontinued All-in-one PC, all-in-one personal computer and workstation designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. It was released on December 14, 2017. While it was sold, it was one of four desktop computers in the Macint ...
as a stopgap and a next-generation Mac Pro that would be expandable. The
iMac Pro The iMac Pro is a discontinued All-in-one PC, all-in-one personal computer and workstation designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. It was released on December 14, 2017. While it was sold, it was one of four desktop computers in the Macint ...
was revealed at WWDC 2017, featuring updated Intel Xeon W processors and
Radeon Pro Radeon Pro is AMD Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is an American multinational semiconductor company based in Santa Clara, California Santa Clara (; Spanish for " Saint Clare") is a city in Santa Clara County, California. The c ...
Vega graphics. In 2018, Apple released a redesigned MacBook Air with a Retina display, Butterfly keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, and Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. The Butterfly keyboard went through three revisions, incorporating silicone gaskets in the key mechanism to prevent keys from being jammed by dust or other particles. However, many users continued to experience reliability issues with these keyboards, leading Apple to launch a program to repair affected keyboards free of charge. Higher-end models of the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro faced another issue where the Core i9 processor reached unusually high temperatures, resulting in reduced CPU performance from thermal throttling. Apple issued a patch to address this issue via a macOS supplemental update, blaming a "missing digital key" in the thermal management firmware. The 2019 MacBook Air and 2020 MacBook Pro replaced the unreliable Butterfly keyboard with a redesigned scissor-switch Magic Keyboard. On the MacBook Pros, the Touch Bar and Touch ID were made standard, and the Esc key was detached from the Touch Bar and returned to being a physical key. At WWDC 2019, Apple unveiled a new Mac Pro with a larger case design that allows for hardware expandability, as well as introducing a new expansion module system (MPX), for modules such as an optional Afterburner card for faster video encoding. Almost every part of the new Mac Pro is user-replaceable, with iFixit praising its high user-repairability. It received positive reviews, with reviewers praising its power, modularity, quiet cooling, and Apple's inceased focus on professional workflows.


Apple silicon transition

In April 2018,
Bloomberg Bloomberg may refer to: People * Daniel J. Bloomberg (1905–1984), audio engineer * Georgina Bloomberg (born 1983), professional equestrian * Michael Bloomberg (born 1942), American businessman and founder of Bloomberg L.P.; politician and ma ...
reported that Apple was planning to replace Intel chips with ARM processors similar to those used in its phones, causing Intel's shares to drop by 9.2%.
The Verge ''The Verge'' is an American technology news website operated by Vox Media Vox Media, Inc. is an American mass media company based in Washington, D.C., and New York City. The company was established in November 2011 by Jim Bankoff and Tr ...
, commenting on the rumors, stated that such a decision made sense, as Intel was failing to make significant improvements to its processors, and could not compete with ARM chips on battery life. At WWDC 2020, Tim Cook announced that the Mac would be transitioning to Apple silicon chips, built upon an ARM architecture, over a two-year timeline. The
Rosetta 2 Rosetta is a Binary translation#Dynamic binary translation, dynamic binary translator developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, an application compatibility layer between different instruction set architectures. It enables a transition to newer hardwar ...
translation layer was also introduced, enabling Apple silicon Macs to run Intel apps. On November 10, 2020, Apple announced their first system-on-a-chip designed for the Mac, the
Apple M1 Apple M1 is a series of ARM-based systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) designed by Apple Inc. as a central processing unit A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor, main processor or just Processor (computing), processor, is ...
, and a series of Macs that would ship with the M1: the
MacBook Air The MacBook Air is a line of ultrabook computers developed and manufactured by Apple Inc. It consists of a full-size Computer keyboard, keyboard, a machining, machined aluminum case, and, in the more modern versions, a thin light structure. The ...
,
Mac Mini Mac Mini (stylized as Mac mini) is a small form factor (desktop and motherboard), small form factor desktop computer developed and marketed by Apple Inc. , it is positioned between the consumer all-in-one iMac (Intel-based), iMac and the profes ...
, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. These new Macs received highly positive reviews, with reviewers highlighting significant improvements in battery life, performance, and heat management compared to previous generations. The iMac Pro was quietly discontinued on March 6, 2021. On April 20, 2021, a new 24-inch iMac was revealed, featuring the M1 chip, seven new colors, thinner white bezels, and an enclosure made entirely from recycled aluminum. On October 18, 2021, Apple announced new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros featuring a bezel-less mini-LED 120 Hz ProMotion display, and the return of a MagSafe,
HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a proprietary hardware, proprietary audio/video Interface (computing), interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant s ...
port, and
SD card Secure Digital, officially abbreviated as SD, is a proprietary format, proprietary non-volatile memory, non-volatile Flash memory, flash memory card format developed by the SD Association, SD Association (SDA) for use in portable devices. The s ...
slot. On March 8, 2022, the
Mac Studio Mac Studio is a small-form-factor workstation A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or computational science, scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by a single user, they are commonly connected to a loc ...
was unveiled, featuring more powerful M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips in a similar form factor to the Mac Mini. It drew highly positive reviews for its flexibility and wide range of available ports. Its performance was deemed "impressive", beating the highest-end Mac Pro with a 28-core Intel Xeon chip, while being significantly more power efficient and compact. It was introduced alongside the Studio Display, and was meant to replace the 27-inch iMac, which was discontinued on the same day. At WWDC 2022, Apple announced an updated MacBook Air based on a new M2 chip. It incorporates several changes from the 14-inch MacBook Pro, such as a flat, slab-shaped design, full-sized function keys,
MagSafe MagSafe is a series of proprietary magnet A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is responsible for the most notable property of a magnet: a force that pulls on other ferr ...
charging, and a Liquid Retina display, with rounded corners and a notch incorporating a 1080p webcam.


Current lineup


Marketing

The original Macintosh was marketed at
Super Bowl XVIII Super Bowl XVIII was an American football American football (referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada), also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American footba ...
with the highly-acclaimed "1984" ad, directed by
Ridley Scott Sir Ridley Scott (born 30 November 1937) is a British film director and producer. Directing, among others, science fiction films, his work is known for its atmospheric and highly concentrated visual style. Scott has received many accolades th ...
. The ad alluded to
George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, social criticism, opposition to totalit ...
's novel ''Nineteen Eighty-Four,'' and symbolized Apple's desire to "rescue" humanity from the conformity of computer industry giant IBM. The ad is now considered a "watershed event" and a "masterpiece." Before the Macintosh, high-tech marketing catered to industry insiders rather than consumers, and as a result, journalists covered technology like the "steel or automobiles" industries, with articles written for a highly technical audience. The Macintosh launch event pioneered event marketing techniques that have since become "widely emulated" in Silicon Valley, by creating a mystique about the product and giving an inside look into its creation. Apple also took a new "multiple exclusives" approach regarding the press, giving "over one hundred interviews to journalists that lasted over six hours apiece", and introduced a new "Test Drive a Macintosh" campaign. Apple's brand, which established a "heartfelt connection with consumers", is cited as one of the keys to the Mac's success. After Steve Jobs's return to the company, he unveiled the Think different ad campaign, positioning the Mac as the best computer for "creative people who believe that one person can change the world". The campaign featured black-and-white photographs of luminaries like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr., with Jobs saying: "if they ever used a computer, it would have been a Mac." The ad campaign was critically acclaimed and won several awards, including the a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial, Primetime Emmy. In the 2000s, Apple continued to use successful marketing campaigns to promote its Mac line, including the Switch (ad campaign), Switch and Get a Mac campaigns. Apple's focus on design and build quality has helped establish the Mac as a high-end, premium brand. The company's emphasis on creating iconic and visually appealing designs for its computers has given them a "human face" and made them stand out in a crowded market. Apple has long made use of product placements in high-profile movies and television shows to showcase Mac computers, like ''Mission: Impossible, Legally Blonde, and Sex and the City.'' Apple is known for not allowing producers to show villains using Apple products. Its own shows produced for the Apple TV+ streaming service often feature prominent use of MacBooks. The Mac is known for having a highly brand loyalty, loyal customer base. In 2022, the American Customer Satisfaction Index gave the Mac the highest customer satisfaction score of any personal computer, at 82 out of 100. At of that same year, Apple is the fourth largest vendor of personal computers, with a market share of 8.9%.


Hardware

Apple outsources the production of its hardware to Asian original equipment manufacturer, manufacturers like
Foxconn Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Hon Hai Technology Group in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, ...
and Pegatron, maintaining a high degree of control over the end-product. As a highly vertically integrated company, Apple produces its own operating system and designs its own chips, allowing for tight control over all aspects of its products and deeper integration between hardware and software. All current Macs use ARM-based Apple silicon processors, except the Mac Pro. Apple silicon Macs have been praised for their performance and power efficiency. They can run Intel apps through the
Rosetta 2 Rosetta is a Binary translation#Dynamic binary translation, dynamic binary translator developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, an application compatibility layer between different instruction set architectures. It enables a transition to newer hardwar ...
translation layer, as well as iOS and iPadOS apps distributed via the App Store (iOS/iPadOS), App Store. All current Mac models come equipped with high-speed Thunderbolt (interface), Thunderbolt 4 or USB4, USB 4 connectivity, with speeds up to 40Gbit/s. Current Apple silicon Macs have custom integrated graphics rather than graphics cards. MacBooks are recharged with either USB-C or
MagSafe MagSafe is a series of proprietary magnet A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is responsible for the most notable property of a magnet: a force that pulls on other ferr ...
connectors, depending on the model. Apple offers a range of accessories for the Mac, including the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR external monitors, the AirPods line of wireless headphones, and Apple keyboards, keyboards and Apple pointing devices, mice such as the Magic Keyboard (Mac), Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse.


Software

Macs run the macOS operating system, which is the Usage share of operating systems#Desktop and laptop computers, second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows and ahead of ChromeOS. macOS is the successor of the classic Mac OS, which saw nine releases between 1984 and 1999. The latest version of Classic Mac OS, Mac OS 9, was introduced in 1999, and still evokes nostalgia for some users, part of a trend known as retrocomputing. Mac OS 9 was succeeded by MacOS, Mac OS X in 2001. Over the years, Mac OS X was rebranded to OS X, and is now known as macOS. macOS is a derivative of NextSTEP and FreeBSD. It uses the XNU kernel, and the core of macOS has been open-sourced as the Darwin operating system. macOS features the
Aqua Aqua is the Latin word for water. It is used in many words which relate to water, such as aquatic life. In English, it may also refer to: Arts * Aqua (color), a greenish-blue color Business * Aqua (skyscraper), an 82-story residential skysc ...
user interface, the Cocoa set of frameworks, and the Objective-C and Swift (programming language), Swift programming languages. Macs are deeply integrated with other Apple devices, including the iPhone and iPad, through OS X Yosemite#Continuity, Continuity features like OS X Yosemite#Continuity, Handoff, MacOS Catalina#Sidecar, Sidecar, MacOS Monterey#Changes, Universal Control, and MacOS Sierra#Auto Unlock and Universal Clipboard, Universal Clipboard. The first version of Mac OS X, version Mac OS X 10.0, Mac OS X Cheetah, was released in March 2001. Major releases include Mac OS X Tiger, which added Spotlight (Apple), Spotlight search, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, which brought refinements, stability, and full 64-bit computing, 64-bit support,
OS X Lion OS X Lion, also known as Mac OS X Lion, (version 10.7) is the eighth major release of macOS macOS (; previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. ...
, which took many features from the iPad, OS X Yosemite, which removed skeuomorphic interface elements, macOS Sierra, which added Apple File System (APFS) support, macOS Mojave, which added a dark mode for applications, and macOS Big Sur, which introduced an iOS-inspired redesign of the user interface. The Mac has a List of Mac software, wide variety of apps available, including cross-platform apps like Google Chrome,
Microsoft Office Microsoft Office, or simply Office, is the former name of a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketin ...
, Adobe Creative Cloud, Wolfram Mathematica, Mathematica, Visual Studio Code, Ableton Live, and Cinema 4D. Apple has also developed several apps for the Mac, including Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro,
iWork iWork is an office suite of applications created by Apple Inc. for its macOS and iOS operating systems, and also available cross-platform through the iCloud website. It includes the presentation program, presentation application Keynote (presen ...
,
GarageBand GarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS devices that allows users to create music or podcasts. GarageBand is developed by Apple for macOS, and was once part of the iLife software su ...
, and
iMovie iMovie (known at times as iMovie HD) is a preinstalled video editing software, video editing application developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS devices. It was originally released in 1999 as a Mac OS 8 application bundled with the ...
. A large amount of open-source software applications run natively on macOS, like LibreOffice, GIMP, and VLC media player, VLC, as well as command-line programs, which can be installed through Homebrew (package manager), Homebrew. Many applications written for Linux kernel, Linux or
BSD The Berkeley Software Distribution or Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD) is a discontinued operating system based on Research Unix, developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California, Berke ...
also run on macOS, often using X Window System, X11. Apple's official integrated development environment (Integrated development environment, IDE) is Xcode, allowing developers to create apps for the Mac and other Apple platforms. The current release of macOS is macOS Ventura, which launched on October 24, 2022.


Timeline


Notes


References


Books

* * * * * * * *


Print

*


Further reading

* This is an interview about the introduction of the Macintosh. * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control Macintosh computers, Macintosh computer Computer-related introductions in 1984 Macintosh platform, Apple computers Steve Jobs