Today in Apple history: Mac’s ‘1984’ ad debuts in theaters

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Before it won the Super Bowl, Apple's iconic Mac ad invaded theaters.
Photo: Chiat/Day/Apple

Jan17 January 17, 1984: A week before its famous appearance during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic “1984” ad debuts as a pre-movie trailer in theaters.

To sell its revolutionary new Macintosh computer, Apple buys several months of ad time from theatrical ad distributor ScreenVision. The sci-fi-tinged spot gets such a favorable reaction from audiences that some theater owners continue to roll the ad after Apple’s contract comes to an end.

Is iPhone Apple’s most significant product to date? [Friday Night Fights]

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Can you think of anything more important to Apple?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone celebrated its tenth anniversary this week, and it’s hard to imagine where Apple would be today without it. It is by far the company’s most successful product, but is it also its most significant to date?

Friday Night Fights bugApple revolutionized a number of product industries with the Mac, iPod, iTunes, and iPad — all of which have been incredibly successful at some point. It also pioneered new concepts with products like the Newton. Were any of these things more important to Apple than iPhone?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we relive our first experiences with iPhone and discuss Apple’s most significant product releases.

Mac division has ‘lost clout’ with Jony Ive and Apple design team

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Has Apple forgotten about the Mac?
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Mac team has “lost clout” with the company’s industrial design group and software team, claims a new report, arguing that Cupertino has “alienated Mac loyalists.”

The picture painted by the article is of a division with a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key employees, and technical challenges — all conspiring to make the Mac one of Apple’s forgotten divisions.

Today in Apple history: Apple signs damaging deal with Microsoft

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One of the most damaging deals in Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Nov21November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by signing away the rights to the Macintosh’s look and feel.

The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the hells of the Windows operating system’s initial release. The pact gives Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.”

Oh, boy!

Benedict Cumberbatch’s SNL toilet ad pokes fun at Apple

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And it comes in Jet Black, too.
Photo: SNL

Whether it was Slack’s CEO last week or SNL this past weekend, it seems the world can’t go more than a few days without paying homage to an iconic piece of Apple marketing.

In a new sketch for Saturday Night Live, none other than Benedict Cumberbatch stepped up to the plate bowl to offer a take on a futuristic toilet ad, which looks suspiciously like Ridley Scott’s “1984” ad for the original Macintosh.

Check it out below.

Today in Apple history: The forgotten first Mac with an internal CD-ROM

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Oct19
Do you remember the Macintosh IIvx?
Photo: Apple

 19October 19, 1992: Apple launches the Mac IIvx, the first Macintosh computer to ship with a metal case and, more importantly, an internal CD-ROM drive.

The last of the Macintosh II series, the Mac IIvx would experience one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, its launch price of $2,949 would be slashed to $1,899.

Well, that’s one way to reward early adopters…

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash over the Mac

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The war over the Macintosh's soul started this day in 1979.
Photo: Apple

Sept27September 27, 1979: Years before the Macintosh ships, Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin have their first clash over the direction of the Macintosh project, then in its early R&D stage.

As the founder of the Macintosh project, Raskin wants a computer that’s going to be affordable to everyone. Jobs wants a computer that’s going to be the best, regardless of price.

Guess who won?