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Today in Apple history: 1997’s ‘MacBook Air’ weighed 4.4 pounds

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The PowerBook 2400c was Apple's ultra-thin laptop of the late '90s.
The PowerBook 2400c was Apple's ultra-thin laptop of the late '90s.
Photo: Apple

May 8: Today in Apple history: PowerBook 2400c launch May 8, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 2400c laptop, a 4.4-pound “subnotebook” that’s the MacBook Air of its day.

The PowerBook 2400c predicts the rise of speedy, lightweight notebooks, while also paying tribute to Apple’s past. Its design echoes the original PowerBook 100. Even years later, it remains a cult favorite among many Mac users.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout

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Antennagate
Do you remember Antennagate?
Photo: Apple

March 29: Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout March 29, 2012: Apple settles its “Antennagate” controversy by giving affected iPhone 4 owners the chance to claim a whopping $15 payout.

The settlement covers customers who experienced problems with the phone dropping calls due to its cutting-edge design, but were not able to return their handsets (or didn’t want a free bumper from Apple to mitigate against the problem).

While it’s arguable whether a $15 payout was worth filing all the paperwork necessary to claim the cash, the Antennagate story and the subsequent class-action lawsuit generated big headlines at the time.

Today in Apple history: Twentieth Anniversary Mac lands with a thud

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The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh launched exactly two decades ago on March 20, 1997.
The Twentieth Anniversary Mac offered a glimpse of the future.
Photo: Apple

March 20: Today in Apple history: Twentieth Anniversary Mac lands with a thud March 20, 1997: Apple launches its Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, a futuristic, special-edition Mac that’s ahead of its time in every way.

Not part of any established Mac line, it brings a look (and a price!) unlike anything else available. And yet the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh promptly bombs. Today, it’s a collector’s piece.

Today in Apple history: The ultra-fast Macintosh IIfx speeds into stores

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Mac IIfx
The IIfx was the fastest Mac of its day.
Photo: Old Computr

March 19: Today in Apple history: The ultra-fast Macintosh IIfx speeds into stores March 19, 1990: The ultra-fast Macintosh IIfx makes its debut, sporting a hefty price tag appropriate for such a speedy machine.

The fastest Macintosh of its day, it boasts a CPU running at a “wicked fast” 40 MHz. It gains an additional speed bump from a pair of Apple-designed, application-specific integrated circuits. Prices start at $9,870 and run up to $12,000 — the equivalent of $21,425 to $26,048.91 in 2022 terms!

Apple needs to shake up its boring iPhone Pro color options

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In some lighting, the Sierra Blue iPhone 13 Pro looks OK. In others, not so much.
In some lighting, the Sierra Blue iPhone 13 Pro looks OK. In others, not so much.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Confession time: I’ve got the Sierra Blue blues.

Like so many others, I absolutely love my iPhone 13 Pro. It’s the perfect size, and the amped-up camera works beautifully. (Love those macro shots!) Six months on, the performance, the reliability, that gorgeous ProMotion screen — it’s all fantastic.

But the one thing that fails to surprise and delight me after half a year is the Sierra Blue color I picked. It’s just … meh.

Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback

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The Flower Power iMac G3 and Blue Dalmatian iMac G3 were two of the wackier Macs in history.
These were two of the wackier Macs ever.
Photo: Apple

February 22: Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback February 22, 2001: The iMac Special Edition, sporting custom Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian designs, puts a wacky face on the computer that saved Apple’s bacon at the turn of the century.

A far cry from the super-serious, aluminum-heavy industrial design that will come to define Apple, these colorfully patterned iMacs are some of the most irreverent computers Cupertino ever dreamed up. (C’mon, when was a real Dalmatian blue?)

Under the consciously tacky exterior hummed a pretty darn great iMac G3, though.

Today in Apple history: iPod mini is ‘world’s smallest music player’

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The iPod mini, which Apple
Apple makes big waves with the iPod mini.
Image: Apple

February 20: Today in Apple history: iPod mini launch shows off 'world's smallest music player' February 20, 2004: Music goes small as the iPod mini launch brings the reimagined digital audio player to Apple stores.

Released with 4GB of storage and in five colors, the diminutive iPod mini features a new “click wheel” that integrates control buttons into a solid-state, touch-sensitive scroll wheel. It also showcases Cupertino’s growing fascination with aluminum, which will become a hallmark of Apple design.

Despite its small size, the new music player’s market potential looms large. In fact, the iPod mini soon becomes the fastest-selling iPod yet.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad

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The iPad launch shook up the tech world, with the tablet computer becoming Apple's fastest-selling device.
Did you own an original iPad?
Photo: Apple

January 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad January 27, 2010: After months of rumors and speculation, Steve Jobs publicly shows off the iPad for the first time.

Aside from the name, which some people joke sounds like a female sanitary product, the iPad immediately earns critical acclaim. “The last time there was this much excitement over a tablet, it had some commandments written on it,” The Wall Street Journal quips.

When it goes on sale, the iPad quickly becomes Apple’s fastest-selling new product ever.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac

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The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
Photo: Rama/Wikipedia CC

January 16: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac January 16, 1986: Apple introduces the Macintosh Plus, its third Mac model and the first to be released after Steve Jobs was forced out of the company the previous year.

The Mac Plus boasts an expandable 1MB of RAM and a double-sided 800KB floppy drive. And it’s the first Macintosh to include a SCSI port, which serves as the main way of attaching a Mac to other devices (at least until Apple abandons the tech on the iMac G3 upon Jobs’ return).