Today in Apple history: Mac clone-maker peaks before a dizzying decline

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
Power Computing's clone Macs were built for speed.
Photo: Antnik

June 4: Today in Apple history: Mac clone-maker Power Computing peaks, begins rapid decline June 4, 1997: Mac clone-maker Power Computing hits its high point — but it’s also the beginning of the end.

Power Computing’s boss reaches an agreement with Apple CEO Gil Amelio concerning the forthcoming Mac OS 8. The deal allows the company to start making moves toward an IPO as the fastest-growing PC company of the decade. Things don’t turn out quite so well!

Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss

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money
In 1996, Apple's worst quarter yet sees the company lose $700 million.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 28: Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss March 28, 1996: In a dire message to Wall Street, Apple warns that it will report a $700 million after-tax loss for its most recent quarter.

Apple’s biggest quarterly loss in history, the shocking news reveals a company in far more financial trouble than previously thought. More than half the loss comes from $1 billion of unsold products.

Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8

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Mac OS 8 gave Apple a much-needed revenue boost.
More than just a system update, Mac OS 8 was a nasty surprise for clone-makers.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 8: Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8 March 8, 1997: Apple renames the forthcoming Mac OS 7.7 update, calling it “Mac OS 8.” It’s more than just a name change, though: It’s a sneaky sucker punch that ultimately knocks out Mac clones.

Unfortunately for Mac users, the updated operating system does not deliver the total top-to-bottom rewrite promised by Apple’s Project Copland. However, the renaming strategy turns out to be a brilliant (if underhanded) way of getting Apple out of terrible licensing deals.

Today in Apple history: Apple signs ‘clone Mac’ deal

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
This was the start of the clone Mac era.
Photo: Antnik

December 16: Today in Apple history: Apple signs clone Mac deal with Power Computing December 16, 1994: Apple Computer inks a licensing deal with Power Computing, allowing the company to produce Macintosh-compatible computers.

With falling market share, and longtime rival Microsoft steaming ahead thanks to its software-licensing strategy, Apple executives think the only way to compete is for Apple to hand over its operating system for third-party Macs.

Of course, it doesn’t turn out exactly like that…

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WWDC has been home to some seismic announcements over the years.
Photo: Daniel Spiess/Flickr CC