January 17, 1984: A week before its famous airing during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic “1984” ad debuts as a trailer in movie theaters.
To hype its revolutionary new Macintosh computer, Apple buys several months of promotion from theatrical ad distributor ScreenVision. Cupertino’s sci-fi-tinged “1984” spot — which depicts a sledgehammer-wielding freedom fighter taking on a Big Brother figure supposed to represent IBM —
gets such a favorable audience reaction that some theater owners continue to roll the ad after Apple’s contract ends.
It’s not too late to give your Christmas tree a holiday makeover that any Apple fan would be proud of. Grab some string, download Cult of Mac’s awesome decorations inspired by iconic Apple devices, and get hanging!
Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Macintosh team, has uploaded an unseen series of 1983 interview snippets intended to be used for Mac ads. The mini interviews feature the likes of Hertzfeld, Mike Murray, Burrell Smith, Bill Atkinson, Susan Kare, and George Crow talking about Apple’s then in-development computer.
The ads were never used — but it’s a great nostalgic look back at the enthusiasm surrounding the original Macintosh 128K.
November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by licensing the Macintosh’s look and feel to Microsoft.
The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the heels of the Windows operating system’s 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.”
November 8, 1984: When initial Mac sales prove disappointing, Apple CEO John Sculley dreams up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign to encourage people to give the revolutionary new computer a chance.
While 200,000 would-be Apple customers take advantage of the offer, Apple dealers absolutely hate it.
October 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 experiences one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, Apple slashes the computer’s launch price of $2,949 to $1,899. That’s one way to reward early adopters!