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

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Apple-BigBrother-1984
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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wood
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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The 2009 unibody iMac proved a watershed design for Jony Ive and Apple.
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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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
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.

What is Apple’s most important invention? [Friday Night Fights]

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invention
What's your pick?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple collectibles are a seller’s market

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Bids for this Apple I started at $370,000.
Bids for this Apple I started at $370,000.
Photo: Christie's

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugStarting a collection of Apple’s past is relatively easy and often affordable. But once you get started and a pricey, rare object presents itself, will you be able to control yourself?

Here’s a list that will test whether you have the fever and an intense desire to hold personal computing history in your hands. It may also test your fiscal fitness.

Apple reveals you’re saying its product names wrong

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Don't call them 'iPhones'
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s VP of Marketing Phil Schiller has revealed that pretty much everyone pronounces Apple’s product names completely wrong — and they don’t even know it.

Saying the plural form of “iPhone” seems like a fairly straightforward deal. It’s “iPhones,” right?

Not so, says Schiller, who unleashed a tweetstorm lecture on the official way to tell your friends that you own lots of Apple smartphones.

Apple veteran Bill Atkinson talks about the early days of Macintosh

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The real MacPaint in action. Source: Wikipedia
Bill Atkinson was the creator of MacPaint, among other innovations.
Photo: Apple

I’m a sucker for hearing ex-Apple employees talk about the company’s early days. In particular, it’s fascinating to find out more about the development of innovations like MacPaint and the Mac graphical interface, as well as speculate over who was really responsible for the Macintosh’s creation.

On this week’s episode of the Triangulation podcast, tech broadcaster Leo Laporte interviews Bill Atkinson about his 1978 to 1990 stint at Apple.

Check it out below: