June 27, 1997: The last day of another disappointing quarter brings an end to CEO Gil Amelio’s 500 days running Apple.
The $56 million quarterly loss contributes to an overall deficit of $1.6 billion during Amelio’s reign. The slump effectively wipes out every cent of profit Cupertino earned since fiscal 1991. After losing money for six out of the last seven quarters, Apple seems past the point of no return.
June 20, 1994: Apple launches eWorld, a subscription service for Mac owners that’s designed to compete with America Online and other nascent online properties.
Part messaging service and part news aggregator, Apple envisions eWorld competing with heavy hitters like AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.
June 19, 1995: Apple releases the Power Macintosh 9500, a high-end Mac that boasts a second-generation PowerPC chip that’s much faster than its predecessor.
The Power Mac 9500 is also significant for coming with six Peripheral Component Interconnect, or PCI, slots. They allow owners to attach hardware using Intel’s industry-standard connection. Along with seven bays for internal drives and a swappable daughterboard, this makes the 9500 the most expandable Power Mac ever produced.
June 18, 1993: John Sculley steps down as Apple CEO after a 10-year run..
Sculley is asked to leave by the Apple board after AAPL shares collapse from a high of $4.33 in 1992 to 73 cents the following year. He hands over the CEO role to Michael Spindler before briefly taking the role of Apple chairman, prior to departing altogether.
June 7, 1993: Apple debuts the PowerBook 180c, a solid upgrade that brings a world of dazzling colors to the company’s laptop line.
The 180c’s big improvement over the grayscale PowerBook 180, which launched the previous October, is its active-matrix, 256-color screen. Such a screen is something of a novelty for laptops in the early 1990s.
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!
May 29, 1992: Apple demonstrates the Newton MessagePad for the first time, showing how the upcoming PDA can be used to order a pizza and pull off other time-saving tricks.
Hailed by Apple CEO John Sculley as “nothing less than a revolution,” the Newton is Apple’s first major new product since the Macintosh eight years earlier. During the Newton demo at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Apple shows how people can customize a pizza by moving topping icons on a symbolic pie, then fax the order straight from the device.
May 22, 1997: Apple spins off its Newton division. The new company’s first job? Selling the MessagePad 2000 PDA.
Newton Inc. also has a mandate to develop new technologies and market existing ones. “We have a solid business plan and a strong management team in place to optimize the value of Newton technology for corporate users and take Newton technology into a new era,” says Sandy Benett, former vice president Apple’s Newton Systems Group and chief operating officer of the new venture.
Instead, it turns out to be the beginning of the end for the ahead-of-its-time Apple PDA.
May 16, 1994: Apple launches the PowerBook 540c, one of the best laptops in the company’s history.
Part of the innovative 500 series of PowerBooks, the 540c is the laptop to own in 1994. Blisteringly fast, packed with innovative features, and offering the best notebook display on the market, it’s a triumph on every level. Although for $5,539 (well over $10,000 in today’s money), it had better be…