Today in Apple history: Apple’s eWorld online service goes live

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macintosh_90s-780x639
It doesn't get more 1990s than this!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

June 20: Today in Apple historyJune 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, eWorld is supposed to push Apple into competition with the likes of AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.

Today in Apple history: New Power Mac is faster and more expandable

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Power Macintosh 9500
This was the iMac Pro of its day.
Photo: Übernommen/Wikipedia CC

June 19: Today in Apple history June 19, 1995: Apple releases the Power Macintosh 9500, a high-end Macintosh 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 (PCI) slots, allowing it to attach to other hardware using the Intel-developed industry standard connection. Along with seven bays for internal drives and a swappable daughterboard, this makes it the most expandable Power Mac ever produced.

Today in Apple history: The first great color PowerBook arrives

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Do you remember the PowerBook 180c?
Photo: Wikipedia CC

x June 7, 1993: Apple debuts the PowerBook 180c laptop, a solid upgrade to the impressive PowerBook 180 that launched the previous October.

The 180c’s big improvement over the grayscale PowerBook 180 is its active-matrix, 256-color screen — offering a world of dazzling colors that is something of a novelty for laptops in the early 1990s.

Today in Apple history: Apple shows off the Newton for the first time

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The Apple Newton. Failure, or precursor of the iPhone?
Remember the MessagePad?
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

May29Apple demonstrates the Newton MessagePad for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago.

Hailed by Apple CEO John Sculley as “nothing less than a revolution,” the Newton is Apple’s first major new product line since the Macintosh eight years earlier. During the demo, the press is shown how users will be able to perform tasks like ordering pizzas by moving around topping icons on a pie base, and then faxing the order straight from the device.

Delays in the project mean that the first-gen Newton doesn’t ship for more than another year, however.

Today in Apple history: Newton spins off as its own company

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Newton MessagePad 2000
Things were looking up for the Newton MessagePad. Until they weren't.
Photo: iFixit

May22May 22, 1997: Apple spins off its Newton division as its own company, to be led by former vice president of the Newton Systems Group Sandy Benett as Chief Operating Officer.

The new company’s goal is to market and sell the new MessagePad 2000 PDA, as well as 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,” Bennett says.

Instead, it turns out to be the beginning of the end …

Today in Apple history: The best Mac portable to date

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Powerbook 5000c-2
Do you remember the PowerBook 540c?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

May16May 16, 1994: Apple launches the PowerBook 540c, one of the best laptops in its 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 ($9,139 in today’s money), it had better be…

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs spells out a new strategy for Mac OS

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs introduced the world to OS X.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

May11 May 11, 1998: As part of his mission to turn Apple around, Steve Jobs spells out the company’s Mac operating system strategy going forward.

The company will ship Mac OS 8.5 and the first customer release of an OS called Rhapsody that fall, he says at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. The big news, however, is that Apple is hard at work creating a major new operating system called OS X, scheduled to arrive the following year.

Today in Apple history: PowerBook G3 gets thinner, lighter and bronze-er

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Powerbook
Do you remember the PowerBook G3 Lombard?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

May10 May 10, 1999: The third-generation PowerBook G3 comes in 20 percent slimmer and 2 pounds lighter than its predecessor, but most people remember the laptop for its “bronze” keyboard.

Although it doesn’t get a new name to distinguish it from previous laptops in the lineup, fans call it “Lombard” after Apple’s internal code name (or simply the “PowerBook G3 Bronze Keyboard”).

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 its day.
Photo: Apple

May8May 8, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 2400c laptop, a 4.4 pound “subnotebook” that’s the MacBook Air of its day.

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

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first watch is a freebie for upgraders

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watch
Apple's first watch was... well, just a watch, actually.
Photo: Jonathan Morrison

May 2 May 2, 1995: Apple enters the wearables space with its first watch, a timepiece with no fitness-tracking tech, no on-screen notifications and a whole lot of 1990s styling.

The (real) first Apple watch comes two decades before wearables will become a thing. A regular wristwatch, the freebie gadget is available as a special mail-in offer to System 7.5 upgraders.