[Flashback] Apple III, PowerBook 500, Newton and Apple Store
ABTco.us presents a new series of the Flashback project, in which we dive into the past and talk about what we remember this week in Apple history. Enjoy your viewing!
May 16, 1994
The PowerBook 500 series of computers was of interest to users in general a number of reasons. First, their price was unusual, which ranged from 2270 to 4840 dollars. Such a big difference in the minimum and maximum prices is explained by the "stuffing" of computers, in which it is necessary to note some features that appeared in computers of this class for the first time.
With the PowerBook 500 line, Apple laptops were the first to feature stereo speakers, the first to feature a PMCIA card slot, and the first laptop to feature a nickel-metal hydride battery.
But the most interesting thing was something else. Something that at first escaped public attention. We are talking, of course, about the touch trackpad. It was invented in 1988 by George Herfeid, but none of the manufacturers dared to replace the more familiar trackball “balls” with it in laptops.
No one, of course, except Apple, which first licensed this technology and first used it in practice in the PowerBook 500 series. The public first saw this line of machines on May 16, 1994.
May 19, 1980
The Apple III is probably the worst computer ever put on the market company from Cupertino. And the point here is not at all some innate problems with the characteristics, they, in comparison with products from competitors of that time, were on top. The whole problem lay in the performance of the computer itself.
The built-in clock chip didn't work, the computer had no fans and was prone to overheating, and the first slots were rusting from the inside. The blame for all of this has been blamed on quality control and assembly problems. But in fact, not everything was like that.
Corrosion is the only thing that could somehow be attributed to manufacturers, but everything else is the fault of Steve Jobs. The computer was so bad that Apple didn't use the suffix III in the names of its computers for the next 13 years. The Apple III was introduced to the public on May 19, 1980.
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May 19, 2001
When Apple first announced its desire to open its own retail chain of stores, the company fell under a flurry criticism from all sides. Perhaps only the lazy did not express skepticism about this desire of the Steve Jobs company. And it must be admitted that at that time such criticism was quite justified.
The reason for this criticism was the fiasco associated with the retail network of Gateway stores, which the company had tried to open a few years earlier. As a result, all Gateway's income went to the opening of stores that did not pay off - the company went bankrupt.
Independent resellers also received the news without much enthusiasm, logically fearing an outflow of their customers. But at that time, Apple's position did not seem quite strong enough to conduct such costly and risky experiments.
But in the Cupertino company itself, they were already determined and did not want to give up. The first day of operation of the retail store opened in Virginia showed the validity of the company's ambitions. It's hard to say what impressed customers more: stylish design, excellent service, Geniuses or a free bottle of water, but the Apple Store did not suffer from a lack of guests. Today, Apple stores adorn hundreds of cities around the world, and many countries, including ours, dream of opening their own Apple Store. And the very first Apple retail store opened its doors on May 19, 2001.
May 22, 1997
Cupertino once believed that the Newton was the world's first handheld or , as John Scully called it, PDA - will become the personification of the future of the company. And most importantly, Newton, among other things, will return the Cupertino company to a leading position in the computer world.
Slightly more than a billion dollars of investment in development, the first quarter of sales, and now Apple thinks that it’s a good start to return at least the money spent on this project. And then it only got worse.
At some point, Apple came up with a very original solution. If we put aside all the funds that were spent on the creation of Newton, then this whole business can be considered not only paying off, but profitable. And on May 22, 1997, Apple spun off Newton into a separate, independent company that became attractive to potential investors.