The Apple Mac at 30: See the Evolution of an Icon
The Mac put Apple on the map. Thirty years ago today, the company announced the iconic computer with a truly revolutionary Superbowl commercial. Inspired by Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the 60-second TV spot directed by Ridley Scott is still considered one of the landmark ads of the 20th century.
What started out as “a humble, shoe-box sized machine” has grown into an industry-dominating line of devices. Currently, Mac sales continue to surge as the rest of PC market buckles under the pressure from skyrocketing mobile device sales.
As its popularity grew so too did the face of the Mac — both in terms of hardware and interface. After floundering through the early 90s while Steve Jobs was at NeXT, Apple’s next big hit came in the form of candy-colored iMac. Introduced in 1998, it was a complete revamp of the traditionally boring, beige desktop PC.
Of course, hardware wasn’t only thing Apple improved over the years. In 2001, the company introduced Mac OS X, a complete reimagining of its previous operating system, and one that was based around the NeXT software it acquired in 1996. It was at this point that the Mac ecosystem really took off.
So from a tiny beige box, to a candy-colored desktop, to an ultra-sleek silver sliver, here’s how Apple’s Mac lineup has evolved over the past 30 years.