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This Week in Apple History
by Owen Linzmayer
& Bryan Chaffin

January 1-10: eWorld, Cloning Begins, Gil Puts 'Em To Sleep, & iPod mini
Last update: January 3rd, 2005

The beginning of January is a special time in Apple history, if for no other reason than it's when the biggest trade show in the Mac world takes place. Macworld San Francisco has been the launching platform for many Mac models, the birth of entire new product lines, the beginning of the end for at least one Apple CEO, and the rebirth of another. Going back to the beginning, the first 10 days of January even saw the birth of Apple as a corporation, though the company got off the ground some 8 months earlier.

Some of the other major events that happened this week in Apple history include the introduction of multi-colored iMacs, the introduction of the Digital Hub concept, and the release of iTunes. Safari and GarageBand also got their start. Note too that this week marks both the end of the unauthorized Apple II cloning era, as well as the beginning of the short-lived authorized Mac clone era.

January 1-10

1977: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and A.C. "Mike" Markkula incorporate Apple. Two months later, Apple Computer, Inc. buys out the original partnership formed the previous April Fools’ Day by the two Steves and Ronald Wayne.

1978: Jef Raskin joins Apple as employee #31. Less than a year and a half later, Raskin would propose the project that eventually culminated in the creation of the Macintosh.

1984: Apple wins US$2.5 million from Franklin Computer Corporation in an Apple II clone lawsuit.

1994: Apple’s eWorld online service is announced. The failed service closed permanently in March 1996.

1995: Apple licenses the Macintosh to Radius.

1997: Apple CEO Gilbert Amelio gives a three-hour speech at Macworld Expo. The crowd stays awake only because they rightly suspect Steve Jobs will eventually make an appearance on stage.

1998: Apple releases Mac OS 8.1, the last operating system for 68040-based Macs.

1999: Apple introduces the 266-MHz revision C iMac available in Blueberry, Grape, Lime, Strawberry, and Tangerine.

2000: Steve Jobs officially becomes Apple CEO, and he publicly unveils Mac OS X for the first time.

2001: Apple releases iTunes 1.0 and Mac OS 9.1.

2002: With an installed base of 5 million, Mac OS X is named the default operating system for all future Macs. The Digital Hub concept is introduced at Macworld during a Steve Jobs

2003: Apple launches Safari, iLife, the first 17" PowerBook, and AirPort Extreme at Macworld.

2004: Apple announces GarageBand as part of the iLife '04 suite, as well as the iPod Mini. The latter product was met with fierce criticism for being overpriced at US$249. Apple also announced a partnership with HP for the first licensed iPod deal. 9 months later, the agreement produced the Apple iPod by HP, a rather uninspiring name for what is specifically an Apple-built iPod with the HP logo.

This week, Apple also hit the 2 million mark for iPods sold, a significant milestone for the company.

Other new products from Apple this week, include the Xserve G5 (single and dual 2.0 GHz processors) and Final Cut Express 2.0.

is the author of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, published by No Starch Press earlier this year (US$13.97 - Amazon).

is the editor of The Mac Observer, and was egged on, in-part, in his obsession with the Mac by Owen's first book, The Mac Bathroom Reader.

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