On January 24, 1984, Apple released its first Apple Macintosh system––the Macintosh 128k. The Macintosh 128k, a personal computer, cost $2,495 at the time (equivalent to about $5,664 today) and had a keyboard, a mouse, and a 9-inch monitor. Since then, Apple has released hundreds of Macintosh Systems––from the iBook and Powerbook to the iMac and Macbook Air.
This Silk will use data from the EveryMac database to trace the Macintosh Evolution from 1984 to the present.
Apple's First Macintosh Commercial
Apple has created hundreds of Macintosh systems over the years. As of today, over 1000 Macintosh systems have been released. Each and every system has a unique case type––whether it is desktop, tower, cuboid, handheld, portable, or an “all-in-one” personal computer.
Check out all Macintosh systems created by Apple below. Use the dropdown menu to filter Macintosh systems by case type or release year.
Explore more Macintosh systems by visiting the Macs Visualized page.
Macintosh Creation: Yearly Overview
The year 1997 is an outlier. During that year there was a surge in the number of Macintosh systems released by Apple. This can be explained by looking at Apple's history.
In 1997, Gil Amelio, the CEO of Apple at the time, was ousted after a bad quarter. He was then replaced by Steve Jobs, who served as Apple’s CEO until August 2011.
The period between 1997 - 2001 is considered as Apple’s “comeback,” whereby Steve Jobs worked hard to rebrand Apple by launching the “Think Different” campaign, striking a partnership with Microsoft, introducing the first iMac and, later, the Power Mac––the world’s fastest computer at the time.
Total Number of Macintosh Systems Released, by year. (1984-present)
Case Types of Macintosh Systems
The majority of Macintosh systems that have been released have a "tower" case type, pictured below. Notebooks, otherwise referred to as laptops, make up about 25% (252) of Macintosh systems released by Apple since 1984. Followed by desktops, 15.6% (158).
Top-5 Processors Released by Apple
Diagram of Symmetric Multiprocessing
Portable Macintosh: Then and Now
The truth of the matter is, many of the Macintosh systems' case types are no longer created by Apple. With the advent of laptops, many have forgotten about desktops or tower computers.
The picture on the left shows Apple's first laptop––the Powerbook 100. At the time, it was an estimated 5.1 pounds. The picture on the right is of the latest Macbook, weighing about 2.03 pounds.
Over the years, Apple has transformed the "Mac"––from the creation of the 128k Macintosh desktop computer to the release of one of the world's thinnest and lightest laptops.
Watch this evolution unfold by watching thirty years of Mac advertisements––from 1984 to 2014.