30 years ago, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), then known as Apple Computer, introduced its latest addition to the computing world, the Apple Macintosh, at Super Bowl XVIII in its legendary “1984” ad.
Two days later, Apple would release the Macintosh to the public, making computing accessible to almost anyone. Prior to the Macintosh’s release, computers with graphical user interfaces, or GUIs, were reserved for the wealthy and corporations, as prices started at around $10,000. Using GUI designs from the Apple Lisa and some concepts from Xerox’s (NYSE:XRX) PARC project (Steve Jobs managed to see the Xerox Alto and Smalltalk development tools in exchange for Apple stock options), the Apple Macintosh started a “revolution” of sorts. Before the Apple Macintosh, the general personal computing world that was dominated by IBM (NYSE:IBM) and computer companies such as Commodore International that focused their efforts on text-based interfaces.
While Apple's shift to a GUI-based environment initially irked software developers, who had to recode and redesign their software to work with the new environment, the revolutionary design coupled with the Macintosh’s affordable (by middle-class standards) price of $2,495 (about $5,594 today adjusted for inflation) served to make the Macintosh accessible to more than just computer enthusiasts. It was a computer for everyone.
Apple has continued to reflect that narrative throughout the years, especially with creatives and innovators who have utilized the Mac to design and create works of art, develop electronic music, and even revolutionize surgical techniques.
Continue Reading Below
In celebration of 30 years of the Macintosh, Apple has released the “Mac 30” video, along with a timeline that traces the Mac’s contribution to creativity and innovation over the years.
What was your first Mac? Let us know in the comments.