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Photos: 10 greatest Apple inventions EVER!

Last updated on: July 13, 2011 09:10 IST

Photos: 10 greatest Apple inventions EVER!

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Gourav Jain, Tech2Date.com

10 finest products from Apple that changed the definition of computers and technology in this sector.

It has been barely a few hours since Steve Jobs announced his resignation as cheif executive of Apple Inc ending his 14-year reign at the technology giant he co-founded in a garage.

Even as Apple shares dived seven per cent in after-hours trade, few industry watchers are worried. Because what Steve Jobs created can probably never be destroyed.

Last month, we'd published an article about the ten greatest Apple inventions. Today, we are republishing this article and looking back at Jobs' legacy.

Today's Apple machines are small enough to fit into your pockets but it never started like that. About more than 25 years before when Apple's first iconic status machine was released it was like the invention of wheel to cave men. Here's a sneak-peek into 10 best Apple machines of all time.

Courtesy: Tech2Date.com

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Image: A collage of greatest Apple machines ever

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1. The Macintosh of 1984

This was the original Mac machine to have all-in-one compact design along with innovative mouse and its graphical user interface (GUI) that was user-friendly. The Mac PC of 1984 changed the computer industry. It made things convenient for users.

In the early 1980s PCs were controlled through text commands exclusively. First time in 1983 Apple launched a GUI named Lisa, but it was heavily priced at $9,995. This machine failed to capture the attention of people.

In 1983 Mac was released at much cheaper price. At $2,495 it attracted everyone even who did not know or wish to learn cryptic command-line language. It had 128KB RAM and 8MHz processor.

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Image: Macintosh 1984

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2. The PowerBook 100 series of 1991

Apple launched a new series of portable line-up in 1991 that included PowerBook 100, 140 and 170. It was a joint venture with Sony and featured 10-inch monochrome screen. The three models became the blueprint for all subsequent laptops in terms of designs.

The earlier edition of portable Macintosh called Macintosh Portable weighed 7.2kg. It was not so portable but introduced trackball to mobile computing. The PowerBook series placed keyboard towards the screen so that users get the comfort of resting their palms.

It also placed the trackball in the centre of the palm rest which was earlier at the side. It became so popular that in the first year it brought $1 billion revenue to Apple.

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Image: PowerBook 100 series 1991

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3. The Power Mac G3 of 1997

This Apple machine represented a new beginning for the company. After the return of CEO Steve Jobs, Power Macintosh G3 was the first computer released. He then slashed to few core products from dozens in the product line and also cancelled cloning licences of the company with third-party manufacturers.

Power Mac G3 took forward Apple in using industry-standard components in order to bring down the cost of its machines. The G3 chip of Motorola gave an improved performance and also used far less power than the earlier chipsets.

The machine came at 233MHz chip speed. Until the introduction of G4 processor, the G3 chip set was the foundation for all computer lineup of Apple.

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Image: Power Mac G3 1997

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4. The iMac of 1998

iMac reversed the fortunes of Apple, as many pundits claim. It found a place on the desks of consumer and in pop-culture history with its playful colours and distinctive looks. It featured G3 processor but had no legacy ports.

Moreover, it relied on Universal Serial Bus, which is technology offering plug-and-play ease for hot-swappable capabilities and connecting peripherals.

iMac became the first machine to drop the floppy drives support. It was priced at $1,299.

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Image: iMac 1998

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5. The PowerBook G3 'Wallstreet' of 1998

Wallstreet was the second generation portable lineup of Apple with its sleek shape and featuring G3 chipset. It had 14.1-inch screen, optical drives, two docking bays to hold batteries etc. It became instant classic.

The Pismo version of Wallstreet released in February was much lighter and thinner in shape. It had FireWire 400 port and AirPort wireless networking.

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Image: PowerBook G3 'Wallstreet' 1998

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6. The iBook of 1999

The iBook G3 brought back the G3 chip. Similar to iMac, the iBook also ditched all legacy ports for USB and it had a handle. It was the first laptop of Apple to come without a latch and also shipped with circular wireless charger.

One thing to take note of here is it was the first-ever mainstream consumer device showcasing wireless networking.

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Image: iBook 1999

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7. The Power Mac G4 Cube of 2000

Power Mac G4 Cube was the most controversial release of Apple but it also deserves to be listed as one of the greatest machines of the company. It had bagged several design awards and also found a place at the Museum of Modern Art.

The machine stood on 8-inch cube of technology suspended in a 10-inch clear acrylic enclosure. It relied on vertical optical drive and had touch sensor. The internals of the machine was cooled with the help of convection currents. The warm air relased from the top vent pulled cool air through the bottom and the acrylic's rear openings.

Using G4 processor, it was the most compact desktop of Apple then. Its high price made people just to look at it but not to buy.

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Image: Power Mac G4 Cube 2000

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8. The (Intel-based) iMac of 2006

Before the launch of Intel-based iMac, Apple announced that it was about to leave the PowerPC architecture and move towards Core Duo processor platform from Intel. The company added that this change would enable thinner engineering and more powerful computers.

It was January 10, 2006 when Apple made an announcement at Macworld Expo that the new arriving iMac will become the first Apple desktop with Intel chipset.

Apple facilitated in it the running of Windows either virtually with third-party software or with the software of Apple Boot Camp. Hence, it has given the businesses and users a safety net if they want to switch away from PCs to Macs.

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Image: iMac 2006

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9. The iPhone/iPod touch of 2007

Technically it cannot be called a Mac, but its ultra-portable run had stripped-down several versions of Mac OS X. It made Macs small enough to fit in the pockets.

After its announcement in 2007 at Macworld Expo, the iPhone took the mobile world by storm. Many of its features such as the Core Animation were not available on the desktop version of Mac OS X. The iPhone did the same to the mobile industry as the original Macintosh machine did to computer industry.

With successive updates of iPhone software and its cousin the iPod touch, the machines gained more stability and more features. The thousands of available applications from App Store gave it the name of a true platform.

Similar to the original Macintosh, iPhone has now reset the competition bar and has raised the expectations of consumers. The iPhone and iPod touch is now the epitome of 25 years of Apple design.

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Image: iPhone/iPod Touch 2007

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10. The MacBook Air of 2008

The original MacBook Air had no built-in optical drive, no FireWire ports, no expansion card slots, and also had only one USB port. Keeping these aside, the Air was the first Mac machine which featured optional solid-state hard drive along with a special Intel design processor in both 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz model.

The MacBook Air had 13-inch screen giving room for full-size keyboard comfort typing. It also had new and larger trackpad to support multi-touch capabilities.

These are the finest products from Apple which changed the definition of computers and technology on this sector.

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Image: MacBook Air 2008

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