Chronology of Apple Computer Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1996

January 9
  • Apple Computer officially unveils the Newton 2.0 operating system. [1559] (December [271.N7])
January
  • Apple Computer's board of directors fire CEO Michael Spindler, and demote co-founder Mike Markkula from chairman to vice chairman. [430.38] [451.3] (February [1559])
January 31
  • At Demo 96 in Palm Springs, California, Apple Computer gives the first public showing of the Mac OS running on a PowerPC Platform (PPCP) computer. The prototype, built by IBM, uses a 132MHz PowerPC 604 processor. [430.42] [870.35,79] [2605.253]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer begins shipping the PowerBook 5300ce. [926.35]
February 2
  • At an emergency meeting of the board of directors of Apple Computer in New York, CEO Michael Spindler is replaced by Gilbert Amelio. [299.3] [381.11] [430.38] [455.2] [459.28] [861.30] [882.25] [896] [1559] [1886.70] [2605.240,264]
February 5
  • Gilbert Amelio also assumes the position of Chairman of Apple Computer. [861.30] [2605.198]
  • Netscape Communications ships Netscape Navigator 2.0 web browser for the Macintosh. Price is US$49. It features support for JavaScript, Java applets, streaming audio, and 3D. [1559] (March [1897.131])
February 9
  • Bandai Digital Entertainment unveils the Pippin Atmark computer. The system is licensed from Apple Computer, comes with keyboard, mouse, and modem for Internet access, and plugs into a television. [1559]
February 19
  • Apple Computer announces that Motorola's Computer Group has licensed the Mac OS. Motorola can also sub-license the Mac OS to other manufacturers who purchase PowerPC motherboards from Motorola. [381.11] [406] [861.31] [1559] [1597.87]
March 1
  • Apple Computer announces eWorld will close at the end of the month. [2605.151]
March 14
  • At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, Apple Computer introduces the Apple Newton MessagePad 130, with transreflective LCD with an electroluminescent backlight, battery life about 8 hours (4 with backlight on), 1.2 MB heap space, 20 MHz ARM 610 RISC processor, 320x240 pixel display, one Type II PC Card slot, 2.5 MB internal RAM, for US$799. [1813.113] [2605.198] (June [884.45])
March
  • Apple Computer releases System 7.5 Update 2.0. [861.32]
March 31
  • Apple Computer shuts off eWorld. [861.32] [2605.151]
January-March
  • (January to March) Apple Computer ships 892,000 computers. [851.17]
April
  • Apple Computer introduces the Power Macintosh 9500/150, with a 150 MHz PowerPC 604 processor. [494.124]
May 6
  • Apple licenses the Mac OS to IBM, which may sub-license it to other manufacturers. [861.31] [294] [1244.40] [2605.254]
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May 10
  • Apple Computer halts PowerBook 5300 production and initiates a recall. [2605.237]
May 19
  • The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US. A character refers to the Us Festival, "sponsored by that guy from Apple Computers". Response by another character is "What Computers?". [1855]
May 20
  • Apple Computer joins the Network Computer Coalition. [861.33]
May 28
  • Apple Computer announces the Macintosh Performa 6320CD computer. It features 120 MHz 603e PowerPC processor, 16 MB RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive, CD-ROM drive, sixteen preinstalled titles and fifteen CD-ROM titles. Price is US$2599. [1559]
June
  • Apple Computer releases OpenDoc v1.0. [861.38]
  • At PC Expo, Apple Computer, IBM, and Motorola demo a 133 MHz PowerPC 604 prototype system running both the MacOS and Microsoft Windows NT. [884.35]
April-June
  • (April to June) Apple Computer ships 845,000 computers. [851.17]
July 2
  • Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation releases the film Independence Day to theaters in Canada. Apple Macintosh desktop and laptop computers are shown. [2350]
July
  • Ellen Hancock joins Apple Computer as chief technology officer. [1559]
  • Film Independence Day includes a Apple Computer PowerBook 5300 used to save Earth from aliens. [1886.70]
  • Apple Computer releases System 7.5.3 operating system for the Macintosh. [525.18]
July 26
  • Apple Computer releases QuickTime 2.5 for Macintosh (System 6.0.7 or higher), adding support for interchangeable Motion JPEG video compression format. [1559] (May [884.65])
August 2
  • Apple Computer introduces the dual-processor Power Macintosh 9500/180 MP computer. It features two 180 MHz PowerPC 604e processors, 32 MB RAM, 2 GB hard drive, and 8x CD-ROM drive. price is US$5699. [1034.59] [1039.34] [1559] [1886.70]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Power Macintosh 9500/200. It features a 200 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 32 MB RAM, 2 GB hard drive, 8X CD-ROM drive. [1039.34] [1559]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Performa 6400 computer. It features 180 or 200 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, optional 256 kB L2 cache, 16 MB RAM, 1.6 or 2.4 GB hard drive, and two PCI slots. [1039.34] [1559]
August
  • Apple Computer cancels development work on its Copland and Gershwin operating system projects. [1559] [1597.87] [1721.29] [1880.20]
  • Apple Computer, IBM, Netscape, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems introduce the network computer idea. [1110.228]
September 19
  • Apple Computer releases the System 7.5.5 Macintosh operating system. [1559]
July-September
  • Market share of personal computers in the world for July to September: Apple Computer 5.5%. [1559]
  • Market share of personal computers in the U.S. for July to September: Apple Computer 7%. [1559]
October
  • Apple Computer introduces the PowerBook 1400 series, featuring removable modular CD-ROM drive and flip-up keyboard. [739.130]
October 18
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple Performa 6360 CD computer. It features 160 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 8X CD-ROM drive, 28.8 kbps modem, 1 MB video RAM, 16 MB RAM, 1.2 GB Quantum IDE hard drive, one PCI slot, and over 24 applications and 15 CD-ROM discs. Price is US$1499. [1135.22] [1559]
  • Apple computer introduces the Performa 6400/200 "Video Editing Edition". It features 200 MHz 603e PowerPC processor, 32 MB RAM, 2.4 GB hard drive, 1 MB video RAM, 28.8 kbps modem, 8X CD-ROM drive, 256 kB level-2 cache, Avid Cinema video editing software, and over 24 applications and 15 CD-ROM discs. Price is US$2699. [1559]
October 28
  • Apple Computer unveils the MessagePad 2000 computer. It features 1 MB DRAM, 5 MB Flash RAM, 2 Type II PC Card slots, backlit 480x320 100 dpi display, size 4.7 x 8.3 inches, Newton OS 2.1, 1.4 pound weight, and 161.9 MHz StrongARM 110 RISC processor. It runs on four AA batteries. [1012.44] [2605.199] (November [899.45])
November
  • Apple Computer unveils the eMate 300 mobile computer. [899.45]
November 27
  • Apple Computer engineers and a manager meet with NeXT managers to investigate possibility of using OPENSTEP OS for future Mac computers. [2605.276]
December 2
  • Steve Jobs meets with senior Apple Computer managers to convince them that NeXT technology is right for Apple. [2605.277]
December 20
  • Apple Computer announces it will buy the NeXT Software company for about US$400 million in cash and Apple stock. NeXT Software CEO Steve Jobs will become an advisor to Apple chairman and CEO Gilbert Amelio. [616.16] [637.1] [763.26] [882.25] [889.35] [1091.20] [1205.35] [1559] [1676.37] [1897.131] [1938.D2] [2605.266] (late spring 1996 [886.52])
October-December
  • (October to December) Apple Computer ships 923,000 computers. [851.17]
  • Market share of personal computers in the US during September to December: Compaq Computer 14%, IBM 9.6%, Packard Bell 8.5%, Dell Computer 8, Gateway 2000 7.1%, Toshiba 6.9%, Hewlett-Packard 6.7%, Apple Computer 5.2%, Acer 4.2%, NEC 2.8%. [1559]
Year
  • Personal computer market share for the year: Apple Computer Macintosh 6.5%. [883.19]
  • Worldwide personal computer market share: Compaq Computer 10.1%, IBM 8.6%, Packard Bell/NEC 6%, Apple Computer 5.5%, Dell Computer 4%, Hewlett-Packard 4%. [948.9] [1895.S3.16] [1896.D2]

1997

January 7
  • At the Macworld Expo, Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak appear together on stage for the first time since 1984. Apple Computer announces it plans to release an operating system code-named Rhapsody in 1998 that will run current applications, Next OS applications, and Java applications. The new OS will feature pre-emptive multitasking and protected memory. Apple demonstrates a limited edition 20th anniversary Macintosh, featuring a flat-panel display, to be sold for US$9000. [1559] [1880.20] [1886.70] [1888.D2] [1895.S3.1]
  • At the Macworld trade show, Microsoft announces and ships Microsoft Office 4.2.1 for the Macintosh. It includes Word 6.0.1, Excel 5.0, and PowerPoint 4.0. Price is US$499. [1559]
January
  • Apple Computer releases the Mac OS 7.6 operating system. Code-name during development was Harmony. Upgrade price from System 7.5 is US$69, upgrade price from earlier operating systems is US$129. [815.33] [854.60] [1134.26] [1135.63] [1593.34] [1597.87] [1648.54]
  • Apple Computer CEO Gilbert Amelio says Apple may drop the Newton line of handheld computers. [1593.32]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer releases the Macintosh Java Runtime, a free Web site download. [1593.35]
February 4
  • Apple Computer's acquisition of NeXT Software is complete. Total cost is $427 million. [2605.267,277]
  • Apple Computer CEO Gilbert Amelio announces restructuring of the company to focus on the Mac OS and Macintosh hardware. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak will join the executive committee as advisors to Amelio. [1460.30] [1593.32] [1936.D8]
February 7
  • Apple Computer completes its acquisition of Next Software, for a total cost of US$430 million. [1559] [1938.D2]
February 17
  • Apple Computer unveils many updated desktop and portable Macintosh computers: PowerBook 3400 and 4400, and Power Macintosh 7300, 8600, and 9600. [1244] [1559] [1939.42]
  • Apple Computer unveils the eMate handheld computer. Weight is 4 pounds. [1559]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Newton MessagePad 2000. It features 32-bit StrongARM 162 MHz processor and 5 MB RAM. [1000.45] [1559]
February (month)
  • Top selling Macintosh software for the month in the USA: Macintax Deluxe. [2392.D10]
March 14
  • Apple Computer terminates 2700 of 11,000 full-time positions, and 1400 contract or temporary positions. The OpenDoc and Open Transport projects are dropped, as is the Performa brand name. [1029.88] [1449.22] [1460.30] [1559] [1959] [2605.267]
March 19
  • Apple Computer formally unveils the 20th Anniversary Macintosh computer. It features flat-panel metal and leather design, television and FM radio tuners, special sound system with subwoofer, 12.1-inch active-matrix display, CD-ROM drive. Production will be limited to 12,000 units, in five countries: France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. Price is US$7,500. [1559] (February [1589.24])
March 24
  • Apple Computer ships the MessagePad 2000 for $949 with lots of software, 16 grayscale screen, 160MHz StrongARM processor, audio recording capability, backlit rotating screen. [2605.200]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple eMate 300. It features 25MHz ARM 710a processor, 3 MB RAM, 480x320 pixel backlit grayscale screen, Newton 2.1 operating system. Price is US$799. [1134.34] [2605.200]
January-March
  • (January to March) Apple Computer ships 602,000 computers. [851.17]
April 2
  • Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia announces he has acquired 5 percent of Apple Computer for US$115 million, becoming the company's largest shareholder. [2363.D3] (late March [2605.268])
April 4
  • Apple Computer introduces new Power Macintosh 6500 systems, with 225 to 300 MHz PowerPC 603e processors. Prices range from US$1999 to US$2999. [1559] [2365.D14]
April 7
  • Apple Computer ships Mac OS 7.6.1. [815.33] [1559]
April 17
  • Apple Computer reports a first quarter loss of $740 million, largest quarter loss ever for a Silicon Valley company. [2605.265]
April 29
  • Larry Ellison calls off his takeover of Apple Computer. [2605.268]
May 8
  • Apple Computer introduces the PowerBook 2400c notebook computer. It features 180 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 1.3 GB hard drive, 10.4-inch active-matrix color display, two PC Card slots. Weight is 4.4 pounds; price is to be about US$3500. Availability is end of May in Japan, and end of July in the US. [1559]
May 22
  • Apple Computer announces that it will make its Newton Systems Group a subsidiary company, to market the MessagePad 2000 and eMate 3000, with about 130 Apple employees, [739.40] [1206.28] [1559] [2605.201]
June
  • Apple Computer and its Mac OS licensees agree to change Apple Computer's Macintosh OS fee from about US$50 to US$150-350 per system, depending on processor speed. [764.36]
  • Apple Computer ships the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, featuring active-matrix LCD color screen, 250MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 4x CD-ROM drive, 32 MB RAM, Bose Accoustimass sound system, in-home setup service, for $7500. [2605.266]
June 26
  • Steve Jobs sells 1.5 million shares of Apple Computer stock for about $15 per share, total $15-22 million. This is the stock that he received in December as part of Apple Computer's purchase of his NeXT Software. The value of Apple Computer's stock drops to an 11-year low. [616.16] [1559] [2605.268] (July [1206.28])
April-June
  • (April to June) Apple Computer ships 698,000 computers. [851.17] [1559]
  • Market share of personal computer in the world for April to June: Apple Computer 3.8%. [1559]
July 9
  • Apple Computer announces the resignation of Gilbert Amelio as CEO. His severance package is about US$7.5 million. Ellen Hancock also resigns from Apple Computer. [616.21] [670.3] [672.38] [762.48] [763.26] [764.31] [882.24] [1193.32] [1559] [1597.36] [1886.70] [2605.201,255,270]
July 14
  • Apple Computer announces PowerBook 1400c/166. [1559]
July 22
  • Apple Computer officially announces Mac OS 8.0. [1559] [1597.36] [2605.255]
July 26
  • Apple Computer releases Mac OS 8.0 for US$99. Code-name during development was Tempo. (1.2 million copies ship in the first two weeks, making it the most successful Apple software product ever.) [749.4] [1000.45] [1134.26] [1158.9] [1193.32] [1206.35] [1449.25] [1559] [1597.27] [1897.131] (August [1721.29] [1880.20])
July
  • Steve Jobs decides to not take on the role of chairman (and CEO) of Apple Computer, preferring to remain as head of Pixar Animation Studios. [1559]
August 5
  • Apple Computer announces Power Macintosh 8600 and 9600 systems with 300 to 350 MHz PowerPC 604e processors and Mac OS 8 operating system. Prices range from US$3700 to US$5400. [1029.72] [1559]
August 6
  • At the Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates announce a five-year alliance of Apple Computer with Microsoft. Terms include: cross-licensing of existing patents plus new patents over the next five years, Microsoft will release Office for Macintosh over next five years, Apple will make Internet Explorer the default browser on all shipping Macintosh systems, Apple and Microsoft will collaborate on Java compatibility, Microsoft will invest US$150 million in Apple stock and hold it for at least three years. Jobs will join a revamped Apple board of directors with Larry Elison of Oracle added, and A.C. Markkula removed. [11.14] [739.34] [762.47] [763.24] [1094.30] [1193.20,34] [1205.35] [1559] [1597.26] [1627.5] [1630.104] [1711.153] [1873.128] [1886.70]
August
  • The US Department of Justice begins a review of Microsoft's investment in Apple Computer. [939.64]
  • Apple Computer ships Mac OS 8 operating system. [1886.70]
September 2
  • Apple Computer buys Power Computing's Macintosh operating system license, customer database, and certain employees, for US$100 million in common stock and about $10 million for debts and closing costs. Power Computing will cease sales of Macintosh systems as of December 31. [739.29] [764.30] [1029.22] [1193.34] [1205.35] [1206.29] [1559] [1886.70] [2605.256]
September 8
  • Umax Computer announces that it has reached an agreement with Apple Computer for an extension on its license on the Mac OS 8 operating system. The license only covers Mac OS 8 until July 1998, and not on Common Hardware Reference Platform architecture machines. [1559] [2605.256]
September 9
  • Apple Computer announces it will not spin off its Newton Systems Group as it had announced in May. [739.40] [1559] [2605.201]
September 11
  • Motorola Computer Group announces it is leaving the Macintosh systems market, due to inability to reach a viable business agreement with Apple Computer on licensing the Mac OS. Motorola also announces it will not ship StarMax 6000 systems previously announced. [739.29] [1029.22] [1559] [2605.256]
September 15
  • Apple Computer announces several Power Macintosh 6500 systems with 275 to 300 MHz PowerPC 603e processors, and the Mac OS 8 operating system. [1011.134] [1559]
September 16
  • Apple Computer announces that it has named Steve Jobs interim CEO of the company. [672.38] [1009.67] [1559] [1886.70] [2605.292]
July-September
  • (July to September) Apple Computer ships 652,000 computers. [851.17] [1559]
  • Market share of personal computers in the world for July to September: Apple Computer 3.3%. [1559]
  • Market share of personal computers in the U.S. for July to September: Apple Computer 4.4%. [1559]
October 13
  • Apple Computer releases Rhapsody Developer Release for Power Macintosh. [2605.278]
October
  • Apple Computer ships a beta test copy of its "Rhapsody" operating system to developers. [1880.20]
October 20
  • Apple Computer introduces the MessagePad 2100 handheld computer. It features Newton 2.1 operating system, 4.9 x 3.3 inch 480x320 pixel 16-shade grayscale LCD display, 4 MB RAM, stylus, two Type-II PC Card slots, four AA batteries. Size is 8.3 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches; weight is 1.4 pounds; price is US$999. [1173.56] [2605.202]
(month unknown)
  • Quote by Dell Computer chairman and CEO Michael Dell, when asked what he would do if he was in charge of Apple Computer: "I'd shut it down and give the money back to shareholders". [1559]
November 4
  • Apple Computer announces a deal with CompUSA for a "store within a store" for Apple products in all 148 retail locations. [2605.292]
November 10
  • Apple Computer introduces the Power Macintosh G3 computer. It features 233 or 266 MHz PowerPC 750 processor, 66 MHz system bus, 4 GB hard drive, 32 MB SDRAM, 512 kB cache, 24X CD-ROM drive. Price starts at US$1999. [1193] [1205.36] [1559] [2605.134,292]
  • Apple Computer launches The Apple Store online web site. [2605.292]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple MessagePad 2100 handheld computer. It features Newton 2.1 OS, 8 MB ROM with various applications, 4 MB DRAM, 4 MB flash RAM, optional 2-4 MB flash PC Cards, two Type II PC Card slots, 16-shade 4.9 x 3.3 inch display, four AA batteries, and a stylus. Weight is 22.4 ounces; size is 1.1 x 4.7 x 8.3 inches; price is about US$1150. [1158.103]
December
  • U.S. market share for Apple Computer: 3.4%. [851.19]
October-December
  • (October December) Apple Computer ships 635,000 computers. [851.17]
  • Market share of personal computers in the US during October to December: Compaq Computer 19%, Dell Computer 9.9%, Gateway 8.3%, IBM 9.9%, Hewlett-Packard 6.8%, Apple Computer 3.4%. [1559]
Year
  • Personal computer market share in Canada based on sales for the year: Compaq 19.8%, IBM 16.0%, Dell 7.4%, Hewlett-Packard 4.8%, Toshiba 4.4%, Packard Bell NEC 4.4%, Apple Computer 4.1%, Seanix 3.0%, Sidus 2.5%. [1439.21]
  • Shipments of Apple Computer notebook computers in the US during the year: 129,000. [1639.152]
  • Worldwide non-Apple personal computer market share: Compaq Computer 12%, IBM 9%, Packard Bell/NEC 5%, Dell Computer 6%, Hewlett-Packard 5%. [948.9]
  • Market share of home personal computers in the US for the year: Packard Bell NEC 23.3%, Compaq Computer 18.8%, Gateway 11.1%, IBM 7.0%, Acer 5.9%, Apple Computer 5.0%, other 28.9%. [1748.108]
  • Market share of desktop operating systems in the US: Windows 95/98 69.4%, Windows NT Workstation 9.2%, Windows 3.x (with DOS) 7.7%, Mac OS 4.6%, Linux 2.4%, DOS (IBM, Digital Research, Microsoft) 2.3%, Unix 1.0%, OS/2 Warp 0.8%, other 2.7%. [1427.54,58]

End of 1996-1997. Next: 1998.
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1976-1981 1982-1983 1984-1985 1986-1989 1990-1991 1992 1993 1994-1995 1996-1997 1998-1999
2000-2001 2002-2003 2004-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Personal Computers
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History
  • This Day in History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 2006-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/apple/
    Link to Ken P's home page.