From Academic Kids

Template:Title Following the success of the iMac and its ongoing hardware simplification strategy, Apple introduced the iBook, a laptop computer targeted to consumer and education market segments. Instead of the common market practice of selling yesterdays professional technology to consumers, Apple originally engineered the iBook as a derivative of its professional laptop computer, the PowerBook G3, adopting several key features that had made it an early market success.


iBook: iMac to go.

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Original iBook in "Blueberry". The iBook was also made available in "Tangerine", both "flavors" from the iMac product line of the time.
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A revision to the iBook brought new colors, directly from the mid-2000 iMac. Colors available were "Graphite", "Indigo" and "Key Lime"
After much speculation, Steve Jobs unveiled the consumer-targeted iBook laptop computer during the keynote presentation of Macworld Conference & Expo, New York on July 21, 1999. The design philosophy was influenced by Apple's consumer desktop, iMac, with a large distinctive shape, and translucent clear and coloured plastics. Its marketing slogan was "iMac to go".

The target audience included young children, so a carrying handle was built into the hinge. Apple touted the durability of the casing by demonstrating someone holding on to the iBook jumping off a height (onto cushions). Like the iMac, the iBook ran a PowerPC G3 chip, and included no legacy Apple interfaces. USB, Ethernet, and modem ports were standard, as was an optical drive. The ports were placed uncovered on the side, as a cover was thought to be fragile. To attract sales to schools, the iBooks had power connectors on the underside of the machine that allowed multiple iBooks to be easily charged on a custom-made rack.

The first iBook was the first mainstream computer ever to be sold with internal wireless networking, with antenna built around the display bezel (note, that this original iBook required an optional AirPort card to enable wireless networking). Apple partnered with Lucent in the creation of the iBook's wireless capabilities, setting an industry standard. Apple released the AirPort wireless base station at the same time.

Heated debate was made over just about everything—the aesthetics, features, weight, performance, pricing and so on. The iBook was heftier than the PowerBook of the time, with lower specifications. Long rumoured features of touch-screens, and ultra-long battery life were absent. The iBook was labelled as "clamshell" or "toilet seat" due to the distinctive design.

Despite that, the iBook was a sales success. The line continually received processor, memory, and hard disk upgrades. As with the iMac, multiple new colours were introduced; FireWire and video out were added as well.


  • iBook (June 21,1999) - First iBook (Tangerine, Blueberry)
    • 12-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (800x600 max resolution)
    • G3 300 MHz
    • 32/64 MB RAM
    • 6 GB Hard Disk
    • CD-ROM
    • USB, Ethernet
    • Airport (B)
    • Mac OS 8.6
  • iBook SE (February 16, 2000) - Minor addition to existing line (Graphite)
    • 366 MHz
    • Mac OS 9.0.2
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook)
  • iBook Firewire/SE (September 13, 2000) - Major revision (Graphite, Indigo, Key-lime)
    • 12-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (800x600 max resolution)
    • G3 366/466 MHz
    • 64 MB RAM
    • 10 GB Hard Disk
    • CD/DVD-ROM
    • USB, Firewire, Video Out, Ethernet
    • Airport (B)
    • Mac OS 9.0.4

The original iBook design was discontinued in May 2001, in favor of the new "Dual USB" iBooks.


The original iBook's only customer installable parts were additional memory and an AirPort card, via two slots under the easily removed keyboard. No other modifications could be performed in warranty, and no PCMIA port existed to provide additional expansion capabilities. Complicated procedures and countless screws had to be removed in order to access any internal components, such as the hard disk and optical drive. This limitation still holds true in the iBooks produced today.

iBook Dual USB (12.1-inch & 14.1-inch)

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The current day iBook G4. The new iBook casing is slimmer and more mainstream, composed mostly of white and light grey plastic on a magnesium frame.
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The current iBook offers several ports on its left side, including a Security Lock, Ethernet, Firewire, USB, Video Out and Headphone.

A next generation iBook debuted at a press conference in Cupertino on May 1, 2001. Essentially, the machine had been reinvented from the very core, with new features and a new design.

Aesthetically, the former iBook's bold colors and radical (much contested) form-factor were abandoned for a crisp white and slim-line form factor. These smaller machines were lighter, had a higher quality 12-inch LCD screen and largely thought to be a superior design. Apple received industry accolades for brilliant design, which has since been widely copied.

The iBook's design, along with elements from its sister product, the PowerBook G4 are currently used in Apple's entire product matrix. With a few exceptions, white plastics are used in consumer lines such as iMac, eMac and iBook, while aircraft grade annodized aluminum are used for professional products like the Power Mac G5 and PowerBook G4.

The iBook design has stayed largely the same since then. A 14-inch model was added to the existing 12-inch models on January 07, 2002 during Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Later, a PowerPC G4 chip and slot loading optical drives were added on October 23, 2003—finally ending Apple’s use of the G3 chip. Today, Apple's laptop/portable product line (still) only consists of the iBook and PowerBook G4.


  • iBook Dual USB (May 1, 2001) - Second Generation iBook
    • 12-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
    • G3 500 MHz
    • 128 MB RAM
    • 10 GB Hard Disk
    • CD/CDRW/DVD/Combo
    • USB, Firewire, Video Out, Ethernet
    • Airport (B)
    • Mac OS 9.1
  • iBook Dual USB Late 2001 (October 16, 2001) - Minor revision
    • 600 MHz
    • 15 GB Hard Disk (most models)
    • Mac OS X 10.1
    • (Other Specifications Same as Dual USB)
  • iBook 14-inch (January 7, 2002) - New model, larger 14-inch display
    • 14-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
    • 256 MB RAM
    • (Other Specifications Same as Dual USB Late 2001)
  • iBook Mid 2002 (May 20, 2002) - Minor revision
    • 600/700 MHz
    • Mac OS X 10.1
    • (Other Specifications Same as 14-inch)
  • iBook Early 2003 (April 22, 2003) - Minor revision
    • 800/900 MHz
    • Mac OS X 10.2
    • (Other Specifications Same as Mid 2002)
  • iBook G4 (October 22, 2003) - Major revision, processor switch
    • 12-inch or 14-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
    • G4 800/933/1000 MHz
    • 256 MB RAM
    • 30/40/60 GB Hard Disk
    • Slot-load Combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM)
    • USB, Firewire, Video Out, Ethernet
    • Airport Extreme (G)
    • Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther"
  • iBook G4 Early 2004 (April 19, 2004) - Minor revision
    • G4 1.0/1.25 GHz
    • Slot-load SuperDrive (DVD-R) Built to Order Option
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook G4)
  • iBook G4 Late 2004 (October 19, 2004) - Minor revision
    • G4 1.2/1.33 GHz
    • 60/80 GB Hard Disk
    • Slot-load Combo/SuperDrive
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook G4 Early 2004)


For customer installable parts such as an AirPort (wireless) card or additional memory, installation into an iBook is rather easy, as the keyboard is designed to easily open with two spring-loaded latches that may also be locked with screws if so desired. This does give the keyboard a "spongy" effect if the user types with heavy hands though.

However, the current iBook design is also notable for being difficult to open, such that hard disk upgrades are all but impossible for the laymen. To replace or even access the hard drive, about thirty screws need to be removed. For comparison, most Intel-based laptop form factors allow removal of a hard drive caddy after removing one or two screws.

External links

de:Apple iBook es:IBook fr:IBook he:IBook id:IBook it:IBook ja:IBook no:IBook sv:Ibook


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