The Evolution Of Macintosh – A Brief Story

Today, Apple is widely used around the world which helps them to create a large ecosystem. In the past 37 years, they have established itself as the most trustworthy and Unique Brand. After having a high price range they are selling a huge number of products in every market. From smartphones to tablets to smartwatches, we’ve seen Apple compete in these sections simultaneously.

This is possible because of mainly two things…

  1. They maintain top-notch standards and quality for their products.
  2. They Give the best possible user experience from their products.

This is not happening in one day over the long 37 years they developed themselves every day. This story started in 1976 when two friends and partners, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, worked on building a machine that could respond to a user’s query. The more detailed story is here History of Macintosh Computers.

So in this post, we’re going to explore the transition from Macintosh to iMac Pro in a brief way…

Macintosh 128K:

Image: Wikipedia

The first Macintosh computer was introduced in 1984 by Steve Jobs. The first commercially successful personal computer was released with a GUI(Graphical User Interface) and a Mouse(Pointing device).

Macintosh was released with System software 1, the first GUI-based operating system from Apple. The system is also attached to a  mouse which helps users select different options, unlike the old typing machines.

System 1  included the Finder, a file manager responsible for launching applications, and the overall user management of files, disks, and network volumes.

It also featured seven desk accessories like the Alarm Clock, a basic 10 button Calculator, a Control Panel, Key Caps, a Note Pad, a 15 piece slide Puzzle, and Scrapbook, which was like a cut, copy, and paste library.

After launching in January Apple sold 70,000 products by May 1984.

Macintosh 512K:

Image: Wikipedia

Almost identical to the first, but much more improved with a better random-access memory(RAM). This new model with increased memory was very much capable of business use.




Macintosh Plus:

Image: Wikipedia

Released in 1986 this PC was the third model of the macintosh line. The RAM increased to 1GB( Gigabyte), the color of the PC is originally beige but it was changed to a warm grey color in 1987. This was the earliest PC that can run system 7(operating system).



Macintosh Classic:

Image: Wikipedia

On 15th October 1990 macintosh classic was launched in the same size and colors. There was no update regarding hardware but it was 25% faster than the plus version. There was a floppy disk standard included in the system.



Macintosh Classic II:

Image: Wikipedia

The next year 1991 the Classic 2 was powered by a 16-bit data bus and 10 memory celling. The slower data bus was 30% slower than the earlier macintosh (SE/30). It was the first product of Apple that included a Slotless Desktop.



Macintosh Color Classic:

Image: Wikipedia

The color classic came up on 10/02/1993 with a color screen and 4MB memory(Upgraded to 64MB). The macintosh has a RAM of 128 MB, it was more able to play games and run programs because of a better screen resolution.




Power Macintosh 5200 LC:

Image: Wikipedia

Apple launched the Power 5200 LC on 03/04/1995 for heavy users. The CPU was a little increased with 72 MHZ(clock speed). It was able to multitask better than the previous ones. After good feedback from users later apple updates the product line. Macintosh Performa 5220CD and 5320CD were released in the same year.

Next year power 5400 launched and is only sold for education purposes with 200 MHZ CPU speed.




Power Macintosh G3:

Image: Wikipedia

This was the first step Apple for create more responsive and simple products. With the third generation PowerPC chip, the CPU has a better Clock-speed and low redundancy. It was faster than the intel processor of that time.

Two models were made of Power Macintosh G3. The first one was beige in color introduced in 1997 and a Blue/White one that was released 2 years later.



iMac G3:

Image: Wikipedia

In 1998 after the return of Steve Jobs, the company’s business strategy changed, and the first product was launched named   MAC instead of Macintosh. The CPU has a clock speed of 233 MHZ to 700MHZ. G3 comes with a new colorful design and is available in four different colors. The boot process also changed here, G3 boots from a 4MB MAC OS disk file. iMac has a 512MB of system memory makes it very fast compare to the older models.

There was also a VGA support where you can connect your screen to another screen. The highest memory support was up to 128 GB.


iMac G4:

Image: Wikipedia

This was one of the first products with an adjustable LCD-Screen where you move the panel according to your need. The CPU has a processor of 6474XX-Series (4th GEneration) and was sold in only white color. G4 launched in 2002 with three screen sizes 15, 17, and 20 Inches, and both storage(80GB) and RAM(256MB) were reduced from previous generations. Although later apple increases the RAM to 1GB.



iMac G5:

Image: Wikipedia

The G5 enters in 2004 with a PowerPC 970FX CPU with a clock speed of 1.7 to 2.1 GHz. The fast processor caused G5 some heating issues because back then cooling features are not installed properly. The storage increased to 250 GB and the random access memory is 256 MB – 512 MB and expanded to 2 GB. G5 was made with a better quality screen and the resolution was 1680X1050. Apple stops using the PowerPC processor lineup with G5.



iMac (First Generation):

Image: Apple

This was the first Apple product that used Intel processors. Due to the slow clock speed and large size apple moved from IBM’s PowerPC processors. Apple’s interest shifted from desktops to  Laptops was one of the reasons for choosing Intel over IBM.

The new Mac arrived in 2006 having a screen resolution of 1920X1200 Pixels and powered with Intel’s Core Duo (2 MB Cache)  processor. The RAM was 2 GB onboard which later increased to 4 GB. Storage was 250 GB and supports up to 500 GB.


iMac (Second Generation):

The resigned Mac came in 2007 with an eye-catchy Aluminium, Glass and Plastic Build. There was only one visible screw on the machine that was located at the base of the iMac for accessing the memory slots. The storage was 250 GB and later increased to 640 GB. RAM also doubled from 1 GB onboard which you can expand to 8 GB. There was a 0.3 Megapixel Camera included at the front top.


iMac (Third Generation):

The 3rd generation launched in 2009 has a 16:9 screen aspect ratio which was a little different from the early generations. The whole body was built from Aluminium and called unibody design. The first time AMD introduced an Apple product was in the form of A video card. Some products were released with Intel i3/i5 processors and 2 GB of RAM (Expandable to 16 GB). Storage was 250 GB increased to 2 TB. Also included is an HD-Quality camera for better photos.


iMac (Fourth Generations):

Launched in 2012 the fourth generation has an upgraded memory of 8 GB for the 21.5 Inch model and 16 GB for the 27 Inch MOdel. The processor Intel i5/i7 is used only for the 27 Inch model. Many new features include NVIDIA Graphics Card, USB 3.0, the combination of SSD(Solid State Drive), and physical HHD (Hard Disk Drive) called Fusion drive. Apple also removed the built-in optical drive for the iMac.



iMac (Fifth Generation):

Image: Apple

Mid-2014 was the time of arrival for the fifth generation. It comes with a 4k display resolution of 5120X2880. The storage was upgraded to 1TB(terabyte). The video card was changed from NVIDIA  to AMD Radeon R9 once again. Brand new features like the Rechargeable laptop and Wireless peripherals were introduced in 2015 at a later release model.

Both 21.5 and 27 Inch sizes are refreshed with newer Kaby-like processors, New Thunderbolt3(USB -C) ports, and Bluetooth 4.2. The RAM of the iMac upgraded to 8GB and expandable up to 32 GB.



iMac (Sixth Generation):

In 2017 Apple introduced a Workstation-like version of the iMac called IMAC PRO. It shares a mesmerizing 5K screen with vivid colors inside and space grey outside. The processor used Intel Xeon with a 4.3 GHz clock speed.

The backside consists of 3 Thunderbolt ports and an Ethernet Port. Ethernet supports a Bandwith of 10 Gigabytes per second. The Inbuilt storage was 1 TB SSD and the three variants were 32, 64, and 128 GB of RAM.

The Facetime front camera has a resolution of 2 MP with a 1080 pixel (Full HD) video recording.

Apple Claims that It was the most powerful iMac ever made by the company.


With the iMac Pro lineup, Apple created a separate identity in the market.  With powerful graphics and battery performance, they can create cooler and quieter machines.

Apple Inc. completed a wonderful journey by putting the Mac on an exciting path full of possibilities that I think many people could never even imagine.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I found this so interesting to read about the Macintosh journey. I remember when I was growing up hearing about these computers but my parents weren’t not computer people so I watched from the sidelines. In later years I’ve noticed that people either love or hate Apple as they are generally more expensive than other brand computers. People who swear by Apple just love the features of how quick they are and the memory. Personally, I prefer my HP computers as they are less expensive and they are compatible with other hardware and software. Apple tends to force you to use their software etc.

    1. Apple is another league and they stick to what matters to them so as per their view and understanding they made products. I’m absolutely agreed with the pricing as they made quality products no doubt on that but at the same time, the price is on the higher side when we compare other brands. Once invented in a room the products are now selling worldwide on the top chart means they are able to create that trust in the market which is a lesson learning for others.

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