Apple officially stopped using the term “Macintosh” in 1998, when it switched its branding to simply “Mac.” However, the company still occasionally uses the term for nostalgia and to refer to its older products. The switch from Macintosh to Mac was part of a major rebranding effort by Apple at the time, which sought to make their products more accessible and appealing to the customers.
The Mac, formerly known as Macintosh, is a family of personal computers from Apple Inc. It made its debut in 1984 with the highly-acclaimed “1984” ad and quickly gained traction due to its innovative design. However, it gradually lost popularity until 1996, when NeXT was acquired and Steve Jobs returned to Apple. With his direction, Macs underwent a much-needed renaissance; new products were unveiled, along with Mac OS X and Intel transition that brought the modern features we know today.
Alongside the Intel transition came features shared by the iPhone: Facetime video chat, Retina displays, multi-touch gestures and iCloud syncing. This has been an enormous benefit to the Mac user experience; transitions are seamless between these two platforms, allowing users to go back and forth between devices quickly and easily. The product lineup has also improved over time; it now includes laptops like MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as well as desktops such as iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro running macOS operating system. Anyone considering a personal computer can find a tailored solution from the diverse options available within this range today.
The Steve Jobs era at Apple (1997 – 2011) marked a significant turning point for the company, as it stepped onto the global stage as one of the world’s leading technology companies. Jobs took steps to re-establish Apple as an innovative and competitive force in the market with his laser-focus on quality and design when combining existing products to create viable solutions. One of Jobs’ first major decisions was to acquire NeXT, which brought with it its renowned NeXTSTEP operating system. With features such as its impressive multimedia capabilities, versatile programming language and powerful internet applications, this software formed a strong foundation for future groundbreaking products from Apple.
Furthermore, Jobs set out to simplify production processes in order to focus more on product quality rather than quantity; he reduced Apple’s Mac lineup from many different models into four simpler quadrants: a laptop or desktop for both professionals and consumers. Similarly, he elected to discontinue several accessories including the StyleWriter printer and Newton PDA in an effort to optimize engineering, marketing and manufacturing efforts towards creating products tailored for customer satisfaction. His decision paid off handsomely; 14 years later Apple is featuring some of their most popular products ever like the iPad Pro & AirPods Max, apple watch and apple tv are the recent successful products of apple.
1997–2011: Steve Jobs era
The Steve Jobs era at Apple marked a period of immense innovation and success for the company. In 1997, NeXT had developed the powerful NeXTSTEP operating system which was popular among programmers, finance firms, and academics for its advanced multimedia and internet capabilities. Once Jobs returned to Apple his primary focus was on streamlining the Mac lineup so that it made more sense in terms of hardware and software capabilities. He whittled away dozens of models into only four quadrants – laptop and desktop variants for consumers and professionals – as well as discontinuing numerous associated accessories. This narrowing of focus allowed Apple to dedicate more time and energy to each product release, resulting in greater attention to detail with regards to design, engineering, marketing, and manufacturing relative to their competitors at the time. The resources devoted to such an approach have resulted in numerous successful releases by Apple over the past two decades including the iPhone and iPad.
Back to the Mac
The Intel transition marked the end of an era when it came to PowerPC-based Macs. In 2005, Apple revealed that all subsequent Macs would have Intel processors, which offered a much more powerful performance than their predecessor. With the transition to Intel, developers also had access to create new apps for both architectures in tandem, allowing for a smoother transition.
In addition to the transition, Apple began trying to bring back some of the innovations featured on the iPhone such as multi-touch gesture support and instant wake from sleep features. The 2008 introduction of the MacBook Air marked a shift away from toxic chemicals like brominated flame retardants or PVC by introducing aluminum alloy housings that were recyclable and more environmentally friendly. In 2011, the 13- inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook pros became the first computer to incorporate Intel’s Thunderbolt connector. This allowed for two-way transfer speeds of 10Gbit/s and was also compatible with Mini DisplayPort.