1999 Clamshell iBook G3
While the titanium PowerBook G4 was all sleek, shiny, high‑grade professionalism, the clamshell iBook G3 was fun, light and unpretentious – it was the iPhone 5c to the PowerBook’s iPhone 5s.
It was launched in 1999, shortly after the striking iMac debuted, and its design inspiration is clear. Complete with bright colours and an eye-catching clamshell design, the iBook was aimed squarely at entry-level and education customers. It was lower-specced than the PowerBook, but was the first mass market laptop to come with Wi-Fi.
The design rammed home the idea that having a computer could be cool, and needn’t be restricted to the jet-set business class. It was something to be seen with, to be proud of.
Still, that didn’t stop Apple from radically changing the design again in 2001, a move that began its focus on translucent white plastics.