1999 Clamshell iBook G3

Mac|Life - - FEATURE -

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.

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