iBook

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Not to be confused with the iBooks book reader application.
iBook G3 "Clamshell"
another model: iBook G4 "Snow" (12 inch)

The iBook was a line of laptop computers sold by Apple Computer from 1999 to 2006. The line targeted entry level, consumer and education markets, with lower specifications and prices than the PowerBook, Apple's higher-end line of laptop computers.

Three distinct designs of the iBook were introduced during its lifetime. The first, known as the "Clamshell", was influenced by the design of Apple's popular iMac line at the time. It was a significant departure from previous portable computer designs due to its shape, bright colors, incorporation of a handle into the casing, lack of a hinged cover over the external ports, and built-in wireless networking. Two years later, the second generation abandoned the original form factor in favor of a more conventional, rectangular design. In October 2003, a third iteration was released that added a PowerPC G4 chip and a slot-loading drive.

Apple replaced the iBook line with the MacBook in May 2006 during Apple’s transition to Intel processors. The MacBook has also evolved into different models, such as the MacBook Pro targeting high performance and the MacBook Air targeting the entry level, consumer ultrabook-market.

They were also a major name for education, with Henrico County Public Schools being the first of many school systems in the USA to distribute one to every student.

iBook G3 ("Clamshell")[edit]

iBook G3 ("Clamshell")
Clamshell iBook G3.jpg
The original iBook in Blueberry color
Developer Apple Computer Inc
Type Consumer laptop
Release date July 21, 1999
Discontinued May 1, 2001
CPU PowerPC G3, 300 – 466 MHz

In the late 1990s, Apple was trimming its product line from the bewildering variety of intersecting Performa, Quadra, LC, Power Macintosh and PowerBook models to a simplified "four box" strategy: desktop and portable computers, each in both consumer and professional models. Three boxes of this strategy were already in place: The newly introduced iMac was the consumer desktop, the Blue and White G3 filled the professional desktop box, and the PowerBook line served as the professional portable line. This left only the consumer portable space empty, leading to much rumor on the Internet of potential designs and features. Putting an end to this speculation, Steve Jobs unveiled the iBook G3 during the keynote presentation of Macworld Conference & Expo, New York City on June 21, 1999.

The design was clearly influenced by Apple's consumer desktop, the iMac. In fact, one of the marketing slogans for the iBook was "iMac to go". The clamshell design also echoed the eMate 300. Apple continued its trend of using transparent colored plastics for the shell, and released the iBook clamshell series in several colors, starting with Blueberry and Tangerine; (later in the series, Apple added Indigo, Graphite, and Key Lime). However, unlike the iMac, the iBook did not use pinstripes.

Like the iMac, the iBook G3 had a PowerPC G3 CPU, and no legacy Apple interfaces. USB, Ethernet, modem ports and an optical drive were standard. The ports were left uncovered along the left side: a cover was thought to be fragile and unnecessary with the iBook's new interfaces, which lacked the exposed pins of earlier connectors. When the lid was closed, the hinge kept it firmly shut, so there was no need for a latch on the screen. The hinge included an integrated carrying handle. Additional power connectors on the bottom surface allowed multiple iBook G3s to be charged on a custom-made rack. The iBook G3 was the first Mac to use Apple's new "Unified Logic Board Architecture", which condensed all of the machine's core features into two chips, and added AGP and Ultra DMA support.

The iBook was the first mainstream computer designed and sold with integrated wireless networking.[1] On the iBook's introduction, Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Marketing, held an iBook while jumping off a height as data from the computer was transferred to another in order to demonstrate the wireless networking capability. The display bezel contained the wireless antenna, which attached to an optional internal wireless card. Lucent helped create this wireless capability which established the industry standard. Apple released the AirPort Wireless Base Station at the same time.

There was heated debate over many things such as the aesthetics, features, weight, performance, and pricing.[2][3] To provide good impact protection, the iBook was larger and heftier than the PowerBook of the time, and yet had lower specifications. Standard features like PC card slots were absent. Speculated features such as touch-screens and an ultra-long battery life were absent. The iBook gained the label "Barbie's toilet seat", due to the distinctive design.[4] Nevertheless, this same design made the iBook G3 unmistakable in movies and television shows.

The iBook was a commercial success.[5] The line continually received processor, memory, hard disk upgrades, and new colors. FireWire and video out were later added. The design was discontinued in May 2001, in favor of the new "Dual USB" iBooks.

Compared to follow-up iBook and PowerBook notebook computers, the Clamshell iBook proved to be the more reliable model.[6] The original iBook is on exhibition at the London Design Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.[7][8] Vestiges of design ideas first adopted in the iBook G3 can still be seen today: moving interface ports from the back to the sides and leaving them uncovered, omitting a latch for the computer's lid and providing color options and an eye-catching design intended to be seen with the computer open.

Models[edit]

The five colors of the iBook Clamshell Series.
(Top row: "Tangerine" and "Blueberry"
Bottom row: "Graphite", "Indigo" and "Key Lime")
iBook G3 Clamshell
Model iBook iBook SE (special edition) iBook (FireWire), iBook (FireWire) SE
Release date June 21, 1999 February 16, 2000 September 13, 2000
Color(s) Tangerine or Blueberry Graphite Indigo or Key Lime
Special edition: Graphite or Key Lime
Order M7707LL/A*[9] M7716LL/A* M7721LL/A*, M7720LL/A* (special edition)
Model identifier Powerbook 2,1 Powerbook 2,2
Model number M2453 M2453 M6411
Processor 300 MHz PowerPC G3 (750) 366 MHz PowerPC G3 (750) 366 MHz or 466 MHz (SE) PowerPC G3 (750cxe)
Cache 64kb L1, 512kb L2 backside cache (1:2) 64kb L1, 256kb L2 cache (1:1)
Front side bus 66 MHz
Memory 32 MB or 64 MB of PC66 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 544 MB or 576 MB (288 MB or 320 MB specified by Apple)
64 MB of PC66 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 576 MB (320 MB specified by Apple)
64 MB of PC100 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 576 MB (320 MB specified by Apple)
Display 12" active-matrix TFT display, 800×600 pixel resolution
Graphics ATI Rage with 4 MB of SDRAM ATI Rage 128 with 8 MB of SDRAM
AGP 2x
Hard drive 3.2 GB or 6 GB ATA 6 GB ATA 10 GB ATA
Optical drive
Tray loading
24× CD-ROM 24× CD-ROM (366MHz only) or 4× DVD-ROM
Connectivity Optional AirPort 802.11b
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k V.90 modem
Peripherals 1x USB 1.1
Audio out mini-jack
1x USB 1.1
1x Firewire 400
Audio out mini-jack
Video out N/A Composite video out
Battery 45-watt-hour removable lithium-ion
Original Operating System Mac OS 8.6 Mac OS 9.0.2 Mac OS 9.0.4
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.3.9 "Panther" and Mac OS 9.2.2
Unofficially, can run Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” using XPostFacto
Mac OS X 10.4.11 "Tiger" and Mac OS 9.2.2
Weight 6.7 lbs / 3.0 kg
Dimensions 1.8×13.5×11.6 inch / 4,6 x 34,3 x 29,5 cm

Expandability and upgrades[edit]

The original iBook's only customer-serviceable parts were the memory (RAM) and AirPort card, accessed via two slots under the keyboard. No other modifications were possible in-warranty. There was no PCMCIA port for additional expansion capabilities. 40 screws needed to be removed to access the hard disk. The optical drive, however, can be accessed much more easily, requiring only 11 screws and one standoff to be removed. Later on, some users transplanted a 1024×768 LCD from the more recent white iBook into a clamshell iBook.[10]

All clamshell iBooks shipped with Mac OS 8.6 or 9.0. All clamshell iBooks supported Mac OS X v10.0-v10.3.9. Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger", which requires a Firewire port, can also be installed, though only on the late-model iBook G3 FireWire/SE (366/466 MHz). It is possible to use third-party software such as XPostFacto to install version 10.4 on earlier clamshell iBooks.

iBook G3 Dual USB ("Snow")[edit]

iBook G3 Snow
The second-generation iBook (12.1 in)
The second-generation iBook G3 "snow" (12.1 in).
Developer Apple
Type Consumer laptop
Release date May 1, 2001
Discontinued October 22, 2003
CPU PowerPC G3, 500–900 MHz

Apple debuted the next-generation iBook G3 at a press conference in Cupertino, California on May 1, 2001. The previous bold colors and bulky form-factor were abandoned, as were the handle, latch-less design, and additional power connectors on the bottom surface.

The resulting iBook was available in white only (hence the name "Snow"), and incorporated transparent polycarbonate in its casing. It was 30% lighter, and occupied less than half of the volume of the model it replaced, being smaller in all 3 dimensions. Despite that, it added an extra USB port and a higher resolution screen. Apple claimed the compact design did not sacrifice durability, saying it was “twice as durable” as the previous model.

With this revision, Apple began transitioning to translucent and white polycarbonate casings in most of its consumer line, such as the iMac and the eMac. In contrast, most of its professional products used an anodized aluminum finish. Near the end of its run, the Snow iBook G3 case became opaque and white instead of translucent white and magnesium.

Models[edit]

iBook G3 Dual USB
Model iBook (Dual USB) iBook (Late 2001) iBook (14") iBook (16 VRAM) iBook (Late 2002) iBook (Early 2003)
Release date May 1, 2001 October 16, 2001 January 7, 2002 May 20, 2002 November 6, 2002 April 22, 2003
Color Translucent White Translucent White (800 MHz)
Opaque White (700 MHz)
Opaque White
Order number M7698LL/A (64 MB, CD-ROM), M7692LL/A (128 MB, DVD-ROM), M8520LL/A (128 MB, Combo Drive) M8597LL/A (500 MHz), M8598LL/A* (600 MHz DVD-ROM), M8599LL/A* (600 MHz Combo Drive) M7701LL/A M8600LL/A (600 MHz), M8602LL/A (700 MHz), M8603LL/A (14") M8860LL/A (700 MHz), M8861LL/A (800 MHz), M8862LL/A (14") M8758LL/A (800 MHz), M9018LL/A (900 MHz), M9009LL/A (14")
Model identifier PowerBook4,1 PowerBook4,2 PowerBook4,3
Model number M6497 M8413 A1005 (12")
A1007 (14")
Processor 500 MHz PowerPC G3 (750cxe) 500 MHz or 600 MHz PowerPC G3 (750cxe or 745/755) 600 MHz PowerPC G3 (745/755) 600 MHz (12")
700 MHz (12" and 14") PowerPC G3 (750fx)
700 MHz (12")
800 MHz (12" and 14") PowerPC G3 (750fx)
800 MHz (12")
900 MHz (12" and 14") PowerPC G3 (750fx)
Cache 64kb L1, 256kb L2 cache (1:1) 64kb L1, 512kb L2 cache (1:1)
Front side bus 66 MHz 66 MHz (500 MHz) or 100 MHz (600 MHz) 100 MHz
Memory 64 MB or 128 MB of PC100 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 576 MB or 640 MB
128 MB of PC100 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board) (12")
256 MB of PC100 SDRAM (128 MB soldered to the logic board) (14")
Expandable to 640 MB
Display 12.1" TFT XGA active matrix display, 1024×768 pixel resolution N/A 12.1" TFT XGA active matrix display, 1024×768 pixel resolution
N/A 14.1" TFT XGA active matrix display, 1024×768 pixel resolution
Graphics ATI Rage 128 with 8 MB of SDRAM ATI Radeon with 16 MB of SDRAM ATI Radeon 7500 with 16 MB (700 MHz) or 32 MB (800 MHz) SDRAM ATI Radeon 7500 with 32 MB SDRAM
AGP 2x
Hard drive 10 GB 15 GB or 20 GB 20 GB 20 GB (12" only) or 30 GB 30 GB (800 MHz) or 40 GB (900 MHz)
Ultra/ATA
Optical drive
Tray-loading
CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW or DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive CD-ROM (600 MHz)
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive (700 MHz)
CD-ROM (700 MHz)
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive (800 MHz)
CD-ROM (800 MHz)
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive (900 MHz)
Connectivity Optional AirPort 802.11b
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k V.90 modem
Peripherals 2x USB 1.1
1x Firewire 400
Audio out mini-jack
Video out A/V Port (VGA, composite video/sound) via adaptors Mini-VGA (VGA, composite and S-Video) via adaptors
Original Operating System Mac OS 9.1 Mac OS 9.2.1 / OS X 10.1 Mac OS 9.2.2 / OS X 10.1.4 Mac OS 9.2.2 / OS X 10.2.1 Mac OS 9.2.2 / OS X 10.2.4
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.4.11 "Tiger" and Mac OS 9.2.2
Weight 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg) 5.9 lbs / 2.7 kg 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg) (12")
5.9 lbs / 2.7 kg (14")
Dimensions 1.35 x 11.2 x 9.6 inches / 3.4 x 28.5 x 23.0 cm 1.35 x 12.7 x 10.2 inches / 3.4 x 32.3 x 25.9 cm 1.35 x 11.2 x 9.6 inches / 3.4 x 28.5 x 23.0 cm (12")
1.35 x 12.7 x 10.2 inches / 3.4 x 32.3 x 25.9 cm (14")

iBook G4 ("Snow")[edit]

iBook G4
iBook G4 (12 in)
iBook G4 (12 inch)
Developer Apple Computer
Type Consumer laptop
Release date October 22, 2003
Discontinued May 16, 2006
CPU PowerPC G4, 800 MHz–1.42 GHz

Apple added a PowerPC G4 chip to the iBook line on October 23, 2003—finally ending Apple’s use of the PowerPC G3 chip. A slot-loading optical drive replaced the disc tray. The iBook G4 also features an opaque white case finish and keyboard, and a plastic display hinge.

Models[edit]

iBook G4
Model iBook G4 iBook G4 (Early 2004) iBook G4 (Late 2004) iBook G4 (Mid 2005)
Release date October 22, 2003 April 19, 2004 October 19, 2004 July 26, 2005
Color Opaque White
Order M9164LL/A (800 MHz), M9388LL/A (933 MHz), M9165LL/A (1 GHz) M9426LL/A (12" 1.07 GHz), M9418LL/A (14" 1.07 GHz), M9419LL/A (1.2 GHz) M9623LL/A (12"), M9627LL/A* (14" Combo Drive), M9628LL/A (14" SuperDrive) M9846LL/A (12"), M9848LL/A (14")
Model identifier PowerBook 6,3 PowerBook 6,5 PowerBook 6,7
Model number A1054 (12")
A1055 (14")
A1133 (12")
A1134 (14")
Processor 800 MHz (12")
933 MHz or 1 GHz (14") PowerPC G4 (7455)
1.07 GHz (12" and 14")
1.2 GHz (14") PowerPC G4 (7447A)
1.2 GHz (12")
1.33 GHz (14") PowerPC G4 (7447A)
1.33 GHz (12")
1.42 GHz (14") PowerPC G4 (7447A)
Cache 64 KB L1, 256 KB L2 Cache (1:1) 64 KB L1, 512 KB L2 Cache (1:1)
Front side bus 133 MHz
Memory 256 MB of 266 MHz PC2100 DDR SDRAM (128 soldered to logic board)
Expandable to 1.12 GB
256 MB of 266 MHz PC2100 DDR SDRAM (soldered to logic board)
Expandable to 1.25 GB
512 MB of 333 MHz PC2700 DDR SDRAM (soldered to logic board)
Expandable to 1.5 GB
Display 12.1" TFT XGA active matrix display, 1024×768 pixel resolution
14.1" TFT XGA active matrix display, 1024×768 pixel resolution
Graphics ATI Radeon 9200 with 32 MB of SDRAM ATI Radeon 9550 with 32 MB of SDRAM
AGP 4x
Hard drive 30, 40, or 60 GB 4200-rpm 30, 60, or 80 GB 4200-rpm 40, 60, 80, or 100 GB 4200-rpm
Ultra/ATA 100
Optical drive
Slot-loading
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive or optional DVD±RW SuperDrive DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive or optional DVD±RW SuperDrive (12")
DVD-RW SuperDrive (14")
Connectivity Optional AirPort Extreme 802.11b/g
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
56k v.92 modem
Optional Bluetooth 1.1
Integrated AirPort Extreme 802.11b/g
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
56k v.92 modem
Optional Bluetooth 1.1
Integrated AirPort Extreme 802.11b/g
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
56k v.92 modem
Integrated Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
Peripherals 2x USB 2.0
1x FireWire 400
Audio out mini-jack
Video out Mini-VGA (VGA, composite and S-Video) via adaptors
Original Operating System Mac OS X 10.3 “Panther” Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.4.11 "Tiger" (12")
Unofficially, can run Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard”
Mac OS X 10.5.8 "Leopard" (14")
Mac OS X 10.5.8 "Leopard"
Weight 4.9 lbs / 2.2 kg (12")
5.9 lbs / 2.7 kg (14")
Dimensions 1.35 x 11.2 x 9.1 inches / 3.4 x 28.4 x 23.1 cm (12")
1.35 x 12.7 x 10.2 inches / 3.4 x 32.3 x 25.9 cm (14")

Expandability and upgrades[edit]

The iBook keyboard lifts up, allowing installation of the AirPort (wireless) card and additional memory. This gives the keyboard a "spongy" effect, especially in PowerPC G3 models with the translucent keyboard. The "sponginess" was corrected in the PowerPC G4 models.

Accessing the hard disk drive is complex and time-consuming, involving partial disassembly of the unit and the removal of over 20 different-sized screws.

The memory in the iBook G4 is covered by a removable Airport card, and accessible by removing the RAM shield with a Phillips 00 screwdriver. While some of the earlier models (e.g., 800 MHz and 933 MHz) have a specified 640 MB RAM limit, it is possible to have a total of 1.12 GB of RAM installed (128 MB built-in, plus a 1 GB SO-DIMM ), or 1.25 or 1.5 GB in the later models with 256 or 512 MB of RAM soldered to the logic board.

Notes[edit]

  • A copy of Marble Blast Gold came preinstalled on a certain version of the iBook G4 as a promotion of the game.

Quality issues[edit]

In late November 2003, a number of iBook G3 users reported display problems with their laptops. In December 2003, a group of users headed by Michael Johnson and Bill Owen sought to file a class action suit against Apple. In response, Apple initiated the "iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program" in January 2004, which covered the expense of repairing affected iBooks for three years.[11][12] In June 2004, the Repair Extension Program was expanded to cover "all White G3 iBooks".[13][14]

The iBook G4 suffers from display problems similar to those of the iBook G3, but was not covered by the repair extension program. Owners of iBooks that required expensive repairs for these problems submitted new class action lawsuits in December 2006.[15]

On May 2, 2007, the Danish Consumer Board published an extensive report[16][17] made by an external party concerning the Apple iBook G4 logic board issue. A press release[18] referred to the global consequences this could have for possible guarantee claims.

Timeline of portable Macintoshes

Mac Pro Power Mac G5 Power Mac G4 Power Macintosh G3 Power Macintosh Compact Macintosh MacBook MacBook MacBook Air iBook G4 iBook G4 iBook (white) iBook (white) iBook PowerBook 2400 PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo PowerBook Duo iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS iPhone 3G iPhone (original) iPad 2 iPad (original) iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch Apple Newton MacBook Pro MacBook Pro MacBook Pro MacBook Pro MacBook Pro PowerBook G4 PowerBook G4 PowerBook G4 PowerBook G4 PowerBook G3 PowerBook 3400 PowerBook G3 PowerBook 1400 PowerBook 5300 PowerBook 190 PowerBook 500 PowerBook 500 PowerBook 500 PowerBook 150 PowerBook 180c PowerBook 165 PowerBook 145b PowerBook 180 PowerBook 165c PowerBook 160 PowerBook 145 PowerBook 170 PowerBook 140 PowerBook 100 Macintosh Portable

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
iBook
July 21, 1999
Succeeded by
MacBook