Looking Back At Every ‘One More Thing’ In Apple History

Rob Sturgeon
Nov 3, 2020 · 35 min read
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By Matthew Yohe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s only one week to go before Apple’s One More Thing event on 10th November 2020, where we will undoubtedly see ARM Macs that take advantage of macOS Big Sur’s ability to run across different architectures.

One More Thing is a reference to a practice that started in 1999, where Steve Jobs would leave (often quite big) announcements to the end of a presentation.

Many thanks to Greg Wyatt with Apple Explained, who compiled a 52-minute video of all these announcements without which none of this would have been possible. I used the Macworld article Every ‘One more thing’ Apple has ever announced to confirm that there hasn’t been another one since the iPhone X in 2017. If I’m wrong about that, feel free to let me know!

Here are the main things I’ve found when looking back at these announcements:

  • Steve spent a long time talking about what customers liked about Apple products, and used this feedback as a basis for justifying subsequent product changes
  • Not all of Steve‘s announcements were equally impressive (one is just that the iPod mini would be available in different colours)
  • Although some people think the tradition died with him, some of the biggest announcements (Apple Music, Apple Watch, iPhone X) happened after Jobs died in 2011
  • The vast majority of announcements occurred before the iPhone, perhaps fittingly considering the name of the Mac event a week from now
  • Even after the iPhone existed the only announcement Jobs ever did for that device was FaceTime
  • The iPad has never been featured in these announcements

There are plenty more interesting things to learn from these announcements, including the unnecessarily dramatic way that he reveals them!

AirPort (Macworld New York, 1999)

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raneko, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

That Macworld article cites AirPort as the first example, although it says that it was at Macworld San Francisco when Wikipedia and this video of the AirPort announcement indicate that it was Macworld New York.

STEVE :So that is iBook. Uh, oh but there is one more thing, there is one more thing. Let me just show this to you for a minute, okay? Can you come on up here, I just wanna show you this actually working here. Let’s see here now. So this is coming up out of sleep mode. Let’s get the lights down so we can get a nice picture on the screen.

So you see my browser here?

So I’m just gonna go to Apple’s website here now, I wanna show you the quality of the display, okay?

Let’s get the lights down here a little more, you can zoom in on it if you want to. There you go, there’s Apple displaying, and we even have a webcast that we can go to. So that’s taking a while here for me, I don’t wanna wait. I’m gonna go somewhere else, I don’t wanna wait. I’m gonna go to CNN Interactive here, oh there’s CNN you can see. Maybe I’ll go to Disney here, you know let me go over here and show these guys how it works.

At this point, Steve picks up the iBook and starts to walk to the centre of the stage with it. This immediately leads to cheers, because the iBook clearly has WiFi connectivity to the internet. The camera feed shows that he successfully loads the Disney homepage without wires, and he even goes as far as to pass a hoop around the device as a magician would do in order to prove there are no hidden wires.

STEVE: No wires! No wires! What is going on here? We are really excited to announce, in addition to iBook, AirPort wireless networking. We looked at all of the networking technologies out there beyond terrestrial Ethernet. We looked at the phone line stuff that Intel and others are doing that runs at a megabit per second, and obviously keeps you tied to the plug. We looked at the power line stuff, again very slow and tied to the plug, and wireless was the only thing that would free you from these doggone wires. And we decided to go for it, and we are so excited about this, AirPort wireless networking.

It’s worth pointing out that AirPort is a brand name, but the underlying protocols were conventional WiFi. The AirPort WiFi adapter was an optional expansion card, and the AirPort Base Station took the place of a WiFi router. Anyone who was trying WiFi for the first time would not have been given a WiFi router by their ISP, so it made sense.

STEVE: It’s a Wireless LAN, it runs at 11 megabits per second, and it’s based on industry standards, this is 802.11 wireless networking and everybody is jumping on board with this thing over the next 6 to 9 months. So all sorts of devices are going to be able to interact with AirPort, we’re just going to be there first and best.

In 2020 we know there can be security issues when it comes to unsecured networks. It’s commonly recommended that people use a Virtual Personal Network (VPN) when connecting to unsecured WiFi in coffee shops and train stations. Back then, people needed reassurance about secured networks too. Anticipating that people would fear sending their data wirelessly, Steve made an effort to combat those fears.

“And the specification also incorporates quite a bit of privacy protection, so everything you send out is encrypted,” he added as the slideshow promised 40-bit data encryption. “So a lot of privacy.” In January 2018, the Wi-Fi alliance introduced WPA3 authentication, which uses 192-bit encryption. We’ve come a long way, but public Wi-Fi that doesn’t use a password still is still insecure.

STEVE: We’ve worked with Lucent on this for the last 18 months, hand in hand, to marry their wireless technology with our ease-of-use technology and to bring the cost of this down for people because this stuff has been pretty pricey to date.

Steve introduced the device itself, including showing how big it is in his hand. The AirPort Base Station had a 56K modem built-in, but it could also be connected via Ethernet to an existing modem. Apple’s routers were finally discontinued in 2018, after nearly 10 years of fending off competition in a crowded marketplace.

It’s hard to imagine a world without WiFi routers and laptops that come with WiFi capabilities as standard, but the video of the AirPort announcement is worth watching if you want to see a crowd cheer when a guy picks up a laptop and walks around with it while very slowly loading individual webpages.

Cinema Display (Seybold, 1999)

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Ulf Cronenberg, Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: …and we think we’ve got the strongest product lineup that Apple’s ever had. So thank you for coming today and checking this out with us. We’re very, very pleased to introduce this to you and uh… oh, wait a minute now. There is one more thing. There is one more thing that I wanna show you.

We make some great displays for the new Power Mac G4. We have our 15-inch flat panel studio display, and our 17-inch and 21-inch CRT-based studio displays. And they work great with the G4. They’re colour coordinated to match. But what would be the ultimate companion for the new Power Mac G4? Well let me show you.

This is called the Apple Cinema Display.

The first Apple Cinema Display was 22 inches, clearly being designed to be only slightly bigger than the largest CRT monitor they made. The only input was DVI, but the product was updated in 2000 to use the Apple Display Connector. This wasn’t really a connector at all, but it incorporated DVI, USB and power through a modified version of the standard DVI connector.

The Apple Display Connector was no longer necessary in 2011, at which point the Apple Cinema Display line was replaced with the Apple Thunderbolt Display line.

USB-C eventually became capable of doing everything that the Apple Display Connector could do and more, but the Apple Thunderbolt Display was itself discontinued in 2016, just as MacBooks were starting to support it.

The closest thing to a standalone monitor that Apple still makes is the Pro Display XDR, which was announced alongside the Mac Pro in 2019.

iMac DV (Apple Special Event, 1999)

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sdjupedal, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: We now have the best consumer desktop on the planet, and I really wanna thank you for coming here and seeing it with us today. We’re really, really proud of it. Everybody’s worked really really hard on it, so thank you.

The audience applauds as the Apple logo is displayed on the slideshow and Steve starts to leave. But he turns around exactly imitating the style of TV’s Columbo, holding up one hand to the audience.

STEVE: Oh, wait a minute though. Wait a minute. I forgot. There is one more thing I forgot to tell you about. This is really important. In addition to the iMac, we have a second model called the iMac DV. What does DV stand for? Digital Video. The iMac Digital Video. What is this? Well, the iMac DV is everything in iMac and a lot more. Let me tell you a little more. 400 MHz processor: even faster. 10 gig drive: even bigger. RGB Video Out built into every one, this is a key feature for our education customers.

Steve goes to great lengths to demonstrate that there are a lot of ports on this version of the iMac, and that they can be hidden by a plastic grill.

STEVE: So sort of on the bottom headed towards the back there’s a little ventilation grill on the bottom, looks like this you can pop it out very easily and expose the connector. And we even ship another nice little grill you can pop in, and then you can just hook right onto it. So everybody that needs RGB out, built into every unit.

iMac DV Special Edition (At the end of same presentation, 1999)

STEVE :And we are so far ahead of anybody now in the consumer desktop space, it’s not funny. So thank you very much for coming today, we’ve had a lot to show you, thanks for sitting through a long presentation.

The slideshow displays ‘One m̶o̶r̶e̶ thing…’ with the word ‘last’ above the crossed-out word ‘more’.

STEVE :Oh but wait a minute. Wait a minute. I do have one last thing I forgot to tell you about. We just told you about iMac DV. One last thing: iMac DV Special Edition. The iMac DV Special Edition is everything in iMac DV and more. The more is 128 megabytes of memory, standard, a 13 gigabyte drive, standard, and an amazing new special colour. We’d like to show you that now, the iMac DV Special Edition. It’s the most beautiful iMac ever. It’s in a brand new color for iMac: graphite.

It seems pretty likely that the iPhone SE line, which so far has only included an iPhone 5s with updated internals and an iPhone 8 with similarly updated internals, is a nod to this product. It has never been explicitly stated what SE stands for, but it seems pretty obvious.

However, instead of being the most powerful products in their class, the SE products of today are discounted devices that take advantage of existing tooling by reissuing old hardware with newer processors inside them.

AQUA (MacWorld SF, 2000)

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Image by 538778 from Pixabay

A table is shown on the slideshow that has Darwin at the bottom in a yellow-orange gradient, Quartz, OpenGL and QT in the middle in green, and Classic, Carbon and Cocoa at the top in purple.

STEVE: So this is the architecture. Except there’s one more thing. The one more thing is we have been secretly, for the last 18 months, designing a completely new user interface. And that new user interface builds on Apple’s legacy and carries it into the next century. And we call that new user interface AQUA because it’s liquid.

All colour is drained from the other parts of the table, and AQUA spans the width of the top with a light blue gradient background. I couldn’t find an easy way to include a screenshot of the original Mac OS X operating system without worrying about rights issues, so this image of similar buttons that fit the aesthetic will have to do.

STEVE: One of the design goals was when you saw it you wanted to lick it. So we call it AQUA, and this is the architecture for Mac OS X. And we are incredibly, incredibly excited and pleased with how this has turned out. Now when we talk about user interfaces, um… let me show you.

A screenshot of the original Mac software from 1984 is shown.

STEVE: This is it. No. This is what started it all, right? The original Macintosh in 1984, 512 by 384 dots on the screen, black and white, kicked off a revolution. And uh, we saw others follow, in the late 80s. This was Windows 3.1 in the late 80s, and Apple followed up in the mid-90s with the current user interface called Platinum, still the best thing out there. And this is Windows 98 which obviously came out in ’98. So these are the user interfaces out there, they’re all credible, they all work. How do we take this to the next level? Well let me show you a few slides on AQUA, and then I’d like to demonstrate for you.

It’s clear that AQUA changed our expectations of operating system lickability, and it may have been responsible for the more realistic and ‘skeumorphic’ aesthetics that were very popular by the time the first iPhone would be released.

Power Mac G4 Cube (MacWorld NY, 2000)

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Image via Wikimedia Commons based on this photo released under CC-BY-2.0.

STEVE: But there’s one more thing. This is our product strategy, that we announced about two and a half years ago. The four quadrants, and it’s served us very well. And we’ve even had a chance to go round and update most of them 2 or 3 times each, to constantly keep them fresh and aggressive. But today, for the first time in two and a half years, we are expanding our product strategy, and it’s not a portable. It is a new desktop machine. What is it? We are combining the power of the Power Mac G4, the awesome power of this machine, with the desktop elegance, the silence and the miniaturisation that we learned from doing the iMacs, to make a whole new class of machine.

This way of comparing the expertise shown by different product lines and the virtues of combining them would return for the MacBook Air.

These announcements really give you a lot of insight into Apple’s decision-making process, which is somewhat more opaque nowadays.

STEVE :And so, we’re starting with the G4 POWER. We’re building in a really fast G4 chip into this machine. We’re building in the ability to have a gigabyte and a half of memory in the machine, we’re building in the ability to have up to 40 gigabytes of storage inside the machine. We’re adding I/O for everything. A modem, 100 Mb/s Ethernet, USB and Firewire, you can hook up to almost anything with this machine. And AirPort wireless networking inside as well. Now I know some of you are saying “well, looks like a mid-range Power Mac G4 to me, what’s so special about this?” Well, this is where we get into the iMac magic.

Count how many times Steve says 8-inch cube:

STEVE: Because if this is the size of a Power Mac G4, we have miniaturised all that power into something this size. From this to this. And what we’ve miniaturised it into is an 8-inch cube. An 8-inch cube. Unbelievable. Another way of looking at this is the Power Mac G4, you could break it into 4 equal parts, we have miniaturised all of the power into just one of those parts, which is an 8-inch cube. Unbelievable. Now, you can imagine with all this power in such a dense space, we must need a turbofan to cool this thing! But no, our engineers have done some brilliant work, and all this power in an 8-inch cube is cooled without a fan. And so, it runs in virtual silence, in an 8-inch cube. And we call this product the Power Mac G4 Cube, or more affectionately, the G4 Cube.

The answer is 5 times.

PowerBook G4 Titanium (MacWorld SF, 2001)

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Ashley Pomeroy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: You guys have sat through a lot, and I really appreciate it today. And uh, there is one more thing. One more thing if I could beg your patience another few minutes. I’ll give you a clue.

The next slide shows the periodic table symbol for titanium.

STEVE: Anybody get it? Remember high school chemistry? Okay. Let’s talk notebooks. We have the most powerful notebooks in the world. But they have the sex. We want both. We want both. The power and the sex, right? So today we’re introducing a totally new PowerBook. It’s got the power. 500 MHz G4, our first G4 PowerBook ever. If that’s not enough this next one is gonna blow your mind. 15.2 inch mega-wide screen. Built-in DVD. 5 hour battery life. AirPort ready. \

So these are the kind of power features you expect from us. Firewire ports, et cetera, all that stuff. But what about the sex? Sitting down? 1 inch thick, 5.3 pounds, and this again.

The symbol for titanium returns.

STEVE :What is this? Titanium! It’s made out of titanium! Like the spy planes! This is an incredible material, it’s stronger than steel yet lighter than aluminum. It’s unbelievable. Y’know IBM’s talked about titanium, they just throw a little titanium powder in the plastic, it’s nothing.This is real commercial-grade titanium metal, like they build airplanes out of. Titanium. We think we got the power and the sex in our new PowerBook G4 Titanium. And as you can see, I’d like to show it to you. This thing’s pretty remarkable. Ready? Voila!

Steve pulls a cloth away to reveal the PowerBook G4 Titanium.

STEVE: Do we have video here? This is it. It is remarkable. Let me open it up here, look at this, it is incredible, look at how thin this is, that’s my finger, okay! Why don’t you go down and show ’em the side. Look at this thing, it’s unbelievably beautiful.

17-inch iMac (MacWorld NY, 2002)

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Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: But wait a minute, there is one more thing I forgot about. Uh, it’s the iMac. I wanted to talk about the iMac for just a minute. The iMac has been really great for us, I think customers just love them, with the flat screen, the super crisp flat screen displays, the really fast G4 processors and the SuperDrive so you can burn your own DVDs that play in consumer DVD players. And its design is just stunning, where you can just move the display anywhere you want, and the feedback we’ve gotten on this one is just fantastic.

I do miss this design of iMac, even though I never had one. I did see one in person once, but I wasn’t really allowed to touch it or use it. It makes a lot more sense to me for iMacs to have displays that can be angled however you need them as they were back then, rather than the stiff and boring iMacs of today.

I guess the Apple Pro XDR Display has more ability to be moved, but only if you buy the $999 Pro Stand.

STEVE: Walt Mossberg, not an easy journalist to please, said: “the new flat-panel iMac is the best consumer desktop PC on the market, and costs less than a Windows PC with the same specs.” He said that last month, so we’re really happy with the iMac. I’ve got some fun data to share with you. We sell three models. The high-end one has a SuperDrive in it, you can burn your own DVDs as I said. I’m really pleased to report that the percentage of all the Macs sold with a SuperDrive: 50%. Customers want the SuperDrive, it is the most requested thing we’ve got in the iMac line, just “get me one with a SuperDrive,” and it’s showing up in the sales stats. And that model sells for $1899, as of today we’re lowering the price back down to $1799 so we’ll try to reach even more people with it. But this doesn’t address the number one request we’ve gotten for the iMac.

All of this is just to lead up to a single feature change that is coming to the iMac, and I’m not sure how excited I would have been about it at the time it was announced.

STEVE: The number one request is for a larger display. And the iMac’s got a fantastic 15-inch display, but today we are introducing a model with a 17-inch landscape display. Let’s go ahead and take a look at it. It is gorgeous. It’s really beautiful, it’s giant, and again you can move it anywhere you like.

G5 (WWDC, 2003)

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Bernie Kohl, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: There is one more thing we wanted to talk about today. Now some of you may have noticed on the net… this.

A screenshot of the Apple website is shown.

STEVE: For those of you that have not been aware, there was a funny thing that happened on our website, last Thursday as I recall, where some specifications were posted on a Power Mac G4 page that looked pretty remarkable. Now the reaction to these specifications fell into one of three camps. One, it’s too good to be true, can’t be true, nothing could ever be this good. Number two, it’s true, and number three, it’s brilliant marketing on Apple’s part. One of the folks internally had a great name for this, which is premature specification.

I am here today to tell you that it was a mistake, and it’s true.

But it doesn’t even begin to tell the story that we get to tell you right here and now. We are delivering today the world’s fastest personal computer. It’s amazing. Now there’s three things: there’s the chip, there’s the system and there’s the product. And we’re calling it the G5.

12-inch PowerBook (MacWorld, 2003)

STEVE: So, the 17-inch PowerBook. We just took another giant leap. There is one more thing. It’s one more small thing. When we were inventing all of the technology to build this, tremendous technology to be able to do this, it‘s way far ahead of what anyone in the industry is capable of doing. We decided to apply that technology to something a little smaller, which is this.

The slideshow transitions from the 17-inch PowerBook to a much smaller one. The space on either side of the keyboard is essentially stripped away, leaving a barely changed keyboard size whilst leaving practically no wasted space vertically or horizontally around the edges.

STEVE :Yeah. Wanna see it again? A new 12-inch PowerBook. It is only 1.2 inches thick, weighs 4.6 pounds, it is the smallest PowerBook ever, even smaller than the Duos if you remember those. It is the smallest full-featured notebook in the world. New 12-inch PowerBook and… I happen to have one right here.

iPod Mini Has Different Colors (MacWorld, 2004)

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Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I already teased this as one of the most boring one more thing announcements ever. I’m not particularly familiar with the history of iPods, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the start of the larger trend of iPods in a variety of colours and, if this theory is true, it makes slightly more sense that the announcement would be given such a dramatic introduction.

STEVE: The iPod mini is designed to go after this. The high-end of the flash market, and we think it is going to do very well doing exactly that. There’s just one more thing about the iPod mini, which is it comes in colors. So in addition to silver we have gold, we have blue, we have pink and we have green. So we have a whole family of colours with the iPod mini. Now these are aluminum, and they’re anodised aluminum, so photography doesn’t really do them justice. You go out and see these in the booth, they are gorgeous.

iPod Shuffle (MacWorld, 2005)

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Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: So we’re very excited about that. So these two things and many more are we believe we have just begun this era of digital music, and we’re going to see some very healthy progress in the next year. We’re very excited about it. iPod, and iPod mini. But there is one more thing. There is one more thing that we want to tell you about today, it’s pretty great. So let’s look at iPod market share, and let’s go back a year in time, let’s go back to January 2004, a year ago.

Steve brings up a pie chart representing market share across the entire MP3 player market.

STEVE: iPod’s market share was about 31%, flash music players had a share of 62% and the iPod wannabes were about 7%. That was a year ago. Now a year ago, we introduced a new product called the iPod mini to go after the high-end of the flash market. Well, it’s a year later, how did we do? January 2005 I’m pleased to announce that the iPod’s market share has doubled to 65%. The flash market share has been cut in half to 29%, and the wannabes are down a percent to 6%.

In one year, very rarely do you get a before and after snapshot like this. The iPod mini worked.

This is the kind of victory lap that Apple rarely makes in its recent history.

Apple doesn’t publish iPhone sales numbers anymore, as it is very difficult to find people who want iPhones who have never bought one before.

STEVE :So, what’s next?

Well, we’d like to go after the remaining mainstream flash market. So we’ve taken a look at this market, and it’s a zoo. There’s a zillion little flash players, and the market’s incredibly fragmented, nobody has very much market share, nobody’s investing marketing and growing the market. The products are all pretty much the same.

So let’s just pick one of them and take a look. They all have some attributes. First of all, most of them are powered by AAA batteries which are not rechargeable. So what that means is you’re gonna feed this thing about $100 worth of batteries a year, not such a good investment, but let’s even forget about the batteries for now. The real key here is that these products are trying to be as easy to use as an iPod, but they’ve got these very tiny displays and no click wheels, they just got these little buttons. And the result is a real tortured user interface, they’re really hard to use, they’re hard to find your music. You’re sitting there trying to navigate around these things, and it’s a lost cause.

Tim Cook doesn’t seem to enjoy dunking on his competition anywhere near as much as Steve Jobs, and that can be interpreted as a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view!

STEVE: Well, we don’t wanna make another one of these, there’s plenty of them. We wanna make something that’s really great if we’re gonna enter this market. We wanna make something that’s even easier to use than the existing iPods because if this is going to be our entry-level product we wanna bring even more people into the digital music revolution. This is not the way to go. So we noodled on this for a while, and we realised that we had to come up with a new original idea that would make a product that was way better than this, where you didn’t have to use tortured user interfaces to listen to your music.

And then we saw it. It was as clear as a bell. Something happened in the iPod market, with all of our iPod users last year. They discovered a new way to listen to their music that became the most popular way that iPod users listen to their music, and what is that? Shuffle. With Shuffle, you don’t have to find your music. It’s shuffled up for you. And we decided to base a flash-based player around shuffle. And so today we are introducing the iPod shuffle, and this is what it looks like.

I always forget that this original Shuffle existed, as I always think of the Shuffle as the small square clip.

Again, I wasn’t ever an iPod user, so this isn’t really my area of expertise.

TV Shows on iTunes (Press Conference, 2005)

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Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

STEVE: So iTunes 6, that is act 3. But we do have one more thing today. One more thing. It’s a pretty big thing. You know, we’ve talked about how you can buy music videos off the store, you can subscribe to video podcasts off the iTunes Music Store, and you can buy Pixar short films. Well there is one more thing that we’re announcing today that you can buy off the iTunes Music Store, and that is TV shows.

Other than the Mac OS X aesthetic AQUA, this was the first time that software had been announced this way.

This was the first of many iTunes updates that would be given this way, as the service expanded from music to dominate all forms of media.

MacBook Pro (MacWorld, 2006)

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Image by José Manuel de Laá from Pixabay

I quoted and discussed this announcement when I wrote MagSafe Will Finally Return To The MacBook… But Only On ARM.

It definitely seems as though the event on the 10th November 2020 has been named this way because of the way the MacBook Pro was announced. After Steve had explained the difficult roadmap for transitioning from the POWER architecture to Intel’s x86 architecture, he announced a laptop that could run on x86.

We are in the midst of a transition to ARM, which will no doubt see its first hardware on the 10th.

While there wasn’t a ‘no more thing’ at WWDC where Apple Silicon was announced

iTV, As Apple TV Was Known Internally (It’s Showtime, 2006)

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Image by Jan Tůma from Pixabay

STEVE: But there is one last thing I’d like to talk to you about today. Now this next thing is a little unusual for us. It’s a sneak peak of a product that will be announced in the first calendar quarter of 2007. We usually keep things pretty choraled until we’re ready to ship them. In this case I think it completes the story, and to undersstand where we’re going I’d like you to get a sneak peak of this. So we decided to go ahead and show it to you today.

There haven’t been many times in which the shroud of secrecy around Apple products is lifted, but this was a rare glimpse at a product that was yet to be announced.

It hadn’t even been named yet.

STEVE :So we’ve now got music and TV shows and audiobooks and movies and all sorts of digital content on the iTunes Store. And you can take that content, again whether it be music or TV shows or movies let’s focus on movies here, and you can purchase it and download it over the internet to your computer. It can be a Mac or a PC, I’m going to use a Mac here because I’m biased, but that can be a PC too. And you can take that content, enjoy it on your computer, whether it’s a desktop or a notebook, and you can also sync it to your iPod, and it’s really great. What about that big flat screen TV you just bought last weekend?

You’d love to be able to, say, watch your movies on that. So what are we gonna do to complete this picture? Well you need a box to drive that big screen TV to play movies. I mean if you wanna play DVDs you’ve got to go out and buy a DVD player, right? Well you’ve gotta go out and somehow get a little iTunes player to play this stuff. But how’s this box going to talk to the computer? Do I want to string cables throughout my house? Because my computer’s probably in my den or in my… some other room in the house, and my TV is in the living room or wherever it might be.

It’s hard to remember the time when Smart TVs didn’t exist, and the Chromecasts, Rokus and Fire TVs didn’t also exist to give you a much better interface. This product was being suggested as a way to get your computer to show content on the TV, but there’s no mention that the streaming box itself could have the ability to purchase or download content itself.

STEVE: So I’m gonna talk to it using wireless networking, and that’s gonna get the content from my computer to this box, and from the box onto the TV. Makes sense? Right? That’s what we’d all like to do, we’d like to tear up our walls and string cables. So let’s talk about the box. This is the missing piece. Well here it is. This is what it looks like, and internally we call it iTV. It’s gonna let you enjoy your media on your big screen flat TV, right? That’s what it’s for. Now it’s a code name internally, we’ve got to come up with a final name before we introduce it in the first calendar quarter of next year.

I happen to live in the UK, so I know why the iTV name was never adopted. After the BBC, ITV is the oldest network, far outstaying Channels 4 and 5, both of which came into being after the 1980s. The change of name to the iTV could have marked the demise of the lower case ‘i’ prefix in front of product names, which was already under siege from so many companies snapping up similar trademarks.

Apple couldn’t legally defend the idea of putting an ‘i’ in front of product names.

But they sure could defend their right to name a product the Apple TV.

Safari For Windows (WWDC, 2007)

STEVE :There is one more little thing. Since we’re all here today, there’s one other thing we wanted to tell you about, and that we think you might like. One of the things we didn’t have a chance to talk about so far is Safari. You know that Safari has been a wonderful success, there are now over 18 million Safari users and, if you look at Safari’s market share, it has climbed from zero when we introduced it a few years ago to 5% across the entire internet. Now if you look at the whole world of browsers, Internet Explorer’s market share is about 78%, Firefox is about 15, Safari is 5, and other browsers are about 2.

Well we dream big, we would love for Safari’s market share to grow substantially.

The pie chart that displayed the previous figures eliminates Firefox and other browsers, to give Safari a 22% share while preserving Internet Explorer’s 78% share.

STEVE: That’s what we’d love. But how are we going to do that? Well, the max market share is growing, and this is great. But we want to grow maybe even in addition to that, and to do that, we’re gonna have to create a version of Safari that runs on Windows. We have a little bit of expertise in doing that because of iTunes, and that’s exactly what we have done.

This experiment lasted 5 years, so was clearly not a success. Now that Google Chrome has well and truly won the browser wars, it seems very futile to resist.

I’m not sure who the Windows users were that wanted to use Safari, but there must have been at least a few of them?

Metal MacBook (Apple Special Event, 2008)

STEVE :So these are some of the new products we wanted to introduce today, but there is one more thing. And of course, that one more thing is the MacBook. The MacBook is an amazing product. It is the best-selling Mac ever. We sell a ton of these MacBooks, and people love ’em. They are one of the best products in the industry. The entry price is $1099, and we’re gonna keep on selling these to a lot of people, but we’re gonna reduce the entry price to $999, make ’em a little more affordable, and I think we’ll just keep on selling these for an awful long time, they’re fantastic products.

Looking back at these announcements, it’s clear that Steve was a big fan of talking about how successful Apple’s products were. But he also constantly showed that he was listening to feedback, and the audience can come along for the ride into market research data in a way that has been impossible since. There are many reasons that Apple may not want to share customer preference data, as they might be uncertain about giving competitors an edge.

Or it could be that no one can do a presentation like this the way that Steve used to do.

STEVE: But we’ve heard from a lot of MacBook customers, and the top three things they’d like in their MacBooks are a metal enclosure. They lust after the MacBook Pro’s metal enclosure. Faster graphics, right? They wanna play games, they’re doing a lot of graphics-intensive applications with photos and other things, they want faster graphics and a lot of them want LED backlit displays for instant-on and brighter displays. So these are the top three things we’ve heard, and we’ve figured out a way to bring these to the MacBook line.

And so, we are introducing a new generation of MacBook on top of our white plastic MacBook, and here it is. It’s an all-new MacBook. Again, corner-to-corner glass, LED-backlit display, it is our new, next-generation MacBook.

Video Camera on iPod Nano (Apple Music Event, 2009)

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Lubyanka, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: But we do have one more thing. And that is a video camera. You know we’ve seen video explode in the last few years, nowhere more than on YouTube, which is serving up a billion video streams a day. And where are these video streams coming from? They’re coming from folks like us, who are using these portable, solid-state video cameras to take personal videos, and it’s incredible. So here’s one, a very popular one, 4 gigabytes of memory, $149, and this market’s really exploding, and we wanna get in on this. So what are we gonna do? Well we’re gonna start off with an 8 GB unit, 8 gigabytes of memory, and we’re gonna lower the price from $149 to free. This is the new Apple, isn’t it?

I was somewhat perplexed that this announcement was happening in 2009. But it’s worth pointing out that this was the year that the iPhone 3GS became the first iPhone to feature video recording, and that phone was outside the price range of plenty of people.

STEVE: So how are we gonna do that? We’re gonna built a video camera right into the new iPod Nano. On the back of the every Nano is a video camera and a microphone, integrated right in. And there’s a speaker inside as well, to listen to the sound of your videos. So built into every iPod Nano is now an awesome video camera. And yet we’ve still retained its incredibly small size, and you realise how small when you compare this to other devices, right? A fifth as thick, a tenth the volume. So you can take along your iPod Nano and always have your video camera with you.

I’m not sure how many videos have ever been recorded with an iPod Nano, but I’m sure if I was an iPod Nano user that didn’t have an iPhone 3GS I’m sure I’d be glad to have a video camera with me at all time.

We take that ability so much for granted now.

FaceTime (WWDC, 2010)

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Apple Inc., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: But there is one more thing, and I think it’s best that I just show you. I really want your WiFi devices off, are they off? Please turn ’em off if you’ve turned ‘em back on. So in 2007 when we launched the iPhone, it was my privilege to make the first public call on stage to one of my best friends in the whole world, Jony Ive, the head of our design team and uh, I’d like to do the same on this occasion. So I’m gonna go ahead and call Jony now.

Steve presses the camera icon to launch the first FaceTime call, and his face comes up on the iPhone screen being mirrored to the projector. There is an immediate cheer as everyone realises before the call is even connected that video calling is coming to the iPhone.

STEVE: Hey Jony.
JONY: Hey. I’m free for 20 minutes.
STEVE: It’s uh, this never freezes up so you guys haven’t turned off all your WiFi. Come on, let’s get it off please. Hey Jony how you doing?
JONY: I’m good, I’m good. How are you?
STEVE: I’m good except for these guys that aren’t turning their WiFi off.
JONY: That’s pretty naughty isn’t it?
STEVE: Yeah. Y’know this is amazing, I grew up here in the US with the Jetsons and with Star Trek and communicators and just dreaming about this, you know, dreaming about video calling and it’s real now. Did you have this kind of stuff in England?
JONY: I grew up watching exactly the same TV shows, you know, I used to love that sort of wonderful, sort of optimistic view of the future, and it’s real now, isn’t it?
STEVE: It’s real, especially when people turn their WiFi stuff off!
JONY: It’s sort of odd isn’t it, because the idea of communicating this way it’s an old idea, we’ve just had to wait an awfully long time for it to become real, haven’t we?
STEVE: Yeah. Well listen, let’s have lunch later on.
JONY: Alright, I’ll see you soon.
STEVE: Thanks Jony.
JONY: Bye, see ya Steve.

Steve stands up without the iPhone he was using for the call, which had now ended. “So,” he said. “We call this FaceTime.”

Steve really hates it when people don’t turn their Wi-Fi off, which was a command he repeated when he was announcing the original iPad. He needed to show that the software worked flawlessly without lag, and I’m not really sure why they seemed to be in such short supply of bandwidth to need to make this demand at both events.

Apple TV 2nd Generation (Apple Music Event, 2010)

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Mikepanhu, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

STEVE: But we’ve got one more thing. Actually it’s one more hobby. So, of course, we’re talking about Apple TV. Now we introduced Apple TV four years ago, and we’ve sold a lot of ’em but it’s never been a huge hit, and nor is any other competitive product. Nothing’s really hit in the living room yet. But we talk to people who use Apple TVs, and they love ’em. They absolutely love them, and use them a lot. So what have we learnt in the last four years? What have we learned from our users, well we’ve learned a lot.

Again we are seeing that Steve was open to share what Apple had learnt from their previous products, and how this has informed their products going forward.

STEVE: The first thing is the number one, two and three thing they want is they want Hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want them. It’s not really complicated, they want Hollywood movies and TV shows. They don’t want amateur hour, they want professional content and they want everything in HD. The HD revolution is over, it happened, HD won, everybody wants HD. They like to pay lower prices for content, right? The lower the prices, the more they’re gonna watch. They don’t want a computer on their TV, they have computers. They go to their widescreen TVs for entertainment, not to have another computer.

This is a hard one for people in the computer industry to understand. But it’s really easy for consumers to understand. They get it. They don’t wanna manage storage. When you buy a bunch of movies and TV shows you have to manage them because you don’t wanna throw them away, you just bought them. And so you have storage management problems, your hard disk starts to fill up, what are you gonna do? People don’t wanna think about managing storage, they just wanna watch movies and TV shows. And they don’t wanna sync to a computer. Most of them haven’t even figured out what that is. They wanna pull some content off their computer, but they don’t want this syncing stuff, it’s too complicated. And they want whatever hardware we have to be silent, cool and small, right? Not too hard to understand.

So this is what we’ve learned, and it’s really quite a bit different than a lot of other companies think. And either we’re right or we’re wrong, but this is what we’ve heard from our customers, so we’ve made something new for them. This is the current Apple TV, we are introducing a second generation of Apple TV today, and this is what it looks like. It’s a fourth the size, you can hold it in the palm of your hand. Look at it, that’s it! It’s this little tiny box!

MacBook Air (Back to the Mac, 2010)

STEVE: So these are the things that we wanted to share with you today, we’re really excited about them. But there is one more thing, and that one more thing really comes back to our theme for today, which is Back to the Mac. Y’know, we talked about this virtuous circle, with Mac OS X helping to create iOS for our devices, that maturing, being on the iPod and now, being inspired by that, bringing some of that back to Mac OS X. But just like that philosophy has some benefit in our software, it can also have some benefit in our hardware.

What would happen if a MacBook met an iPad?

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Matthew Yohe, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Maybe it’s just because my first Mac was an 11-inch 2011 MacBook Air, but this seems like one of the biggest One More Thing announcements Steve Jobs ever made.

STEVE: There’s a lot to be inspired about there as well. Well what are some of those things? Well iPad has instant-on, right? That’s pretty rare for a notebook. Great battery life, amazing standby time, 30-day standby time, solid-state storage so there’s no optical or hard drives. And it’s thinner and lighter, which means it’s even more mobile. These are some great things for notebooks, and so we asked ourselves what would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up? Well, this is the result. It’s one of the most amazing things we’ve ever created, it is our new MacBook Air, and we think it’s the future of notebooks.

We’re really excited about this. It is gorgeous. Let me just show you a few beautiful shots of it. It’s like nothing we’ve ever created before, and it’s really stunning.

iTunes Match (WWDC, 2011)

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Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay

STEVE: So that’s iCloud. Now there’s one more thing. A small thing. It pertains to iTunes in the cloud. As you recall, iTunes in the cloud is just for the music that you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store. Now at 14 billion songs… 15 billion, excuse me, that’s a lot of songs out there. They’ve been purchased from the iTunes Store. But you may have some that you ripped yourself, and there’s three ways you can deal with that. One, you can sync your new devices over WiFi or cable, and you only have to sync ’em once just to get that music on there and then you can rely on iCloud to take care of getting all your new purchases off iTunes onto that device. Or, if it’s just a few songs you love and you don’t wanna leave behind, you can buy those songs, that you’ll miss on iTunes.

It’s hard to know if Steve Jobs was planning Apple Music, the streaming service that would replace so much of what iTunes Match was.

STEVE: We’re gonna offer a third way, which is called iTunes Match. What is iTunes Match? Well, iTunes Match uses the fact that we’ve got 18 million songs now in the iTunes Music Store, and the chances are awfully good that we’ve got the songs in our stores that you’ve ripped. And so we wrote software to scan those CDs, the non-iTunes music and match it up with those songs we have in the store.

This was Steve’s last One More Thing before he died, and I kinda wish it could’ve been for something more interesting and revolutionary than this.

Apple Watch (Spring Forward, 2014)

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Matthew Yohe, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

TIM: But we’re not finished yet. We have one more thing. We love to make great products that really enrich people’s lives. We love to integrate hardware, software and services seamlessly. We love to make technology more personal, and allow our users to do things that they could never have imagined. We’ve been working incredibly hard for a long time on an entirely new product, and we believe this product will redefine what people expect from its category. I am so excited and I am so proud to share it with you this morning.

It is the next chapter in Apple’s story. And here it is.

This was Tim Cook’s first attempt at a ‘one last thing’ announcement, and he clearly felt the weight of the responsibility.

He played it safe by announcing something that is much more on the scale of the MacBook Air, and not on the scale of the iPad Mini having more colours.

Apple Music (WWDC, 2015)

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

TIM: Before we close this morning, we do have one more thing. I’d like to tell you about something that we’ve been working really hard on, and something we are really excited about. Today we’re announcing Apple Music, the next chapter in music, and I know you are going to love it. It’ll change the way that you experience music forever.

This keeps alive the spirit of the iTunes announcements that Steve made over the years, as the company moved from a hardware-oriented model to a more services-oriented model.

Tim has continued this transition, and the company has remained healthy as a result of this adaptation.

iPhone X (Apple Park CA, 2017)

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Dimsar01 at Greek Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

TIM: But we’re not stopping there. We do have one more thing. We have great respect for these words, and we don’t use them lightly. Our teams have been hard at work for years on something that is important to all of us: the future of the smartphone. The first iPhone revolutionised a decade of technology and changed the world in the process. Now, 10 years later, it is only fitting that we are here, in this place, on this day, to reveal a product that will set the path of technology for the next decade. This is iPhone X. It is the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.

This was an appropriate and very Steve way to introduce the first iPhone with a notch. At this point, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus had already been announced, and they had been referred to as if they were the only iPhones to be released that year. The iPhone X was their first attempt at pulling out all the stops, and making a phone that truly pushed the boundaries of what an iPhone could be.

Who knows what the next One More Thing will be?

I’m hoping for a few surprises on 10th November myself.

Thanks for reading!

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Rob Sturgeon

Written by

An iOS developer who writes about gadgets, startups and cybersecurity. Swift programming tutorials and SwiftUI documentation too. robsturgeon.com

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Rob Sturgeon

Written by

An iOS developer who writes about gadgets, startups and cybersecurity. Swift programming tutorials and SwiftUI documentation too. robsturgeon.com

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

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