Apple iBook G3 (1999)
Apple's attention-grabbing iBook spawned the phrase 'laptop envy' when it stepped onto the scene at the backend of the ‘90s. Despite accusations of looking like a toilet seat, it took its design cues from the beauty of the iMac G3, came in a smorgasbord of colours and was truly portable. It was immensely popular – generating iPhone-like buzz in its day – but gave way to the the MacBook in 2006.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion (2011)
Not technically a gadget, but OS X Lion roared onto the scene as a download-only operating system – a first for Apple. And while it built on more significant advances in previous editions of Mac OS X, Lion felt more like Apple settling into its full, innovative stride. A generation of trackpad users had their world turned (literally) on its head, while the OS stormed ahead of Windows 7 in user friendliness and graphical ‘wow’. It shifted six million downloads in the first couple of months.
Apple iPod (2001)
It’s hard to fully express how much Apple’s little white box changed gadgets. It had a massive 5GB hard drive with buffering so it wouldn’t skip and a fancy scroll wheel. It was white. And it would go on to change the way gadgets looked, how they were used and – in tandem with iTunes – the entire music industry. Not a bad effort.
Apple MacBook (2006)
Stepping in to replace the iBook and 12in Powerbook, the 13.3in MacBook was the first Apple laptop to have Intel inside. And it came in white (which seemed like a good idea for the first month) or black polycarbonate. A host of DIY YouTube videos sprung up to help owners replace hard drives, batteries and RAM – making us all feel like real men.
Apple Power Mac G5 (2003)
The G5 was Apple’s most powerful computer in 2005 and hailed as the first 64-bit PC. It was encased in that season’s bulletproof anodised aluminium shell, a form that proved irresistable to moneyed graphic designers, while being able to house 8GB RAM back in 2003 was something to email home about. At ridiculous speeds. It was replaced by the Mac Pro.