In the age of the Apple rumor mill, almost nothing the technology giant announces is a total surprise. It wasn't always that way.
There's one more thing...
Blame those leaks and rumors, but Apple events aren’t quite what they used to be. New products were once shrouded in secrecy. And when the time came for the big reveal, Steve Jobs knew how to impress time after time, delighting the audience with that now-famous one-liner, “one more thing…” and the latest lust-worthy device or service. Here’s a look at every announcement Jobs surprised us with from 1998 on.
January 1998 - Macworld
Steve’s first use of the phrase onstage had little to do with new hardware and everything to do with Apple’s earnings. At the end of a 90-minute speech, Jobs off-handedly remarked, “Oh, and one more thing… we’re profitable.” With $45 million of net income that quarter, it was the first time Apple had managed a profit in over two years.
January 1999 - Macworld
If the introduction of a sleek all-in-one desktop computer called the iMac wasn’t surprising enough, then imagine it in five different colors. Groovy, no?
July 1999 - Macworld
Quaint as it may seem now, there was a time when computers relied on wired connections to access the Web. Jobs cut the cord by introducing the AirPort base station, Apple’s solution for wireless Internet.
August 1999 - Seybold Seminars Expo
In the 1990s, computer monitors earned little fanfare, and for good reason. They were often huge, clunky box-shaped screens that hogged space. Which is why the 22-inch Apple Cinema Display, with its slender translucent plastic frame, was a veritable revelation.
October 1999 - Special iMac event
The all-in-one iMac received several hardware upgrades, which included a slightly faster processor, support for FireWire cables, and a new slot-loading CD drive. Christened the iMac DV and iMac DV Special Edition, they came in two additional retro patterns: Blue Dalmation and Flower Power.
January 2000 - Macworld
That year marked one of Jobs’ rare non-product announcements. Two years after taking Apple back to profitability, Jobs said he would drop the interim CEO title and remain in charge.
July 2000 - Macworld
Apple’s recently-minted full-time CEO wrapped up the show by unveiling one of the boldest computers the company would ever craft. The 7-inch by 7-inch by 7-inch Power Mac G4 Cube defied traditional desktop tower design with its geometrically perfect shape, acrylic glass, and a CD drive that vertically-ejected discs.
January 2001 - Macworld
Thought the all-in-one iMac was a revelation? Think again. In 2001, Jobs snuck in the unveiling of the PowerBook G4, a thin, sturdy notebook fashioned largely from titanium.
January 2002 - Macworld
In 2001, Apple introduced the iPod, the hard drive-based music player that ignited the digital music revolution. But it wasn’t until 2002 that sales really started to take off, thanks largely to 2002’s big reveal: iPod compatibility with Microsoft Windows.
January 2002 - Macworld
That same event, Jobs pulled a fast one and also unveiled a 17-inch version of the second-generation iMac, the only one in the line that diverged from an all-in-one design.
January 2003 - Macworld
In 2003, Jobs took the popular 15-inch PowerBook and introduced a more portable 12-inch version. This one, like its larger sibling, swapped out the titanium for aluminum, a lighter metal.
June 2003 - WWDC
Mainstream Mac users had different varieties of iMacs and PowerBooks to choose from. The power user? Less so. So Jobs introduced the PowerMac G5, a desktop tower of anodized aluminum with a beefy processor and extra room inside for expansion.
September 2003 - Apple Expo Paris
Part of Jobs’ minimalist design philosophy involved cutting down on wires, first with wireless internet in 1999, then in 2003 with the first Apple wireless mouse and keyboard.
January 2004 - Macworld SF
Contrary to what some might believe, Jobs loved his colors — at least from time to time. In 2004, bestowed the aluminum iPod Mini with five different hues, including blue, silver, and gold.
October 2004 - Music Special Event
Apple also likes flirting with special editions. A U2-inspired red-on-black iPod was announced and timed alongside the release of the band’s album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” the following month.
January 2005 - Macworld
An iPod without a screen? Counter-intuitive as it might sound, that’s just what Jobs showed off in San Francisco. The first all-white, plastic iPod Shuffle traded the display for lightness and sold for a reasonable $99.
October 2005 - One More Thing event
Until 2005, iTunes served as a digital music hub. But Jobs expanded the service, introducing downloadable TV shows.
January 2006 - Macworld
While the aluminum MacBook Pro Jobs revealed in 2006 looked very much the same on the outside, inside, the notebook had a brand new chip inside. It was the first wave of MacBooks to drop IBM’s PowerPC processors in lieu of Intel’s multitasking-focused dual cores.
September 2006 - "It's Showtime" event
One year after iTunes started offering TV shows, Apple upped the ante again. Jobs said the service would offer movies for download, too.
September 2006 - Same special event
Announcing that iTunes would offer movies served as a precursor for something else that day: iTV. Later renamed Apple TV, the aluminum disc-drive-shaped device, acted as a living room hub so users could view and listen to their media from their televisions.
September 2006 - Again, same event
As if the first two weren’t enough, Jobs had one more trick up his sleeve: a performance by Grammy award winner and R&B crooner John Legend.
June 2007 - WWDC
For the second time, Microsoft users got a little Apple love, this time in the form of the Safari browser for Windows.
September 2007 - "The Beat Goes On"
Apple streamlined the iTunes experience further by announcing the Wi-Fi Music Store. With it, iPod Touch and iPhone users could browse, purchase and download songs directly onto their devices.
March 2008 - iPhone software roadmap
With hundreds of thousands of apps today to choose from, it’s hard to imagine iPhone software development needed a boost in the beginning. One contributor was likely the $100 million iFund announced by John Doerr of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Doerr. “I can’t wait to see the great new companies that we build together,” Doerr said onstage.
October 2008 - Notebooks special event
In 2008, Apple took its unibody manufacturing process one step further mainstream and announced a new 13-inch MacBook priced on the lower end of the company’s notebooks.
September 2009 - "It's only Rock & Roll"
The iPod nano may be small, but it’s certainly not lacking in features. That year, the company integrated a video camera into its pint-sized player.
June 2010 - WWDC
Sure, there was Skype, but with the introduction of FaceTime video calling, Apple users now had a service to call their own, and one that was easier to use.
September 2010 - Apple music event
The first generation Apple TV was compact enough, but Apple shrank its successor further to a small black puck.
October 2010 - "Back to the Mac" event
The first MacBook Airs earned raves for its envelope-thin design but got knocked for sluggish performance. With fast flash memory storage, a new unibody design, and an 11-inch-sized option, the redesigned lightweight notebooks blew their predecessors away.