Steve Jobs Introduced the MacBook Air Exactly 10 Years Ago Today

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Today marks the tenth anniversary of the late Steve Jobs unveiling the MacBook Air, the world's thinnest notebook at the time.


    After introducing the AirPort Time Capsule and sharing some iPhone and Apple TV news, Jobs walked over to his podium, grabbed a manilla envelope, and pulled out the sleek MacBook Air. The crowd at Macworld erupted with applause as Jobs held the ultra-light notebook in the palm of his hand.

    The thinness came at a cost. The base model ran $1,799 for a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive. A maxed out version was also available for $3,098, around $300 more than the base Mac Pro at the time, with a faster 1.8GHz processor and a 64GB solid-state drive.

    MacBook Air was all about firsts. The notebook was Apple's first without a CD/DVD drive, first to ditch a range of ports and connectivity options, first with a multi-touch trackpad, first to have the option for SSD storage, first to weigh just three pounds or less, and first with a mercury-free display.

    A single design decision also epitomized the past decade of Apple: a flip-down door on the right side of the machine provided access to only a single USB port, a headphone jack, and a micro-DVI port.

    We've seen Apple go down this path many times since: it introduced the MacBook with just a single USB-C port, reduced the MacBook Pro's connectivity to Thunderbolt 3 ports, and removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Each change generated controversy, but ultimately set the course for its future.

    Stephen Hackett of 512 Pixels has shared a great piece titled The MacBook Air: A Decade's Worth of Legacy over at MacStories that dives into the notebook's history. He also put together the video below.

    A decade later, the MacBook Air remains a product in Apple's lineup, but likely only because it is a lower-cost option. Beyond a minor speed bump last June, the notebook hasn't been updated since March 2015, and it very well may be discontinued once Apple feels able to sell its 12-inch MacBook for around $999.

    Article Link: Steve Jobs Introduced the MacBook Air Exactly 10 Years Ago Today
  2. james90755 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2010
  3. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    Despite his antics in the workplace, he will always be missed.
  4. Lioness~, Jan 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018

    Lioness~ macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2017
    Had a 11" some time ago. Loved it. :)

    iPad is enough for portability today.
  5. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    10 years later and it is dead... yet metamorphosed into the MacBook.
  6. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    "The thinness came at a cost."

    Ya think?

    Like the crippled MacBook Pros of today?
  7. djlythium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2014
    This was a game-changer. Never before had the tech world had so much power and utility in such a thin device. Netbooks were an attempt at this, but ultimately failed because they were singe-use devices. The Air set the stage for developments that would forge laptops beyond.
  8. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    I remember that keynote well. I also remembered the amazement at the ferociously high price!
  9. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    The Macbook Air was the de-facto template for arguably most of ultrabooks released, even until today. At its early days, especially the second gen with 11 and 13", they were awesome machines. And Haswell onwards gave the Macbook Airs unrivaled battery life.

    I bought the 2011 11", then 2012 13", and finally 2013 11" (replacing the 2011). They were great. It is obvious that the retina Macbook is the sucessor (with focus on thin-n-light, and mostly wireless I/O). Either the retina Macbook has not given Apple good enough margin (or lower cost components), or Apple sees that the market is not ready yet in ditching ports. Keeping the old Macbook Air is cheaper than doing yet a new design that goes against their vision.
  10. Böhme417 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    Even as this computer aged, I always felt like it had a certain allure. I still do. Even when the new MacBooks came out and then MBPs, the Air always had an appeal, despite its shortcomings. I just never found it practical enough to actually get one.
  11. ghostface147 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2008
  12. adamski23 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2017
    I remember that MacBook air -new soul commercial vividly. Loved the simplicity and song choice
  13. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
  14. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    The first gen MBA was woefully underpowered and massively overpriced. However what it did offer was a vision for the future of portable computers and it was very desirable. That's always been the case with new Apple products I find.
  15. riverfreak macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2005
    Thonglor, Bangkok
    Amazing device and a brilliant introduction that instantly changed the industry. Now MacBook Air ripoff designs are everywhere.
  16. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Well since this year will be the 10th anniversary they'll be introducing an Air X.

  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wow, has it been that long. I will say it was a defining moment in computing, one of which we still feel the reverbarations today.
  18. sgorneau macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2009
    My mid-2013 13" i7 1.7Ghz 8GB RAM is hands down the best Mac I have ever owned ... and I've had iMacs, Mac Minis, PowerBooks, and MacBook Pros. It is super light, portable, performant beyond expectations, still has great battery life, boots in about 6 seconds (only occasional reboot anyway), and runs on the latest OS.

    It really is the best investment I ever made.
  19. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Best laptop that I've ever had! 2013 MacBook Air! Just wish I had chosen the larger-capacity model to get me through another four years!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2018 ---
    Practical in what sense? I've been touting a 2013 Air for four years.... never had any limitations. It's a full-blown Mac in all the right ways!
  20. Basic75 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2011
    AFAIR it was also the first with a unibody-style construction.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2018 ---
    They did. It's called the MacBook.
  21. polee macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    Happy birthday MacBook Air. I have two 11" and one 13.3 " which I still use off and on.
  22. a.gomez macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2008
    This thing was such the perfect example of "never buy Gen1 Apple products"

    Mine was so horrid that they replaced it for a Gen3 under Apple Care when the hinge disintegrated. That repackaged C2D was garbage.
  23. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I have a 13" 1st gen 2008 air.

    it still works, still has good battery life.

    ok it is slow with el cap and 2GB ram but it does work.
    the original HDD is bit small but not worth upgrading to SSD.

    my fiancee uses it to backup her iPhone and iPad.
    this is all it does now.

    even today it still looks modern and fresh.
  24. recoil80 macrumors 68020

    Jul 16, 2014
    Great keynote, I remember it very well. That's what I miss about SJ, his presence during Apple events.
    My first, and only, Macbook Air was the one they refreshed in 2012 during WWDC. Good machine, and I still like it, but today I wouldn't buy a Mac without a retina display.

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