AirPort Card AirPort Card

AirPort Card Datasheet

In the early days of the internet, when the digital landscape was still taking its baby steps, Apple emerged as a major player in the wireless world with its groundbreaking AirPort Card. Designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple from 1999 to 2004, the AirPort Card series left an indelible mark on the history of wireless technology.

The story begins on April 20, 1998, when Apple Computer’s interim CEO, Steve Jobs, sat down with executives from Lucent Technologies. The focus of their discussion was Lucent’s technology, tentatively named Wireless LAN. Jobs envisioned a wireless future and urged Lucent to design a radio card that Apple could market as the AirPort card. The catch? Jobs wanted it at a price point of $50, allowing Apple to retail it for an affordable $99.

Fast forward to July 21, 1999, at the Macworld Expo New York, where Steve Jobs unveiled the AirPort card as an option for the iBook G3. This marked a historic moment as the iBook G3 became the world’s first Wi-Fi-enabled laptop. The AirPort Card, though structurally identical to Lucent’s WaveLAN/Orinoco Gold PC card, featured a modified housing without an integrated antenna. It was designed to be user-installable and offered a cost-effective alternative to Lucent’s official card.

The AirPort Card was undoubtedly ahead of its time, boasting a maximum speed of 11 Mbps and compatibility with Wi-Fi 802.11b. This was a significant leap from the previous standard of 2 Mbps, showcasing Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology. The aim was clear: to make the process of connecting to the internet seamless and user-friendly.

In addition to its technical prowess, the AirPort Card’s design allowed it to be used in a slot-loading iMac G3 with the help of an adapter. Apple’s innovative approach not only enhanced connectivity but also demonstrated a keen understanding of user needs.

Despite its groundbreaking features and initial success, the AirPort Card had a relatively short lifespan. On June 7, 2004, Apple decided to discontinue the AirPort Card after just five years on the market. The move marked the end of an era, leaving users to transition to newer technologies that were beginning to emerge.

As we look back 24 years later, the AirPort Card stands as a fascinating relic in the evolution of wireless technology. Today’s devices boast faster speeds, greater reliability, and extended ranges, rendering the AirPort Card a distant memory. However, it remains a testament to Apple’s innovative spirit and its commitment to making technology more accessible.

The AirPort Card paved the way for Apple’s continued success in the wireless world. Its impact resonates in every Wi-Fi-enabled device we use today. While the AirPort Card may no longer be part of our daily tech vocabulary, its legacy lives on, and its story is a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of technology.

The AirPort Card was a revolutionary product that played a pivotal role in shaping the wireless landscape. Its introduction marked a significant step forward in internet connectivity, and its discontinuation signaled the rapid pace of technological evolution. As we celebrate the nostalgia of the AirPort Card, we also look forward to the continued innovation that defines Apple’s journey in the wireless world. While the AirPort Card may have had its sunset, the dawn of new wireless possibilities is a testament to Apple’s enduring commitment to pushing technological boundaries.

AirPort Card
Source: – AirPort Card

AirPort Card Details

IntroducedJuly 21, 1999
DiscontinuedJune 7, 2004
Model NumberUnknown
Order NumberM7600LL/A
M7600LL/C (with iMac adapter)
Original Price$99

Wireless Specs

Wireless Data RangeUp to 11 Mbps
Range150 ft.
50 m
CompatibilityWi-Fi (802.11b)
Frequency2.4 GHz
Radio Output PowerUnknown
Supported ProtocolsUnknown


Power over EthernetNo

Further Reading and References

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: January 14, 2024