iBook G3 1999 Tangerine iBook G3 1999 Tangerine

Original iBook 1999 Explained

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, certain milestones stand out as pioneers, shaping the course of innovation. One such luminary in the late 1990s was the Apple iBook G3, a groundbreaking addition to the Macintosh series.

In the late 1990s, Apple was streamlining its product line, transitioning from a convoluted array of models to a simplified “four box” strategy. The iBook G3, unveiled by Steve Jobs on July 21, 1999, filled a crucial gap in the consumer portable space, solidifying Apple’s strategic vision.

The iBook G3 was designed with a clamshell structure, featuring a PowerPC G3 CPU, USB, Ethernet, modem ports, and an optical drive. The absence of a latch on the screen was compensated by a robust hinge, which also served as an integrated carrying handle. The introduction of the iBook marked the advent of Apple’s “Unified Logic Board Architecture,” condensing core features into two chips while incorporating AGP and Ultra DMA support.

One of the most revolutionary aspects of the iBook was its integration of wireless networking, a first for mainstream computers. Demonstrating this capability, Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP of Marketing, leaped from a height while data transferred seamlessly between two iBooks. The wireless antenna, housed in the display bezel, was attached to an optional internal wireless card, setting an industry standard. Simultaneously, Apple released the AirPort Wireless Base Station, showcasing its commitment to wireless connectivity.

iBook G3 Blueberry and Tangerine
Source: Noah Morris – iBook G3 Blueberry and Tangerine

The iBook stirred heated debates over aesthetics, features, weight, performance, and pricing. Despite being larger and heftier than contemporaneous PowerBooks, the iBook’s unique design garnered both acclaim and criticism. Affectionately labeled “Barbie’s toilet seat,” its distinctive appearance made it instantly recognizable in movies and TV shows. However, the iBook proved to be a commercial success, establishing itself as a trendsetter in the laptop market.

Equipped with a 300 MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, a 12.1-inch color LCD display, and 32 MB or 64 MB of RAM, the iBook was a technological marvel. Its 3.2 GB or 6 GB hard drive, along with a tray-loading 24x CD-ROM drive and 4 MB ATI Rage Mobility graphics, made it a formidable player in the market. The iBook’s design drew inspiration from the iMac, with the marketing slogan “iMac to go” emphasizing its portable counterpart status.

The Clamshell iBook, compared to its successors, proved to be a paragon of reliability. Its design innovations, such as uncovered side ports and the omission of a lid latch, continue to influence contemporary devices. The iBook’s colorful shell, starting with Blueberry and Tangerine, paved the way for the vibrant MacBook lineup we see today.

Despite its impressive specs and innovative design, the original iBook faced discontinuation on September 13, 2000. Today, as the iBook turns 24, its impact on the industry is palpable. It was a pivotal moment in Apple’s computer line evolution, laying the groundwork for subsequent iconic releases like the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The iBook G3 stands not just as a relic of the past but as a testament to Apple’s relentless pursuit of innovation.

In retrospect, the iBook G3 wasn’t just a laptop; it was a statement—a symbol of Apple’s commitment to pushing boundaries and shaping the future of computing. As we celebrate its 24-year anniversary, let’s tip our hats to the iBook, a timeless piece of technology that continues to echo in the corridors of innovation.

Original iBook Details

IntroducedJuly 21, 1999
DiscontinuedSeptember 13, 2000
Model IdentifierPowerBook2,1
Model NumberM2452
Order NumberM7707LL/A (Blueberry 3.2 GB)
M7619LL/A (Tangerine 3.2 GB)
M7717LL/A (Blueberry 6 GB)
M7718LL/A (Tangerine 6 GB)
Original Price$1,599
ColorsBlueberry
Tangerine
Weight6.7 Ibs.
3.039 KG
Dimensions11.6” H x 13.5” W x 1.8” D
29.46 cm H x 34.29 cm W x 4.57 cm D

iBook G3 1999 Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorPowerPC 750 G3
Processor Speed300 MHz
Architecture32-bit
Number of Cores1
System Bus66 MHz
Cache64 KB L1
512 KB backside L2

Storage & Media

Storage3.2 GB
6 GB
Media1 – 24x CD-ROM (Tray-loading)

Memory

Built-in Memory32 MB
64 MB
Maximum Memory544 MB (32 + 512 MB)
576 MB (64 + 512 MB)
Memory Slots1 – PC66 3.3V 144-pin SO-DIMM
Minimum Speed10 ns
Interleaving SupportNo

Display

Built-in Display12.1″ Color TFT Active Matrix Display
Resolutions640 x 480
800 x 600

Graphics

Graphics CardATI Rage Mobility
Graphics Memory4 MB
Display ConnectionNone
Display ModesNone
External ResolutionNone

Expansion

Expansion SlotsNone
Hard Drive InterfaceATA-2
BaysNone

Connections

Wi-FiAirPort Card 802.11b (Optional)
Ethernet10/100BASE-T (RJ-45)
Modem56k v.90
BluetoothNone
InfraredNone
SerialNone
SCSINone
USB1 – 12 Mbps
Audio InNone
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
1 – Built-in speakers
DisplayNone
Security SlotNone

Keyboard and trackpad

KeyboardBuilt-in Full-size 76-key (U.S.) or 77-key (ISO) incl. 12 function and 4 arrow keys
TrackpadBuilt-in Solid-state trackpad (Tap, double-tap and drag)

Software

Original OSMac OS 8.6
Maximum OSMac OS X 10.3.9
FirmwareMacintosh ROM 2.3.1
Bundled SoftwareMac OS 8.6
AppleWorks
Palm Desktop Organizer
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Outlook Express
Netscape Communicator
AOL 4.0
EarthLink TotalAccess
EdView Internet Safety Kit Family Edition
The World Book Encyclopedia
Adobe Acrobat Reader
FAXstf
Nanosaur
Bugdom
QuickTime 4

Power

System Battery45 Wh Lithium-Ion (M7426)
Backup BatteryNone
Battery LifeUp to 6 hours
Maximum Continuous Power45 W
Line Voltage100-240 V AC
Power AdapterApple 45 Watt Power Adapter (M7332)

Original iBook Introduction Video

Further Reading and References

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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