15 Interesting Facts About Apple Macintosh

Ordinateur Apple Macintosh 1984

The Apple Macintosh holds an iconic place in the evolution of personal computers. Introduced in 1984, the original Macintosh pioneered the graphical user interface and mouse input that would profoundly influence the direction of computing.

While Apple was not the first to conceive of a GUI or mouse-driven computer, they were the first to successfully package these concepts together into a mass-market consumer product. The Macintosh introduced breakthrough industrial design and usability that made computers approachable and useful for ordinary people.

Here are 15 fascinating facts that reveal the innovation and influence of the original Apple Macintosh computer:

Interesting Facts About Apple Macintosh

  1. The Macintosh was introduced with a bold Super Bowl ad envisioning a world free from conformity. Apple hired director Ridley Scott of Blade Runner fame to create a dramatic, cinematic commercial announcing the Macintosh. It aired nationally during Super Bowl XVIII in January 1984, depicting conformity being shattered by the power of personal computing. This iconic ad helped establish Apple’s rebellious, anti-establishment brand image. The ad referenced George Orwell’s novel 1984, portraying Apple as a defiant upstart in a world dominated by IBM.
  2. The first Macintosh model retailed for $2,495 in 1984, which is over $6,000 today adjusted for inflation. This made the Macintosh unusually expensive for a personal computer at the time. Competing IBM PC compatibles cost substantially less. However, Apple chose to position the Mac as a premium product with advanced graphics capabilities and design, targeting creative professionals and education. The high price limited mainstream adoption until Apple brought costs down with later models.
  3. Steve Jobs obsessively focused on even minor design details like perfectly rounded corners and tidy cable management. He insisted the Macintosh has an easy-to-use graphical interface accessible to ordinary people. This demanded an integrated hardware/software design controlling every user interaction. Jobs’ perfectionism resulted in an innovative all-in-one product with a distinctive look and feel, setting Apple apart from competitors.
  4. The original Macintosh had a 9-inch black and white screen with a resolution of just 512×342 pixels. While minuscule by today’s standards, the Mac’s small screen was innovative in 1984 for displaying WYSIWYG graphics and menus. The compact size enabled the integrated, portable all-in-one design that distinguished the Macintosh from other boxy PC desktops.
  5. Apple engineers worked tirelessly to ensure the first Macintosh would boot up quickly to demonstrate the speed of the graphical interface. The initial boot time goal was 10 seconds, which was cut down to closer to 3 seconds. Macintosh project leader Jef Raskin felt the speed of booting up was critical for users to perceive the Mac as fundamentally different than other computers.
  6. The Macintosh introduced the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive which could store 400KB and became ubiquitous for personal computing. Prior 5.25-inch floppy disks held less data and were prone to damage. The Sony 3.5-inch disks were durable and compact enough to enable portability. They remained a standard until optical media rendered floppies obsolete decades later.
  7. Apple sold just 70,000 Macintosh computers in the first 100 days following the launch, falling well short of expectations. Limited software availability, insufficient memory and storage, lack of expandability, and a high price hampered mainstream adoption. But the Mac’s innovative UI soon inspired Microsoft to launch the first version of Windows incorporating a GUI just one year later.
  8. The original Macintosh operating system took up 22KB of the computer’s 128KB of memory. This left little room for applications to run. The minimal RAM necessitated constant swapping of data to floppy disks. Expanding memory was a priority for subsequent Mac models, although the OS remained highly memory efficient for years.
  9. Microsoft launched Excel and Adobe launched PageMaker for Macintosh in 1985, providing killer apps that drove adoption in offices and publishing. These powerful productivity applications took advantage of the Mac’s advanced graphics capabilities. Office workers and designers began using Macs to gain an edge, despite higher costs.
  10. The Apple Macintosh helped pioneer common UI conventions like pull-down menus, overlapping windows, and drag-and-drop icons. Other integral innovations included the trash can for deleting files, folders for organizing, and menu bars for commands. The Mac’s human-centered approach forever changed how people interacted with personal computers.
  11. The first Macintosh featured a single-button mouse, a deliberate simplification driven by Steve Jobs. While adding a second button was technically feasible, Jobs insisted on reducing complexity for average consumers. All UI navigation and commands were designed to be accomplishable with just a single click.
  12. Apple sold the Macintosh alongside their popular Apple II line initially, hedging their bets and contributing to slower Mac sales. The Apple II delivered crucial revenue while the Mac gained a foothold. Microsoft employed a similar dual-platform strategy releasing early Windows versions alongside MS-DOS before fully transitioning to Windows 95 in the mid-1990s.
  13. The original Macintosh used a Motorola 68000 processor running at 8MHz with no cooling fan required. This delivered adequate performance for the graphical OS and applications. Heat management was carefully engineered to avoid a fan so the Mac would run silently. Later Macs adopted more powerful processors and eventually Intel x86 CPUs prior to transitioning to Apple Silicon.
  14. The all-in-one design with integrated monitor pioneered by the Macintosh became a hallmark of future Apple products like the iMac and iBook. Keeping the entire computer contained in a compact physical footprint differentiated Apple from the standardized boxes used by other PC manufacturers. The integrated approach enabled innovations in ergonomics, styling, graphics performance, and portability.
  15. While sales were initially underwhelming, the Macintosh’s revolutionary GUI accelerated the adoption of graphical interfaces across the entire computer industry. Microsoft Windows, gasping for air, got a new lease on life. Computing shifted decisively from a keyboard-centric command line to a mouse-driven graphical world accessible to novices. The Macintosh irreversibly changed personal computing and established Apple as a leading innovator.


The original Macintosh irrevocably changed personal computing by bringing the graphical user interface into the mainstream. Its legacy continues today with Apple’s ongoing commitment to human-centered design, ease of use, and seamless integration of hardware and software. The Macintosh paved the way for modern computing experiences that we now take for granted across platforms like Windows, iOS, and Android.

Nearly 39 years after its introduction, the pioneering spirit of Apple’s first Macintosh lives on as one of the most impactful computers in history. It put Apple on the map as an industry leader in innovation and proved visionary technologies like the GUI and mouse were the future, not a footnote. Thanks to the barrier-breaking strides made by the original Macintosh, people today enjoy intuitive access to computing power that not long ago existed solely in the realm of science fiction.

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