The original Macintosh PowerBook and laptop innovation #VintageComputing #Mac @Apple @stevesi

Steven Sinofsky publishes an article on the innovation story of the Apple PowerBook and how it redefined portable computing in the 1990s. The PowerBook *redefined* portables. It also solidified the Apple design group.

1990–1991 was peak vintage Apple in many ways. Mac had a high computer share 13% WW (best ever). ~14.4M PCs sold. 2.1M Macs. Windows 3.0 just a year old.

Almost no PCs sold were portables (~300–400K). The whole problem with PC portables was that no one wanted them. They were under powered and EXPENSIVE ($5000 in 1990). While this prediction was awful in hindsight, at the time it was entirely conventional wisdom.

Back at Apple portables were hurting. Apple had released Apple Portable… It weighed 15+lbs and was a ginormous beast consistent with the likes of Toshiba T1000 DOS laptop (7+ lbs).

Originally PowerBook was a placeholder for fast time to market. But it sold 400,000 units in first year, $1 billion.

Read more in the comprehensive article here.


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