USB SuperDrive (2014)

According to Apple, “The Apple USB SuperDrive is compatible with Mac models from 2008 and later that don’t have a built-in optical drive.” This includes MacBook, MacBook Air with Retina display, MacBook Pro with Retina display, MacBook Air, iMac (late 2012) and later, Mac mini (late 2009) and later, and Mac Pro (late 2013). 

The drive is compact at 0.67 inches by 5.47 inches by 5.47 inches, and weighs 0.74 pounds. The drive includes a USB-A port, making an adapter necessary to use it with newer Macs that only include USB-C ports; however, no separate power adapter is required.

Apple proclaims that this drive is “Everything you need in an optical drive. Whether you’re at the office or on the road, you can play and burn both CDs and DVDs with the Apple USB SuperDrive. It’s perfect when you want to watch a DVD movie, install software, create backup discs, and more.”

Sources: Apple (Store, Support)

iPhone 7 (128 GB, silver, 2016)

The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch screen at 1334×750, also known by Apple as a Retina HD display. The iPhone has a front and back camera: the rear camera is 12-megapixel and the front camera is a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with 1080p video. 

The iPhone 7 was the first iPhone (along with the iPhone 7 Plus) to remove the 3.5 mm headphone jack and only include a Lightning port for audio. Like the iPhone 6 and 6s before it, the iPhone 7 uses a “clickless” Home button that clicks using an internal Taptic-engine-powered solid state component. Although the iPhone 7 is not water-proof, it is splash, water, and dust-resistant. 

The iPhone 7 came in several colors: silver (white glass front, silver back); gold (white glass front, gold back); rose gold (white glass front, pink-tinted gold back); black (black glass front, matte black back); jet black (black glass front, a high-gloss black anodized and polished black aluminum back); and later added a PRODUCT(RED) Special Edition (white glass front, red aluminum back). 

The iPhone 7 uses the Apple A10 Fusion  processor, 2 GB of RAM, and was available with 32 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB of flash storage.

While I opted for the iPhone 7 Plus as my personal phone in the iPhone 7 era, I chose the then-new (and not offered since) jet black color. I immediately covered the glossy finish with a case to heed Apple’s warning that jet black “may show fine micro-abrasions with use.” (It did scratch easily!)

Source: EveryMac

iPhone 6s (16 GB, silver, 2015)

The iPhone 6s had a 4.7-inch “3D Touch” screen at 1334×750 (326 ppi, Retina HD). The iPhone 6s cameras were vastly improved over the iPhone 6 that preceded it: a rear 12-megapixel 4K iSight camera and a front 5-megapixel FaceTime camera in 720p (the iPhone 6 used a, 8-megapixel back camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera).

The iPhone 6s was available in four colors: silver (white glass front, silver back); gold (white glass front, gold back); space gray (black glass front, medium-gray back); and rose gold (white glass front, pink-tinted gold back). 

The iPhone 6s did not use a physical Home button, but used its Taptic engine to simulate the click. It also used a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the Home button. 

Inside, the iPhone 6s used the Apple A9 processor with 2 GB of RAM and was available in 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of flash storage. The iPhone 6s was the last iPhone to include a headphone jack (located on the bottom) and used  the Lightning port to connect to computer, dock, or power adapter.

This iPhone 6s example is an entry-level 16 GB model in silver with a white front. Unfortunately, this particular iPhone has a slight crack in the lower-left front screen glass (although it functions perfectly).

Source: EveryMac

iPad mini (original, Wi-Fi, 16 GB, silver, unopened, 2012)

The original iPad mini featured a 7.9-inch screen at 1024×768 (163 ppi). Internally, it had a dual core 1 GHz Apple A5 processor; 512 MB of RAM; and 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage. It had two cameras: a rear-mounted 5 megapixel iSight camera (1080p) and a front-mounted 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD camera (720p). The original iPad mini used a Lightning port.

I kept my original iPad mini in my daily backpack for a very long time due to its near perfect size and weight as a truly mobile device with the same 1024×768 screen as a standard iPad of the time (just with smaller pixels). I purchased this additional iPad mini as an example for my collection and never unboxed it. This version has a silver back and white front. 

Source: EveryMac 

iPad Case (for Original iPad, 2010)

This iPad Case was the only case made by Apple upon release of the original iPad in 2010. Like the iPhone case market, iPad cases became—and continue to be—a major business for both Apple and third-party manufacturers. Then and now, Apple’s case offerings vary in reviewer reception.

This original iPad Case was described by iLounge as a design in the middle of the pack. Specifically they state, “Using a protective lid…that folds around the back to become a prop-up video stand, the case is made from vinyl-like PVC plastic and has a microfiber interior. It’s designed to provide access to the device’s side buttons, headphone port…exposing the screen when you want to flip the lid open.” iLounge also correctly points out that the material “gathers marks and dirt in ways that no other case does, and the flip-closed front isn’t secured to the rest of the case in any way.”

This case, despite my best efforts at cleaning it, indeed suffers from marks that could not be removed. However, the original iPad that it was protecting was in perfect condition, thus speaking to its effectiveness at protecting the device.

The iLounge reviewer likes the case’s ability to fold and become a stand for viewing video. Interestingly, the reviewer overlooks the case’s ability to be flipped and set at a lower angle to make typing easier. This oversight is not unusual for 2010 when the iPad was often viewed only as a content consumption device, rather than acknowledging that it could also be used effectively for content creation.

Source: iLounge

iPhone Stereo Headset (bulk packaging, 2007)

The iPhone Stereo Headset were the headphones that shipped with the first two iPhone models, the original iPhone (2007–2008) and the iPhone 3G (2008–2010). The headphones used a similar enclosed design as the later EarPods, and the right earbud included a control button with a microphone on the wire. The button is controlled by a squeeze and it can be set for a variety of tasks: answer/end calls, advance presentation slides, play/pause music/video, or capture photos. A double-press also allowed the user to skip to the next music track.

Note that the controller did not include the + and – option for volume and/or other controls, a feature now taken for granted in many headphone designs.

iLounge described these headphones as, “familiar and inexpensive, with very good earbud and microphone quality.” They also praised the bass response, warm sound, and the quality of the microphone.

This example is in Apple’s bulk packaging. I remember receiving the headphones when I attended an Apple Education professional development opportunity that required attendees to have a microphone. These were never unpackaged because I had brought and used my personal headphones.

Sources: Wikipedia, iLounge

Original iPod headphones (Generation 2, 2002)

The Original iPod headphones were the earbuds that shipped with the original iPod. They sounded quite good, shipped with two sets of black foam ear covers, were sometimes panned for not fitting some people’s ears, and came with the iPod at no additional cost so most iPod users used them.

Perhaps the most important, and in my opinion overlooked, feature of these headphones was not the specs, but the color. Soon after the iPod was introduced in 2001, an iconic ad campaign was released in 2003 referred to as “silhouettes,” created by the company Chiat\Day. In each commercial, poster, print ad, or billboard, the all-black silhouette of a dancer moved over a brightly colored background (hot pink, lime green, yellow, or bright blue) while the highly-contrasted bright white headphone wire and iPod moved along with the dancer. The effect was striking and the white cord color effectively called attention to the product nearly screaming, “I’m using an iPod!”

The white earbud design not only became permanently associated with “cool” Apple gear, but 20 years later is still being used as the only color choice for Apple-branded headphones, EarPods, AirPods, and likely future Apple headphone iterations. (Apple-owned brand Beats, however, does produce many headphone styles in multiple colors.)

According to my research, this particular example of the original iPod headphone design is a Generation 2 release, identified as such due to the addition of a plastic slider to adjust the gap between the headphone wires.

Sources: GQ, Wikipedia

Apple Wristbands (c. 2015)

One year while visiting a Chicago-area Apple Store coincidentally on Halloween, I noticed that Apple Store employees were giving away Apple-logo items to Trick-or-Treaters. I waited until after designated Trick-or-Treat hours were over, spoke to an employee, let him know I was a collector, and asked for one of the “treats.” That first year I discovered this rare Apple-logo item giveaway, they were giving plastic Apple-logo flashlights. I have since visited Apple Stores on a few other Halloweens and, for at least two years in a row, they were giving these LIVESTRONG-style wristbands.

These Apple wristbands were from approximately 2015, and I got them at the Northbrook Court Apple Store. They are child-size rubber bracelets in either orange or white with an embossed Apple logo.

Source: None available

Apple Mousepad (light gray, c. 1995)

In the early- to mid-1990s, Apple included a Registration Card in the box that came with every Macintosh (in the brown box labeled “Macintosh Essentials”). In my experience setting up these early Macintosh computers, Apple allowed users who filled out these “official” registration cards to choose from a subscription to MacWorld magazine or a free mousepad. In our school computer labs, we usually opted for the free mousepads.

This is an example of the free mousepad Apple sent. It is 8.75×7 inches, light gray (to match the platinum color of Apple computers of the time). The mousepad is in two layers, light gray plastic on top and black textured foamy rubber on the bottom, approximately 0.125 inches thick. The design is the word Apple® in black type nearly 3 inches tall in the font Apple Garamond, Apple’s corporate identity font of the time.

Source: None available

Apple Logo Mousepad (blueberry, 1999)

This thin plastic mousepad made from materials by the company Microthin features the blueberry Apple logo printed in a manner to simulate the translucent plastic Apple used in the iMac line of computers at the time. This mousepad is blue to match the blueberry iMac. Other versions of this design were available in the other five iMac colors: tangerine, lime, strawberry, grape, and graphite.

This mousepad is round and measures 8.5 inches in diameter. It is printed with a MICROTHIN PRODUCTS logo and small text along the bottom curve (in Apple Garamond font): ©1999 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved. L04108A

The bottom of the mousepad is covered in printed dots that provide traction to prevent slippage. The stickiness (tackiness) of the material is still viable after about 20 years and can be reactivated by rinsing any accumulated dust with water. However, the entire mousepad is beginning to show signs of yellowing.

Source: No official sources found, additional colors confirmed on eBay