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.
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.
Apple’s Leather Case for iPhone 5s also fits the earlier iPhone 5. Although no official Apple cases were released with the iPhone 5, this case was backward-compatible and came in six leather colors: black, light beige, brown, PRODUCT(RED), blue (light blue), and yellow (with a somewhat lime green tone).
Reviews of the case were generally positive, noting that the cutouts were precise and the buttons were accurately placed, if a bit squishy. MacWorld reported, “The case covers the iPhone’s Sleep/Wake button and volume buttons with custom-molded overlays. These overlays are subtle, but they’re prominent enough to locate by feel.” The light beige color was described as quickly discoloring, even though Apple’s packaging specifies that the leather will develop a patina over time. Further, the cutouts for the audio port and Lighting connector are very close, allowing Apple cables, but not some larger third-party options.
The iPhone 4 Bumper Case was released in 2010 along with the iPhone 4. Unfortunately, this case was placed in the middle of a famous and rare Apple public relations issue, “Antennagate.” The design of this case is very simple, a plastic and rubber bumper that surrounds the outer edges of the iPhone 4 providing drop protection, a gripping-rubber lip that prevents the front and back of the iPhone 4 from making contact with a surface when placed flat, and a barrier that prevents holding the phone in a manner that may affect antenna performance.
MacWorld described the bumper case: “It consists of a stiff, plastic band that covers the entire metal edge of the iPhone 4, combined with relatively tough rubber around the front and rear edges to hold the Bumper in place. ”
Antennagate was a name given by the media to a phenomenon that was reported soon after the iPhone 4 release on June 24, 2010, where the cell phone signal would drop if the phone was gripped in a way that covered the integrated antenna. Apple’s reaction was to hold a press conference 22 days after the iPhone release, hosted by Steve Jobs, who confirmed the iPhone 4 issue (and mentioned the same issue was present on competitor phones), presented several customer purchasing and phone performance statistics, and then offered this iPhone 4 bumper case (in black) to customers for free via an app. The press conference was held on July 16, 2010, and cases began shipping in 3 weeks. Customers who had already purchased the iPhone 4 Bumper Case via credit card were given a refund.
In addition to black, Apple offered this case in orange, blue, pink, green, white, dark gray, and later, PRODUCT(RED).
The Apple Adjustable Keyboard is Apple’s only ergonomic adjustable keyboard. This keyboard was released in 1993 and used the then-standard ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) port to connect to Macintosh computers. The QWERTY keyboard is split down the center between the 5/6, T/Y, G/H, and B/N keys, while a large space bar remains fixed in the center. The keyboard can be split up to 30 degrees, and palm rests are included to support the wrists while typing.
The keyboard shipped with a separate, ADB-connected numeric keypad, also with a palm rest. The keyboard and numeric keypad each have feet to raise the keyboard to a steeper angle.
The purpose of this ergonomic design was to resolve repetitive stress injuries that could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. The primary problem with this keyboard is the vast amount of desk space that is required to use it.
The Keyboard packaging provides the following information:
The Apple Adjustable Keyboard has been ergonomically designed to make typing more comfortable. Its features include:
A split alphanumeric section that can be adjusted from a standard typewriter-style configuration to an open-angle configuration.
An adjustable keyboard slope and optional palm rests (included), which help your forearms and hands assume a neutral, more comfortable position.
A separate extended keypad (included in this package) with 15 function keys, 6 special keys, 4 cursor-control keys in a standard inverted-T layout, and an 18-key numeric keypad.
Please read the manual that comes with this keyboard to find out how to best use this product. Be sure to read the “Health Concerns Associated with Computer Use” section.
This keyboard is compatible with all Macintosh computers equipped with an Apple Desktop Bus connector and system software version 6.0.7 or later.
The keyboard uses two types of switches/buttons: ALPS SKFS switches for the keyboard keys (providing “clicky” tactile feedback) and recessed buttons for the function keys, volume, power, and other non-typing controls.
I have two of these keyboards in my collection. One includes the original box.
The QuickTake 100 is considered one of the first consumer digital cameras and was only available for about one year, from 1994 to 1995. The QuickTake 100 model was replaced by the QuickTake 150 in 1995 (using the same design) and then the QuickTake 200 in 1996 (a new design manufactured by Fuji).
The camera had 5 button controls: one to control the shutter, and four surrounding a small black/gray LCD panel on the back to control flash, resolution, self-timer, and a recessed button to delete all photos.
The camera sold for $749 and could take eight photos at 640×480 resolution, 32 photos at 320×240 resolution, or a combination of the sizes in 24-bit color. Although the QuickTake 100 had a built-in flash, it had no zoom or focus controls, nor could it preview or delete individual photos from the internal memory. Photos were downloaded to a computer using a serial cable and included QuickTake software. The QuickTake software also included functions such as rotate, resize, crop, and export.
After the Macintosh version of the QuickTake 100 was released, a Windows version followed six months later.
QuickTake cameras also included several accessories, such as a leather cover with a hand strap, a neck strap, a leather case, a battery booster pack (shown here), and a snap-on close-up lens.
An Apple white paper summarized the Apple Personal Modem 300/1200 features:
“The Apple Personal Modem is a compact, 1200/300-baud modem that provides a cost-effective data communications solution for any Apple personal computer system. With the modem and appropriate software, your Macintosh or Apple II computer can communicate with other personal computers, minicomputers, and mainframes to send reports and graphs between offices, access data bases and commercial information services, find out the latest stock prices, or shop and bank from your own home.”
At the time of its release, the modem worked with several types of Macintosh and other Apple computers: Macintosh (128K, 512K, 512K Enhanced), Macintosh Plus, Macintosh SE, Macintosh II, Apple II GS, Apple IIe, Apple III, Macintosh XL, and Lisa. The modem did not ship with cables because several different interfaces were in use at the time: Apple System/Peripheral-8 Cable (Macintosh Plus, Macintosh SE, Macintosh II, or Apple IlGS); Macintosh Peripheral-8 Cable (Macintosh 128K, 512K, 512K Enhanced); Apple IIe Peripheral-8 Cable; Apple Ile Modem-8 Cable (Apple Ile, Apple II Plus, Apple II, Apple III, Macintosh XL, Lisa); and other computers with an RS-232 port.
This modem in my collection appears to have never been used, and all original paperwork, manuals, and packaging was included in the box. Thus, I was able to provide an “unboxing” of a 1987 product. Note that the internal packaging is mostly styrofoam and the Apple logo is embossed in two different locations in the styrofoam.
According to Apple’s website, “Designed by Apple to complement your iPhone, the form of the silicone case fits snugly over the volume buttons, side button, and curves of your device without adding bulk. A soft microfiber lining on the inside helps protect your iPhone. On the outside, the silky, soft-touch finish of the silicone exterior feels great in your hand.”
This case was purchased to protect my iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black (the gloss black version of the iPhone 7 Plus). The same case also fit the next piPhone, the iPhone 8 Plus, and Apple began to refer to the product as the iPhone 8 Plus/7 Plus Silicone Case.
The case was released in Midnight Blue, Pink Sand, Sea Blue, Black, Cocoa, Ocean Blue, Denim Blue, (PRODUCT)RED, Stone, and White.
The original AirPort Base Station was released along with the original iBook (blueberry and tangerine) at the 1999 MacWorld conference and expo in New York City. An optional AirPort card was available for the iBook (a repackaged Lucent ORiNOCO Gold Card PC Card adapter) and this graphite AirPort Base Station provided one of the first consumer WiFi base stations that was relatively easy to set up and manage.
The original AirPort system including the AirPort card and AirPort Base Station allowed transfer rates up to 11 Megabits/second.
Soon after MacWorld, Apple began airing a TV commercial for the AirPort Base Station featuring a 1950s-style Sci-Fi soundtrack and the base station flying in like a flying saucer.
The AirPort Express Generation 2 functioned as a wireless access point, to extend the range of a network, as an Ethernet-to-wireless bridge, as a print server, and/or as an audio server. This model allowed up to 50 networked users using the 802.11a/n Wi-Fi standard.
Connectors included an audio connector that combined a 3.5 mm minijack socket and a mini-TOSLINK optical digital connection. On August 28, 2018, AirPlay 2 support was added to the Generation 2 AirPort Express, giving it features similar to HomePod.