Watch, (c. 1997)

This rare boxed watch was offered by Apple as a marketing piece, likely for Apple’s System 7.5 operating system that was released in 1997. The watch body is made from a matte-finished silver metal and has a black leather band. The watch face is white with red dots in the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions; has red hour and minute hands; and is printed across the top with with the six-color logo printed at the bottom. Instead of a second hand, the watch has a transparent disc printed with eight color icons. The icons resemble System 7.5 color icons, but they do not match.

The icons are are printed top-to-bottom so the disc is only aligned at 0º once per minute—as opposed to having the icons printed at angles so the topmost icon is aligned to the 12 position. The icons resemble the following System 7.5 icons:

  • Puzzle (Application)—located under the Apple Menu
  • Dogcow—icon located on the Print screen to indicate the layout of the printed page
  • Color—Control Panel
  • Trash
  • Map—Control Panel
  • Users & Groups—Control Panel
  • Alarm Clock (Application)—located under the Apple Menu
  • Globe—similar to the Map Control panel

The watch measures 9 3/8 inches long from tip of the black leather band to the metal buckle. The metal watch case is 1 5/8 inches tall by 1 1/4 inches wide.

Another design inconsistency is that the URL printed in black on the watch face is not in Apple Garamond, Apple’s corporate font of the time. Rather, the font used appears to be a version of Times.

The original box shares many of the design quirks of the watch itself. The box measures 3 7/8 inches wide x 5 7/8 inches tall x 1 1/8 inches deep. Its base is glossy black, and it opens like a jewel box along the short edge.

The top exterior of the box has the six-color Apple logo printed in the center, and it is surrounded by a slightly different version of the eight icons shown on the watch. Although the box icons are slightly more realistic than the smaller watch versions, they also do not match the System 7.5 icons.

When opened, the interior of the box is primarily glossy black and uses a pop-up cardboard effect (similar to a “pop-up book”). The pop-up is a stylized globe in bright blue and bright green that is oriented upside-down (with the northern and southern hemispheres rotated and drawn in a manner inconsistent with an actual globe). The URL is printed in white in a quarter-rounded path around the globe in the same font as the watch face.

The box-bottom repeats the URL in bright blue across the top. A slot near the bottom and six-color Apple logo tab near the top are used to secure the watch at an angle on an in insert inside the box.

A Cult of Mac article was still available online at the time of this writing that featured this “Apple Watch” as the world waited for the release of the Apple Watch—referred to in the article as the “iWatch.” At the time, Cult of Mac (and other news sources) were incorrectly assuming Apple’s rumored smart watch would be called “iWatch.” The headline reads, “Forget The iWatch, Here Are 11 Apple Watches You Can Buy Right Now.” The article reads, in part:

“When rumors of the iWatch first surfaced, most insiders pegged its launch date for somewhere around the end of 2013 and everyone got super excited that our wrists are going to get blinged out by Apple really soon. However, lately we’ve been hearing that that might not be the case, and we won’t be able to slap Apple’s magical wrist watch on until 2014.”

I consider myself privileged to have this unusual and classic watch in my collection.

Sources: CultOfMac, GUIdebook (Graphical User Interface Gallery), Wikipedia

iPhone SE packaging (Generation 2, (PRODUCT)RED, 64GB, 2020)

Apple says that iPhone SE Generation 2 is “The Most Affordable iPhone Features A13 Bionic, the Fastest Chip in a Smartphone, and the Best Single-Camera System in an iPhone.”

According to Apple’s press release, the iPhone SE Generation 2 is:

“a powerful new iPhone featuring a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, paired with Touch ID for industry-leading security. iPhone SE comes in a compact design, reinvented from the inside out…The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, to handle the most demanding tasks. iPhone SE also features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone, which unlocks the benefits of computational photography including Portrait mode, and is designed to withstand the elements with dust and water resistance.”

This iPhone SE was offered in three colors: black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED. This product packaging is from the (PRODUCT)RED model.

Source: Apple (Newsroom)

Why Macintosh? complete box set (1997)

One of my Apple collection entries includes a set of books I titled the “Macintosh Advantage Collection (1996)” that contains the following materials:

  • 50 Macintosh Advantages book (1996)
  • Why do People Prefer Macintosh? brochure (1996)
  • Why Macintosh? brochure (1996)

I recently acquired a brown cardboard shipping box measuring 11.5 x 8.75 x 6.5 inches, complete with its original shipping label to its original recipient—a former Apple sales rep. Apparently, the three items I cataloged above are a part of a larger collection for potential Apple customers that was used in late 1990s.

The shipping label refers to this box as Apple part 52241, and based upon the part numbers that follow, this box contains all its original contents. I have listed the part numbers below and matched them to their items. At the end of each part number an asterisk is followed by a number, likely indicating the quantity of each item (all quantities are “1” in this box, except for the 5 Apple logo window clings).

Curiously, two of the VHS video tapes in the box include both the NTSC and PAL formats—an odd choice since, generally, only NTSC was used in the United States.

Part number list and box contents:

  • 52241—Part number for entire box
  • L02206A—6-color Apple logo sticker set
  • L02270A—Apple’s Operating System Strategy, March 1997, VHS tape (NTSC format) L02270APAL—Apple’s Operating System Strategy, March 1997, VHS tape (PAL format)
  • L02222A—Apple and NeXT: Combining unparalleled ease of use with industrial-strength performance, Information About Apple’s OS Strategy, January 1997, 8.5 x 11-inch whitepaper, 4 pages
  • L02181A—Apple Technology Update—Mac OS 7.6, January 1997 VHS tape (NTSC format)
  • L02177A—The 1997 Apple MacAdvocate CD-ROM. (Spring 1997)
  • L01760A—Macintosh or Windows? Spring 1996 VHS tape (NTSC format)
  • L01760APAL—Macintosh or Windows? Spring 1996 VHS tape (PAL format)
  • L01856A—Personal Computer Satisfaction: An Independent Study of People Who use Both Macintosh and Windows 95 Computers (Evans Research Associates) (1996)
  • L01973B—Go figure: A Quick Look at Some Important Apple Facts, 1.97 10-panel, full-color brochure (1997)
  • L01970A—Apple logo window clings (quantity 5)
  • L01667A—Why Macintosh? booklet (1996)
  • L00440C—50 Macintosh Advantages, Why Macintosh computers are better than PCs running Windows 95. 1996, 8.5 x 11-inch booklet
  • L01749A—Why do People Prefer Macintosh? (Why people think Macintosh computers are better than PCs running Windows, in their own words.) April 1996, 8.5 x 11-inch booklet
  • Not listed on box, likely sent with Mac OS 7.6 VHS tape: L02182A—Mac OS 7.6 At a glance tri-fold brochure (2-color)

While the above books are detailed in my previous post, a fascinating new addition to my collection is the seemingly innocuous Apple and NeXT whitepaper. The 4-page document is the first printed source I have seen that describes Apple’s plan to proceed after their acquisition of NeXT. The whitepaper describes the “Rhapsody” project—the operating system that eventually becomes Mac OS X—the basis for the macOS we use today, over 25 years later. The whitepaper includes this description:

“Rhapsody is the code name of the first system software effort planned from the prospective union of Apple and NeXT. Its intent is to extend the existing strengths of both companies to provide a computing environment that is both stronger and more flexible—and, ultimately, better able to meet the needs of our customers.”

This Why Macintosh? complete box set is a fascinating glimpse into Apple’s pre-Internet communications plan with customers at a pivotal time in their history—just after Steve Jobs returned to the company.

Source: Apple

FileMaker Pro 7 software box (2004)

The FileMaker database application (in various forms) has been owned by Apple since the late 1980s, first as a product in Apple’s “wholly owned subsidiary” Claris, then as a separate company called “FileMaker, Inc.,” and (coming full-circle) in 2019 “FileMaker International Inc.” changed its name back to “Claris” as “Claris International Inc.”

As of 2023, the Claris “About Us” website declares, “Claris is the leader in workplace innovation.” A black Apple logo is displayed prominently on the page with the words “Claris, an Apple company.”

When this software box was produced in 2004, the company was called “FileMaker, Inc.” At version 7, FileMaker Pro was described as:

“the world’s leading workgroup database software, combines legendary ease-of-use with rich new features to help you get organized quickly and painlessly. With FileMaker Pro 7, you can create robust business database solutions in minutes, and instantly share them with your team or your customers over your intranet or the web with legendary Instant Web Publishing. For managing people, projects, processes, and information, FileMaker Pro 7 has everything you need to instantly turn your ideas into productive, creative, and scalable solutions.”

This box contains a Not for Resale FileMaker Pro 7 install CD, the FileMaker Pro 7 User’s Guide, a FileMaker Pro 7 Tutorial, licensing agreements, and various brochures and advertisements for add-on products and services.

The CD installer is part number Z04073-013B.

Source: Claris

Replacement Apple Watch box (2020)

This Apple Watch box contained a replacement Apple watch. The box is sized to only hold the watch body and lacks space for the band, charging cable, and other items in the typical Apple Watch retail packaging.

The box contains a single sheet that shows the words “Need Help?” in several languages on one side and a QR COde on the other side that directs the user to a Support Article, “Use your Apple Watch after service.”

The box is all white and measures 11 x 11 x 2 cm.

iLife ’09 box (2009)

iLife is a suite of software by Apple that has included the apps iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, iPhoto, GarageBand, and iWeb.

iMovie began as a free app released in October 1999 along with the iMac DV as an easy-to-use video editing app.

iDVD was announced in January 2001 and released with the Power Mac G4 that included a SuperDrive that could read and write CDs and DVDs. iDVD introduced a way for users to design customized DVDs with menus, graphics, photo slideshows, and movies that could be played on standard DVD players.

iTunes was originally released in January 2001 as a media player and organizer for the Mac.

iPhoto was released January 7, 2002, as a way to import and organize photos and perform basic photo editing.

GarageBand was released in 2004 as an easy way for beginner and advanced musicians to create and edit music.

Finally, iWeb was introduced in January 2006 as an app to create and maintain websites without having to know or write HTML or other coding languages.

The original version of iLife was released in 2003 and cost $49. It included iPhoto 2, iTunes 3, iMovie 3, and iDVD 3.

iLife ’04 (2004) cost $49 and included iPhoto 4, iTunes 4.2, iMovie 4, iDVD 4, and GarageBand 1.

iLife ’05 (2005) cost $79 and included iPhoto 5, iTunes 4.7.1, iMovie HD 5, iDVD 5, and GarageBand 2.

iLife ’06 (2006) cost $79 and included iPhoto 6, iTunes 6.0.2, iMovie HD 6, iDVD 6, GarageBand 3, and added iWeb 1.

iLife ’08 (2008) cost $79 and included iPhoto 7.0, iTunes 7.3, iMovie 7.0 (HD 6), iDVD 7.0, GarageBand 4.0, and iWeb 2.0.

iLife ’09 (2009) cost $79 and included iPhoto 8.0, iMovie 8.0, iDVD 7.0.3, GarageBand 5.0, and iWeb 3.0. iTunes was removed from iLife ‘09.

iLife ’11 (Late 2010) dropped to $49 and included iPhoto 9.0, iMovie 9.0, iDVD 7.1, GarageBand 6.0, and iWeb 3.0.2. In January 2011 a version of iLife ’11 became available on the Mac App Store at $15 per app featuring iPhoto 9.1, iMovie 9.0.9, and GarageBand 6.0.5. iLife ‘11 on the Mac App Store dropped both iDVD and iWeb.

iLife ’13 (2013) was free to previous iLife users and included iPhoto 9.5, iMovie 10.0, and GarageBand 10.0.

This is the retail packaging for iLife ’09. The box features a stylized version of the word “iLife” in the Apple Myriad font where each letter represents a feature of the iLife apps: “i” uses film and a lens to represent iMovie, “L” uses the bulletin board design of the iWeb icon, the second “i” uses music notes on staves to represent GarageBand, “f” uses a generic background pattern, and “e” features a sunset similar to the iPhoto icon. The back of the box shows the four iLife apps with three or four bullets each that highlight each app’s features.

Source: Wikipedia (iLife, iTunes)

iPhone XR (packaging, 2018, 2020)

In 2020 Apple made a major change to its iPhone 12 packaging when they stopped including Lightning headphones and a wall power “brick” charger in the box at the time of an iPhone purchase. With these items removed, Apple was able to reduce the size of the iPhone box and reduce the extra packaging associated with the headphones and charger. It was announced that the iPhone 12 would ship only with the phone and a USB-C-to-Lightning charging cable.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, announced at an October 2020 Apple event, “Customers already have over 700 million Lightning headphones, and many customers have moved to a wireless experience with AirPods, Beats, or other wireless headphones. And there are also over 2 billion Apple power adapters out in the world, and that’s not counting the billions of third-party adapters. So we are removing these items from the iPhone box.”

With the iPhone 12 announcement, I was not at all expecting this packaging change to also affect older, but still manufactured iPhone models. At the time of the iPhone 12 release, Apple was still offering the iPhone XR as a lower-end and less expensive iPhone option. Surprisingly, the iPhone XR packaging was also reduced in size and shipped without the headphones and charger. Also, the cable was switched to a USB-C-to-Lightning, replacing the former USB-to-Lightning option.

While the change may contribute to some environmental benefits, the situation was not universally accepted as positive. Some critics noted that, “The move saves the company money, but some of the environmental benefits could be offset by people buying earbuds and chargers separately” (The Verge). From a practical standpoint, some users—namely enterprise, government, and school districts like mine—had not switched to USB-C when this decision was made. As Apple indicated, it is likely that most users likely already have more than one charger and at least one set of Lightning headphones.

The photos here represent my school district’s iPhone XR upgrade affected mid-stream—where iPhone XR models purchased before October 2020 used “classic” packaging, and devices purchased in late-October/November 2020 unexpectedly used the new packaging without an announcement or warning.

Sources: AppleInsider, The Verge

Apple Watch Nike Sport Loop (44mm, Celestial Teal, 2018)

This Nike Sport Loop Apple Watch band was released in 2018. The packaging describes this product as “Hook and Loop Closure Reflective Thread Detail.”

The Apple Watch Nike Sport Loop band has been available in several color combinations, including Bright Crimson/Black, Pearl Pink, Smokey Mauve, Midnight Fog, Celestial Teal, Olive Flak, Cargo Khaki, Black/Pure Platinum, Black, Summit White, Desert Sand/Volt, Pink Blast/True Berry, Royal Pulse/Lava Glow, Summit White, and Black.

Apple describes the Apple Watch Nike Sport Loop band:

“Soft, breathable, and lightweight, the Nike Sport Loop is designed for fitness, with select colors matched to the new line of Nike running shoes. It features a nylon weave with reflective thread designed to shimmer when light strikes it. A hook-and-loop fastener makes for quick and easy adjustment, and dense loops on the skin side provide soft cushioning while allowing moisture to escape. On the reverse side, the attachment loops are securely anchored for superior durability.”

This example includes photos of the packaging and box opening. The interior packaging shows installation instructions.

Source: Apple

Mac OS X Server box (2003)

This box is the retail packaging for Mac OS X Server, Version 10.3 Panther. The artwork on the box changed considerably from the previous Jaguar-fur-covered X in Apple Garamond to a new, more blocky serif font with a metallic finish.

This version was released on October 24, 2003, and added LDAP-based Open Directory user and file management.

A new Workgroup Manager application allowed for a vast improvement for configuration. Other network services were added or improved including SNMP, Apache web server, mail server, OpenLDAP, AFP, print server, SMB version 3 (improved Windows compatibility), MySQL (4.0.16), and PHP (4.3.7).

The box indicates that it contains Mac OS X Server v10.3, Admin Tools, Xcode, getting started guide, electronic documentation.

Source: Wikipedia (Panther, Mac OS X Server)