The AirPort Extreme Card card replaced Apple’s original AirPort card in 2003. The first computers designed to use this card were the iBook G4/800 12-inch (original) and the iMac G4 1.0 17-inch (flat panel).
Apple devices with wireless capabilities after the AirPort Extreme Card had Wi-Fi as a standard feature built in to the architecture beginning in mid-2005. Beginning in 2006 with the Intel-based MacBook Pro, Apple used non-Apple-branded internal wireless cards (e.g., Atheros, Broadcom).
According to Apple’s AirPort Extreme Card User’s Guide:
AirPort Extreme Card Specifications • Wireless Data Rate: Up to 54 megabits per second (Mbps) • Range: Up to 150 feet (45 meters) from the base station in typical indoor use (varies with building) • Frequency Band: 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) • Radio Output Power: 15 dBm (nominal) • Standards: Compliant with 802.11 HR Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 11 Mbps standard, 802.11 DSSS 1 and 2 Mbps standard, and 802.11g specification
The Apple AirPort Carrier Card Adapter (M8753G/A, 820-1066-A) is for the slot-loading G3 iMac (400MHz or faster). The “carrier card” allows a standard original Apple AirPort wireless card to be installed in an iMac.
At the time, wireless capability was not considered a standard computer feature so the iMac G3 not only did not include an AirPort Card, but it also lacked the internal port to accept it. Instead, Apple required this carrier to allow an AirPort Card to be added. The 802.11b AirPort Card was not included.
The Generation 7 iPad differs from previous base iPad models with its larger 10.2-inch screen at 2160×1620 (264 ppi) (the Generation 6 iPad had a 9.7-inch screen) and the addition of the Smart Connector. The Smart Connector allows this iPad to use an Apple Smart Keyboard. This iPad was available in three colors: white front with a gold back, white front with silver back, and black front with a Space Gray back. This example is Space Gray.
The Generation 7 iPad uses the Apple A10 Fusion processor with 3 GB of RAM, and has 32 GB or 128 GB of internal storage. It also has an 8 Megapixel iSight camera on the back (1080p) and a 1.2 Megapixel FaceTime camera (720p) on the front. Wireless connectivity includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2,. Its two wired ports are the Lightning port and a 3.5mm audio port. Internal sensors include accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, compass, and barometer.
Aside from this Wi-Fi model, three Wi-Fi/Cellular models are available (US/CA, Global, and China).
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.
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.
This MacBook Air 11-inch featured a 22-nm Haswell 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. It included 4 GB or 8 GB of memory and 128 GB or 256 GB of flash storage. This was the smallest of Apple’s MacBook Air line of laptops measuring 0.11 to 0.68 inches and weighed 2.3 pounds. It included a 720p FaceTime HD webcam, a backlit full-size keyboard, and an 11.6-inch widescreen TFT LED backlit active-matrix glossy display (1366×768).
Wireless connectivity included 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, while ports included analog audio out, one Thunderbolt port, and two USB 3.0 ports.
A previous version of the MacBook Air 11-inch nearly identical except for a slower processor and less available RAM and flash storage.
In my role as Assistant Superintendent for Technology & Innovation, I led the teams that managed nearly 4,500 of these laptops over a five-year period (2014–19). At the time, all high school students in the school district were issued a MacBook Air 11-inch and students used the same model for their 4-year high school career. Apple stopped manufacturing this laptop in 2018 and the high school switched to the iPad Generation 6.
The iPhone 4S was the product that first introduced the Siri voice assistant. The iPhone 4S was designed around a stainless-steel body with a glass front and back. It had a 3.5-inch LED-backlit 960×640 326 ppi multi-touch Retina display and included two noise-cancelling microphones. It was available in black or white.
The iPhone 4S supported both GSM and CDMA networks and included 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. It used a dual-core Apple A5 processor; 512 MB of RAM; and 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of internal storage. It had two cameras: an 8 megapixel HD camera (1080p at 30 FPS) with an LED flash on the rear and FaceTime camera on the front that allowed FaceTime video calls over Wi-Fi.
The Apple TV Generation 2 was a major change from the original Apple TV. It was designed to stream rented movies and TV shows from Apple, and to stream movies, shows, photos, and other content from a Mac, PC, iPod, iPhone, or iPad at 720p (30 FPS). It also supported Netflix, YouTube, and Flickr using built-in apps.
The Apple TV Generation 2 used an Apple A4 processor and ran a version of iOS. Ports included HDMI, optical audio, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, and a Micro-USB port (used for service and diagnostics). It connected wirelessly using 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Its all-black external case was 3.9 inches square and 0.9 inch tall.
The Apple TV Generation 2 shipped with the aluminum Generation 2 Apple Remote.
The AirPort Extreme was a wireless networking base station that combined the functions of a network router and wireless access point. When the Extreme model of this device was released, the “extreme” modifier denoted its increased Wi-Fi speed from 802.11a/b to the faster 802.11g Wi-Fi standard, a major speed difference at the time.
The AirPort Extreme base station model retained the form factor as the original AirPort base station in shape, but the AirPort Extreme was cast in opaque white plastic, used a mirrored Apple logo, and moved the ports to the bottom of the device. The shape was sometimes referred to as the “flying saucer.” Not only was it shaped like a flying saucer, a 1999 TV commercial that introduced the original AirPort showed it behaving like a UFO.
The original AirPort Extreme Base Station could provide wireless access to up to 50 Macs or PCs simultaneously, although performance was noticeably affected as connections exceeded about 12 connected devices. This version was also notable to include a 56K dial-up modem that allowed homes without broadband Internet to have wireless Internet.
The original iPad announcement was outlined in a January 27, 2010, press release issued by Apple. The iPad was described as, “a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.” Steve Jobs said it was, “a magical and revolutionary device…[that] defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”
The original iPad used a 9.7-inch multitouch display (1024×768 at 132 ppi). It ran the same operating system as iPhone, which at the time was referred to as iPhone OS 3.2 (the name “iOS” would not be used until June 2010).
Internally, the original iPad had a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor; 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage; 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi; an accelerometer; an ambient light sensor; a digital compass; GPS; two mono speakers; and a built-in microphone. The iPad was 0.5 inches thick and weighed 1.6 pounds.