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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 15:49 GMT
Apple's parade of technology
MacWorld signs
MacWorld has become a cult for Apple fans
Apple's annual MacWorld event has become a cult event for fans and they have come to expect the announcement of exciting and ground-breaking new products.

The fact that announcements are shrouded in secrecy, coupled with Apple's Steve Jobs natural ability to entertain an audience, add to the buzz.

The BBC News website takes a look at announcements from years past to see what all the fuss is about.

MACBOOK AIR - 2008

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs unveiled the laptop in San Francisco

Apple promised there was "something in the Air" and it turned out to be an ultra-thin, lightweight laptop.

The 1,200 Macbook Air laptop is not the first-ever machine to ditch weight to make it more mobile, but it is the thinnest on the market right now.

The laptop is 0.76 inches (1.93cm) at its thickest and comes with either a hard drive or solid state drive, for $999 extra.

THE iPHONE - 2007

The iPhone
The iPhone was for many the ultimate Apple product launch

MacWorld 2007 will go down as a vintage year among Mac fans and the wider industry because it heralded the announcement of the iPhone.

It immediately grabbed the headlines and has continued to do so for the following 12 months.

Eyebrows were raised about the decision of Apple to enter the highly competitive world of mobile and there was much criticism about the price of the iPhone and the fact that it would be locked in to specific operators.

But much of debate over the value of the iPhone took second place to discussions about how the phone looked, in particular its touch screen.

SWITCH TO INTEL- 2006

Steve Jobs and Paul Otellini
Steve Jobs made a new friend of Intel

Announcing a switch to Intel processors did not have the glamour of a new product announcement but was a hugely important move for Apple.

Announced at MacWorld 2006, it ended a decade-long relationship between Apple and IBM and was seen as a big gamble for Apple strategy.

The move to Intel was thought to have come about because of IBM's reluctance to expand the number and range of PowerPC chips it makes.

Its entire product line was shifted to Intel during 2007.

In April 2006, Apple released public beta software called Boot Camp that enabled Apple computers with an Intel processor to run the XP Windows based operating system.

iTUNES PHONE - 2005

Apple's iTunes phone
Apple's first foray into the mobile world was less successful

The iTunes phone was Apple's first and less successful foray into the world of mobile.

Steve Jobs introduced the new iPod cell phone, made by Motorola, alongside a new thinner iPod nano, in September at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco.

The iTunes enabled cell phone was able to hold up to 100 songs but didn't prove to be a massive hit with consumers.

Even at launch there were questions about its role with some pundits saying the device compared badly with existing iPod music players in both its looks and onboard features while other questioned which group of consumers it was aimed at and whether people would be willing to pay a premium for such a device.

iPOD MINI - 2004

iPod mini range
The iPod mini came in a range of five colours

This was the year that iPods were miniaturised.

At MacWorld, Apple unveiled a tiny version of its best selling iPod music player.

The iPod Mini held about 1,000 songs and went on sale in the US in February and worldwide in April.

Apple cited the sale of more than 2 million iPods for the high profits it was now experiencing as a company.

ITUNES UNLEASHED - 2003

iTunes website and a CD
iTunes transformed the music download market

MacWorld 2003 was a relatively quiet affair and also saw Apple experiencing its second consecutive quarter of loss. But fortunes were about to be revived by the launch in April of iTunes.

By the time the pioneering online music service launched in the UK the following June, some 85 million songs had been downloaded.

Apple's proprietary format which locked users into Apple's products caused controversy but it went a long way to wrestling back the download market from pirate sites.

MP3 PLAYER REVOLUTION - 2001

An original iPod
The iPod was launched in October 2001

In October 2001 Apple announced its first foray into the world of digital music players with the launch of the iPod.

The original device held 1,000 songs and was hailed by Steve Jobs as a "major, major breakthrough".

The rest, as they say, is history.

iMAC - 1998

The original iMac
Blue turned out to be the new beige

At the Apple Expo in Paris in September 1998, a smiling Steve Jobs was pictured next to the iMac, the machine that both revived Apple's fortunes and set a new standard in computer design, the ripple effects of which continue to be felt to this day.

With the release of the new iMac in August 1998, a new age of computer design began thanks in large part to Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive, who at the time was dubbed the Armani of Apple.

The machine was so popular that Apple had 150,000 advance orders for it, the most ever for an Apple product.

Unveiled at MacWorld, many Apple fans believe it triggered the reverence that many now hold for the event.

APPLE IIc -1984

Steve Jobs, John Sculley, Steve Wozniak
A young Steve Jobs (left) helps show off the Apple IIc

In April Apple Computer introduced a new portable computer.

The briefcase-size Apple IIc was shown off by the then Apple President John Sculley, flanked by co-founders of Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

The innovative design won its a design award later that year, in an early echo of the way Apple was later to revolutionise the design of both computers and MP3 players.

The machine sold well until it was discontinued in 1988.

SEE ALSO
Apple watchers await unveilings
15 Jan 08 |  Technology
Apple pulls China iPhone release
14 Jan 08 |  Business
Review: Apple iPhone
09 Nov 07 |  Technology

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