Macintosh Classic

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The Macintosh Classic was a personal computer manufactured by Apple Computer. Introduced on October 15, 1990, it was the first Apple Macintosh to sell for less than US$1,000.[2] Production of the Classic was prompted by the success of the Macintosh Plus and the SE. The system specifications of the Classic were very similar to its predecessors, with the same 9-inch (23 cm) monochrome CRT display, 512×342 pixel resolution, and 4 megabyte (MB) memory limit of the older Macintosh computers.[1] Apple's decision to not update the Classic with newer technology such as a 68010 CPU, higher RAM capacity or color display ensured compatibility with the Mac's by-then healthy software base as well as enabled it to fit the lower price-point Apple intended for it. Nevertheless, the Classic featured several improvements over the aging Macintosh Plus, which it replaced as Apple's low-end Mac computer. It was up to 25 percent faster than the Plus and included an Apple SuperDrive 3.5-inch (9 cm) floppy disk drive as standard.

The Classic was an adaptation of Jerry Manock's and Terry Oyama's 1984 Macintosh 128K industrial design, as had been the earlier Macintosh SE. Apple released two versions that ranged from $1,000 to $1,500. Reviewers' reactions were mixed; most focused on the slow processor performance and lack of expansion slots. The consensus was that the Classic was only useful for word processing, spreadsheets and databases. The lower price and the availability of education software led to the Classic's popularity in education. It was sold alongside the more powerful Macintosh Classic II in 1991 until its discontinuation the next year.

Contents

History

Development

After Apple co-founder Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985, product development was handed to Jean-Louis Gassée, formerly manager of Apple France. Gassée consistently pushed the Apple product line in two directions, towards more "openness" in terms of expandability and interoperability, and towards higher price. Gassée long argued that Apple should not market their computers towards the low end of the market, where profits were thin, but instead concentrate on the high end and higher profit margins. He illustrated the concept using a graph showing the price/performance ratio of computers with low-power, low-cost machines in the lower left and high-power high-cost machines in the upper right. The "high-right" goal became a mantra among the upper management, who said "fifty-five or die", referring to Gassée's goal of a 55 percent profit margin.[3]

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