July 21, 1999: WiFi Introduced…By Apple

by Chris Seibold Jul 21, 2011

The iMac was a huge success for Apple. With a homerun like that, the question naturally arises "How can we repeat that with a laptop?" Apple's answer was the iBook. The machine had several shortcomings: it was heavy, the styling was questionable and the price was considered a bit high.

On the plus side, the iBook was durable, had good battery life and featured, like the iMac, an integrated handle. The best thing, however, wasn't the machine specs but what it could do that other computers couldn't: connect to the internet wirelessly. It was feature called Airport by Apple and known more popularly today as WiFi.
1999 as a semi cool addition to the iBook.


  • Wrong Date!  How can you forget that the iBook was intro’d with optional airport in 99?

    Joshua had this to say on Jul 21, 2006 Posts: 2
  • Actually that was the story I was going for, how I mistyped the year, I don’t know.

    Chris Seibold had this to say on Jul 21, 2006 Posts: 354
  • I remember watching that keynote. It was terrific. Steve went online with the iBook and then moved it through a hula hoop to prove there were no wires.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Jul 21, 2006 Posts: 371
  • I ordered that laptop after seeing the Keynote. I used it for three years. Replaced it with a used powerbook g4 and turned it into a wifi music server. Then upgraded to a macbook pro ( after another few years! ) and now my mother 70 year old mother uses it to send me emails and ichat and surf the web.

    at the time it seemed alittle expensive. in retrospect that computer doesn’t owe me a dime.


    Brett Friedman had this to say on Jul 21, 2006 Posts: 1
  • I have had 2 Clamshells over the years - a 366 Indigo and a 466 Graphite… neither were fitted with the optional Airport.

    They were however damn fine Macs and although they struggle with heavy Flash laden sites (making them not so great for kiddies) will still do sterling service for e-mail, IM, basic surfing, WP, iTunes etc. (the small HDD is a bit of a limitation - but it can be got round). My 466 Graphite went to a friend who is still happily using it as an email and IM adjunct to his G4 iMac Desktop.

    Serenak had this to say on Jul 22, 2007 Posts: 26
  • Chris: I sold that to them: I was the NorCal Rep for Lucent WaveLAN and we had just won the 802.11 standards war with Proxim. Philip Schiller was a neighbor of mine and he and his wife came to my Christmas open house in December ‘97, and we talked long about wireless. He set up the first meetings for me in Cupertino two weeks later and then this date in ‘99 he jumped off a tower on stage at MacWorld while Jobs kept his iMac connected the whole time. Magic. The first big 802.11/WiFi deployment.
    Bob Shaw

    Bobedx had this to say on Jul 23, 2007 Posts: 1
  • Wow, Bob that’s a great story! I hope you got a big bonus!

    Chris Seibold had this to say on Jul 23, 2007 Posts: 354
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment