March 17, 1998: Say, Is That an Apple Flat Panel?

by Hadley Stern Mar 17, 2011

Apple's first foray into the flat panel monitor business was an ill-fated attempt to sell a substandard, oddly sized LCD capable of displaying 80 columns and twenty four lines of text as an add-on to the Apple II. Lacking and expensive when compared to competitorsofferings, the Apple Flat Panel display was quickly abandoned.

Apple's initial taste of flat panels might have been all castor oil but the company was forced to use them as their portable and Newton line expanded. Passive versus active matrix, backlights or no backlights, Apple played with all configurations over the years.

With all the experience gained from using flat panels in other products and with thin screens becoming more accepted by the market, Apple decided to jump back into the business of LCD monitor production. The result? The 15" Apple Studio display. The max resolution of 1024 x 768 wasn't surprising, nor was the ability to display 16 million colors. What was surprising was the case plastics. Instead of the platinum look everyone had come to know and become bored with, the 15" display featured translucent plastics that didn't match any Mac shipping at the time. In retrospect, the machine was obviously a prelude to the plastic scheme of the original iMac. Apple's second foray into flat panel monitors began 14 years after their first attempt on March 17, 1998.


  • I think you mean 1984 for the Apple Flat Panel Display. How could the second foray into flat panel monitors have occurred 14 years after 1998? We’d still be waiting.

    Scott_R had this to say on Mar 16, 2007 Posts: 17
  • No, I think the date is correct, it just needs two commas.

    “Apple’s second foray into flat panel monitors began, 14 years after their first attempt, on March 17, 1998.”

    Graham had this to say on Mar 17, 2008 Posts: 24
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