Mac in time: 30 years of Apple's legendary PC

From the original Mac, IIci, Quadra and iMac to the MacBook Air and new Mac Pro

And so, in June, "hell freezes over" when Jobs announces that Apple is to undergo its third major transition − a major switch over to Intel processors, meaning that Apple hardware no longer will be differentiated from that in PCs. Mac OS X 10.5 'Tiger' is announced in April.

The Mac Mini also takes a bow in January 2005 with PowerPC G4 processors, and has now been through numerous revisions. From modest beginnings, it's now a very powerful machine available with Intel Core i7 processors.

2006 − Intel takes the Mac

Every Mac that Apple makes ditches the PowerPC chip in favour of Intel Core Duo processors, starting with the iMac, Mac Mini and MacBook Pro in January, and ending with the Mac Pro in August. By the end of the year the MacBook Pro has been revamped again, this time sporting Core 2 Duo processors.

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Boot Camp, also introduced this year, enables all owners of Intel Macs to dual boot their Macs with Windows. Universal applications for both Intel and PowerPC aren't that common, but Apple's Rosetta software enables PowerPC apps to run on Intel Macs.

And then there were the Get a Mac ads. Not exactly Apple's classiest hour.

2007 − Portable Macs become performance powerhouses

Apple's year kicks of with a bang and they announce 8-core Mac Pros will be available as a buy-to-order option. Apple adopts the Intel Santa Rosa chipset for the MacBook Pro in August and revamps the iMac so that it now sports an aluminum and glass enclosure with Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs.

2007 also sees the introduction of the iPhone, with banners at Macworld Expo in January referring to the company's history and declaring "the first 30 years were just the beginning".

Windows Vista launches, and is widely criticised, before OS X 10.5 Leopard goes on sale in October. It becomes Apple's biggest-selling OS X upgrade so far.

The original MacBook
The original MacBook

2008 − The MacBook Air leaves the envelope

Apple's most successful year ever kicks off with the announcement that the Mac Pro is to offer 8-core processing as standard, plus there are faster iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Apple also announces the MacBook Air − an ultra-light notebook with a multi-touch trackpad for gestures.

By the end of the year, the MacBook and MacBook Pro get another revamp, this time with a new 'unibody' enclosure that sees the bottom cases milled from solid block of aluminium.

2009 − A smaller MacBook Pro

Steve Jobs announces in June that OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard enables all apps to harness the power of multi-core processors.

This year is, however, more notable for the long-awaited release of the 13.3-inch version of the MacBook Pro − the natural successor to the 12-inch version of the PowerBook G4.

2010 − The future is download

The Mac App Store takes a bow and foreruns an optical drive free-future for the Mac. It requires the v10.6.6 update for Snow Leopard, which will become a sticking point for the release of OS X Lion the year after.

The 11-inch MacBook Air is also introduced, amid much speculation that Apple would release a killer machine to rival all the cheap PC netbooks that were around at the time. It decides to kill them with the iPad instead.

MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro made its debut with an Intel chip

2011 − Thunderbolt points to faster interfaces

OS X Lion is released in July, the first version of OS X not to be released on disc in one format or another. A USB flash version is offered, allowing those who have issues connecting to the internet to use the store. Many who haven't upgraded to Snow Leopard are caught out because they don't have access to the Mac App Store.

Also in 2011, Apple ships the first MacBook Pros featuring Intel's Thunderbolt tech, which uses the same physical port as Mini DisplayPort. It hasn't yet taken off, though continues to feature on all new Macs.

The iMac continued to go from strength to strength
The iMac continued to go from strength to strength

2012 − Retina displays come to the Mac

Fans of the long-neglected Mac Pro line finally gets a fillip with the news that there will be an announcement of a new version in 2013.

The summer sees OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion hit the Mac App Store, which continues the trend of OS X Lion to add an iOS-style sheen to OS X and introduces many of the same naming conventions for apps.

The end of the year features a revised Mac mini as well as a new iMac, with an even thinner display − just 5mm at the edges.

The MacBook Pro is revised but also gets a welcome boost in the form of a new Retina display version and a slimline unibody build with no optical drive. Both 15- and 13-inch versions are released in 2012, with a revision in early 2013. These new models are also notable for their HDMI ports.

2013 − The new Mac Pro is here

After the MacBook Pro revision comes a further enhancement for the MacBook Air.

The Mac ends the year on a high, with the release of the Mac Pro as well as OS X 10.9 Mavericks (Apple says it ran out of big cat names). Mavericks wasn't a great leap forward and had its problems, but it is still extremely successful for the company.

We're expecting OS X 10.10 in late 2014, but there's no hint yet of a completely new version number in OS X 11.