A 12" iBook G3.

iBook is a line of laptop computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from 1999 to 2006. The line targeted entry-level, consumer and education markets, with lower specifications and prices than the PowerBook, Apple's higher-end line of laptop computers. It was the first mass consumer product to offer Wi-Fi network connectivity, which was then branded by Apple as AirPort.[1][2]

The iBook had three different designs during its lifetime. The first, known as the "Clamshell," was inspired by the design of Apple's popular iMac line at the time. It was a significant departure from previous portable computer designs due to its shape, bright colors, incorporation of a handle into the casing, lack of a display closing latch, lack of a hinged cover over the external ports and built-in wireless networking. Two years later, the second generation abandoned the original form factor in favor of a more conventional, rectangular design. In October 2003, the third generation was introduced, adding a PowerPC G4 chip, USB 2.0 and a slot-loading drive.

They were very popular in education, with Henrico County Public Schools being the first of many school systems in the United States to distribute one to every student.

Apple replaced the iBook line with the MacBook in May 2006 during Apple's transition to Intel processors.

iBook G3 ("Clamshell")

iBook G3 ("Clamshell")
Clamshell iBook G3.jpg
The original iBook in Blueberry color
DeveloperApple Computer, Inc.
Release dateJune 21, 1999
Introductory priceUS$1,599 (equivalent to $2,405 in 2018)
DiscontinuedMay 1, 2001
CPUPowerPC G3, 300–466 MHz
SuccessoriBook G3 (Snow)

In the late 1990s, Apple was trimming its product line from the bewildering variety of intersecting Performa, Quadra, LC, Power Macintosh and PowerBook models to a simplified "four box" strategy: desktop and portable computers, each in both consumer and professional models. Three boxes of this strategy were already in place: The newly introduced iMac was the consumer desktop, the Blue and White G3 filled the professional desktop box, and the PowerBook line served as the professional portable line. This left only the consumer portable space empty, leading to much rumor on the Internet of potential designs and features. Putting an end to this speculation, on June 21, 1999, Steve Jobs unveiled the iBook G3 during the keynote presentation of Macworld Conference & Expo, New York City.

Like the iMac, the iBook G3 had a PowerPC G3 CPU, and no legacy Apple interfaces. USB, Ethernet, modem ports and an optical drive were standard. The ports were left uncovered along the left side, as a cover was thought to be fragile and unnecessary with the iBook's new interfaces, which lacked the exposed pins of earlier connectors. When the lid was closed, the hinge kept it firmly shut, so there was no need for a latch on the screen. The hinge included an integrated carrying handle. Additional power connectors on the bottom surface allowed multiple iBook G3s to be charged on a custom-made rack. The iBook G3 was the first Mac to use Apple's new "Unified Logic Board Architecture," which condensed all of the machine's core features into two chips, and added AGP and Ultra DMA support.

The iBook was the first mainstream computer designed and sold with integrated wireless networking.[3] On the iBook's introduction, Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Marketing, held an iBook while jumping off a height as data from the computer was transferred to another in order to demonstrate the wireless networking capability. The display bezel contained the wireless antenna, which attached to an optional internal wireless card. Lucent helped create this wireless capability which established the industry standard. Apple released the AirPort Wireless Base Station at the same time.

There was heated debate over many things such as the aesthetics, features, weight, performance and pricing.[4][5] To provide sufficient impact protection, the iBook was larger and heftier than the PowerBook of the time, and yet had lower specifications. Standard features like PC card slots were absent, and so were speculated features such as touch screens and an ultra-long battery life. The iBook gained the label "Barbie's toilet seat," due to the distinctive design.[6] Nevertheless, this same design made the iBook G3 unmistakable in movies and television shows.

The iBook was a commercial success.[7] The line continually received processor, memory, hard disk upgrades and new colors. FireWire and video out were later added. The design was discontinued in May 2001, in favor of the new "Dual USB" iBooks.


iBook G3 ("Clamshell") in all five colours: "Tangerine" and "Blueberry" on the top row, and "Graphite", "Indigo" and "Key Lime" on the bottom row. Key Lime was an Apple Online Store exclusive.

The design was clearly influenced by Apple's consumer desktop, the iMac. In fact, one of the marketing slogans for the iBook was "iMac to go." The clamshell design also echoed the eMate 300. Apple continued its trend of using transparent colored plastics for the shell, and released the iBook clamshell series in several colors, starting with Blueberry and Tangerine, later adding Indigo, Graphite and Key Lime colors. However, unlike the iMac, the iBook did not feature pinstripes. Steve Jobs announced that the Key Lime color, "a little less conservative, a little more fun", was exclusive to the online Apple Store. This resulted in some crowd members booing, to which Jobs replied: "Don't you like buying on the Apple Online Store?"[8]

Compared to follow-up iBook and PowerBook notebook computers, the Clamshell iBook proved to be the more reliable model.[9] The original iBook is on exhibition at the London Design Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.[10][11] Vestiges of design ideas first adopted in the iBook G3 can still be seen today: moving interface ports from the back to the sides and leaving them uncovered, omitting a latch for the computer's lid, and providing multiple color options.


iBook G3 Clamshell
Model iBook iBook SE (Special Edition) iBook (FireWire), iBook (FireWire) SE
Release date June 21, 1999 February 16, 2000 September 13, 2000

     (Special Edition)      (SE and regular)
Key Lime exclusive to Apple Online Store

Order number M7707LL/A*[12] M7716LL/A* M7721LL/A*, M7720LL/A* (special edition)
Model identifier Powerbook 2,1 Powerbook 2,2
Model number M2453 M2453 M6411
Processor 300 MHz PowerPC G3 (750) 366 MHz PowerPC G3 (750) 366 MHz (regular) or 466 MHz (SE) PowerPC G3 (750cxe)
Cache 64kb L1, 512kb L2 backside cache (1:2) 64kb L1, 256kb L2 cache (1:1)
Front side bus 66 MHz
Memory 32 MB or 64 MB of PC66 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 544 MB or 576 MB (288 MB or 320 MB specified by Apple)
64 MB of PC66 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 576 MB (320 MB specified by Apple)
64 MB of PC100 SDRAM (soldered to the logic board)
Expandable to 576 MB (320 MB specified by Apple)
Display 12" active-matrix TFT display, 800×600 pixel resolution
Graphics ATI Rage with 4 MB of SDRAM ATI Rage 128 with 8 MB of SDRAM
AGP 2x
Hard drive 3.2 GB or 6 GB ATA 6 GB ATA 10 GB ATA
Optical drive
Tray loading
24× CD-ROM 24× CD-ROM (regular) or 4× DVD-ROM (SE)
Connectivity Optional AirPort 802.11b
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k V.90 modem
Peripherals 1x USB 1.1
Audio out mini-jack
1x USB 1.1
1x Firewire 400
Audio out mini-jack
Video out N/A Composite video out
Battery 45-watt-hour removable lithium-ion
Original Operating System Mac OS 8.6 Mac OS 9.0.2 Mac OS 9.0.4
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.3.9 "Panther" and Mac OS 9.2.2 Mac OS X 10.4.11 "Tiger" and Mac OS 9.2.2
Weight 6.7 lbs / 3.0 kg
Dimensions 1.8×13.5×11.6 inch / 4,6 x 34,3 x 29,5 cm

Expandability and upgrades

The original iBook's only customer-serviceable parts were the RAM and AirPort card, accessed via two slots under the keyboard. No other modifications were possible in-warranty. There was no PCMCIA port for additional expansion capabilities. 40 screws needed to be removed to access the hard drive. The optical drive, however, can be accessed far more easily, requiring only 11 screws and one standoff to be removed. Later on, some users transplanted a 1024×768 LCD from the more recent white iBook into a clamshell iBook. This is only possible with the "FireWire" and "FireWire SE" models, as they have 8 MB of video RAM; the older ones only have 4 MB.[13]

All clamshell iBooks shipped with Mac OS 8.6 or 9.0. All clamshell iBooks supported Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.3.9. Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" can also be installed.

Other Languages
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Bahasa Indonesia: IBook
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Simple English: IBook
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Türkçe: İBook
中文: IBook