Tribute to emate 300

In March 1997 Apple released the Emate 300 for 800 $ - it was bigger than a PDA and smaller than a laptop. The emate ran the Newton operating system, the battery life was up to 20 hours. The display had 480x320 pixels in 16 gray levels. 8MB ROM contained both operating system and applications. In addition, there were 1MB RAM and 2MB flash memory available, an infrared port, and a combined serial / parallel interface. The emate targeted on the educational sector.

As Steve Jobs returned back to Apple, he stopped the whole Newton product line in 1988 . Some elements of the emate design were resumed in the Clamshell iBook: The shape, the semi-transparent housing, the interface layout and the integrated carrying handle.

Earthquake delays iBook delivery

On September, 21. 1999, the date of the iBook delivery a major earthquake of magnitude 7.6 shook Taiwan. There were approximately 2300 dead persons, almost 10000 buildings collapsed, about 7500 were seriously damaged.

The iBook manufacturer Alpha Top, located in the less affected Hsinchu region, Taiwan's Silicon Valley, was not damaged.

Understandably, the transport capacity of the island was urgently needed for supplies and due to power outages, the production stopped for one week. Apple could only deliver 6000 iBooks.

It's history repeating

Years before he moved to San Francisco to join the Apple design team, iBook Designer Jonathan Ive started his designer career in 1990 as a partner of the London agency tangerine. A major customer was the plumbing company Ideal Standard. The first iBook which Steve Jobs revealed in 1999 came in a color called tangerine, some people said that it looked good bit like a toilet seat...

The integrated handle

A new and unique feature of the Clamshell iBook was the seamlessly integrated handle which is invisible at first sight.

Steve Jobs demonstrated this feature during the presentation of the iBook at the Macworld conference and Expo in New York on Jul 21 in 1999. The designer Jonathan Ive wanted to facilitate the process of carrying the iBook, e.g. in University from one lecture hall to the other.

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