The first 100 Days of Macintosh – Apple II Forever Event (1984)

During the introduction event of the Apple IIc, Steve Jobs took the opportunity to give a ‘state of the union’ on the Macintosh launch.

At the time, the Apple II was Apple’s bread and butter. It was crucial for Steve Jobs to enticed Apple’s dealers to invest in what Steve calls the industry 3rd milestone – after the Apple II and IBM PC. As far as Steve Jobs was concerned, Macintosh was facing competition from both IBM and the Apple II. That would results in turmoils for Apple and Steve Jobs.

Summary of Steve Jobs’ presentation

00:00. Introduction from William Campbell
02:30. Macintosh Sales results
05:20. Letter from a McDonalds’ Marketing VP
06:50. Update on accessories & software (MacPaint, MacWrite, MacPascal, MacTerminal, MacAssembler/Debugger, ProjectDraw, Basic)
08.40. Developer software overview (MacProject, Elecronic Rollodex, Helix database, Millionaire StockMarket simulation game, DowJones, Microsoft Chart)
10:10. Macintosh advertising efforts
11:40. Macintosh Video

Date: April 24, 1984
Location: Moscone Center, San Francisco
Steve was 29 years old.

Apple II Forever event invitation
Apple II Forever event invitation

The Macintosh was launched just 92 days prior to the presentation and all signs pointed out that it would be a resounding success. Apple’s objective was to sell 50,000 Macintosh in their first 100 days. They had already sold 60,000 by then. The audience was ecstatic, and Steve thought he would achieve his goals. But that didn’t last for long…

Watch the “Apple II Forever” promo video shown at the event

Soon after, sales of the Macintosh dwindled to 20,000 per quarter, well below the 75K forecasted. Apple II accounted to 70% of Apple sales and relation between Steve and John Sculley was under pressure for the very first time. Steve did not take criticism very well, and sometimes reacted to suggestions for improving Macintosh sales as if they were personal attacks. Their relationship began to sour as John put pressure on Steve to address the Macintosh’s problems.

We all know what happened afterwards. You can read more about it on Andy Hertzfeld (ex-Apple staff) excellent blog.

Macintosh Advertising

During his presentation, Steve reads a beautifully written letter from a McDonalds VP of marketing about Macintosh advertising. Here are some examples of Macintosh printed and TV ads from 1984. Beige was definitely en vogue back then :)

Macintosh Print ads

Macintosh Print ad - Test Drive a Macintosh

Macintosh Print ad - Test Drive a Macintosh

Macintosh Print ad - Apple introduces Macintosh

For the most complete collection of Apple print ads, head to macmothership.com

Macintosh TV ads

 

For the most complete collection of Apple TV ads, head to Every Apple Ads.