On 22 January we will be celebrating thirty years since the Mac was launched with that famous 1984 advert that promised: "On January 24th Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'"
Incidentally Macworld also began at the very same time with the first issue being published alongside the new Mac. Steve Jobs himself even wrote an article for the issue. (We feel special).
I'm wondering if Apple will do anything to mark the Mac's 30th birthday, or will they leave this huge milestone un-noted.
[Read more of our 30th anniversary of the Mac coverage over at our Mac at 30 channel.]
There are a number of ways in which Apple could celebrate the day. Here are a few:
The Mac mini was untouched last year. Apple failed to update its lowest priced Mac, leaving it with an ageing processor and a hard drive on the inside. Isn't it time that this desktop Mac, which becomes the perfect media centre when plugged into your TV via its HDMI port, got an update? We'd like to see PCIe flash memory, more RAM (8GB as standard, up from a measly 4GB) and a better Intel Haswell processor. A lower price of entry (currently £499) would also be nice, but unlikely.
The MacBook Air was last updated in June and back then we thought it was great. However the Retina MacBook Pro, update in October, took away some of the Air's sheen, especially since the new Retina MacBook Pro now has a lower starting price that's just £150 more than the 11in MacBook Air - and you get a lot for that £150.
(Read more about this in: our MacBook Air verses Retina MacBook Pro comparitive review)
We hope Apple gives the MacBook Air a bit of a spruce up and reduces the price of the entry-level model so that it's a more attractive offering. There is also expectation that the Air will gain a Retina display but we doubt we'd see that before the summer.
3) Launch a 30th Anniversary Mac
In 1997, a year after its 20th birthday in 1996, Apple celebrated by introducing a 20th Anniversary Mac. Not many of the 12,000 limited edition Macs (which cost $7,499) sold. Would Apple do such a thing again? The company recently let Jony Ive build a special red Mac Pro to sell at a Project (Red) charity auction. Maybe there are a few more special edition Mac Pros in the works (one of the benefits of building the new showcase Mac in the States).
4) A history of the Mac advertisement
Apple has made some pretty great ads about the Mac in its time. From the 1984 ad that launched the Mac; to the Think Different campaign; the Switcher campaign; and Get a Mac which pitched the stereotypical PC Guy against the Mac Guy. How about a new ad that showcases the evolution of the Mac from the days when Apple invented the PC, through the various iterations of the iMac and the Mac laptops, to the Mac Pro, and onto the future of computing... The iPad? If Apple doesn't make that ad someone should.
Remember this? …
5) Freebies from the Mac App Store
Apple just celebrated the 12 Days of Christmas by giving away apps, books, music and more in the iOS store. How about celebrating the 30th birthday of the Mac by giving away some goodies in the Mac App Store (like they did last year for the iOS App Store's 5th birthday). What better way to draw attention to the fact that there's some great software available for the Mac. Apple could even give away OS X... Except, they already did that!
Why Apple should celebrate 30 years of the Mac
Of course it's entirely possible that Apple will decide that the era of the PC is over - we're in a Post-PC world after all, as Steve Jobs once said, but it would be a missed opportunity to let a big date in the history of Apple pass without taking the opportunity to remind everyone what Apple has done over the years to make technology accessible as well as powerful.
From reinventing the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh, to making the first ultraportable laptop (the super slim MacBook Air, the thinnest laptop in the world when it launched in 2008), Apple has shown the industry the direction to take. Apple should take this opportunity to shout about it a bit.
Let's see if it does. See you on 22 January.