Steve Jobs Unveiled Apple’s First MacBook Air 15 Years Ago Today

Omar Sohail
2008 MacBook Air
Steve Jobs unveils the first ever MacBook Air in 2008 / Image Credits - JoshuaG

The range of notebooks available in 2008 was the complete opposite of the iconic MacBook Air that Steve Jobs unveiled at Apple’s keynote. Today marked the 15-year anniversary when the sleek machine was announced and how it likely gave inspiration to the company’s competitors to up the quality of their products in both build quality and thinness.

Crowd was in awe when Steve Jobs revealed the first MacBook Air by removing it from an envelope

Before the unveiling of the first MacBook Air, Apple had two portable Macs in its lineup; the MacBook and MacBook Pro. With Jobs providing the presentation, the co-founder said in a sentence, ‘it is the world’s thinnest notebook.’ Shortly after, he started comparing competing products based on their thickness and performance, starting with the Sony TZ series.

After providing the physical differences, Jobs was seen unwrapping the 13.3-inch MacBook Air from an envelope, featuring a full-sized keyboard with a white backlight. One area that the press gasped to hear was that the thinnest part of the competing Sony TZ notebook was still thicker than the thickest part of the MacBook Air, and that certainly created a statement in the large room.

The right side touted a flip-down tray, providing access to a single USB-A port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a micro-DVI port for attaching an external hard drive. The first MacBook Air was also running a dual-core Intel processor, meaning that while it may not have compromised on performance, it definitely ran into thermal constraints due to the lack of thickness.

Compared to today’s standards, where Apple’s M2 MacBook Air launched at $1,199, the first model carried a hefty $1,799 price, and that too without an SSD option. In 2023, Windows 11 notebook manufacturers have achieved their goal of churning out incredibly thin laptops, but in terms of build quality, the MacBook Air is still a rock-solid piece of hardware.

There are rumors that Apple intends to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air later this year, so we will keep you posted on the latest. In the meantime, you can watch Steve Jobs unveiling the ‘thinnest notebook ever’ as well as the first MacBook Air ad in the videos given above.

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