Six years ago, in July 2000, the G4 Cube was introduced to the world. There were plenty of “ooos” “ahhhs” and, of course, a few “it costs how much?!” A Cube with 450 MHz G4 processor, 20 GB hard drive, and 64 MB of RAM cost $1799, while the Cube with a 500 MHz G4, 30 GB hard drive and 128 MB of RAM cost $2299. There were three RAM slots, a slot for an original Airport card, a 16 MB AGP video card, but no PCI slots, and no room for off-the-shelf video cards. The Cube had either a CD-R/RW or DVD ROM drive (*note – I originally wrote it came with a Combo drive, which was a silly error. Marty M. brought this error to my attention – thank you!).
The Cube was a beautiful machine, and an intriguing concept. The press loved it, and so did people who wanted a small, powerful and quiet computer that happened to look great on the desk. Cubes were used as servers, digital media hubs, audio and video editing stations, and more.
Even after the introduction of the far more powerful and smaller Mac mini, the Cube remains a popular machine to own. It can be upgraded beyond a 1.8GHz G4, with a DVD-burning Superdrive. There are many Cube fansites where people profile their Cube modifications and upgrades.
Production of the Cube was discontinued in July 2001, only a year after it was introduced. About 150,000 Cubes were sold.
On September 12, 2006, the Cube will officially be placed on Apple’s list of vintage / obsolete products. Apple says:
“Apple does not provide service parts nor service documentation for obsolete products. Obsolete products (obsolete and vintage in the U.S.) cannot be facilitated as Mail-In Repairs to AppleCare Repair Centers.
Note: There is no distinction between vintage and obsolete products in Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Japan and Apple retail stores.”
Different rules may apply for Cubes purchased in the State of California, by people who live in the State of California.
It may be officially obsolete, but at least the Cube has good company: consider the Apple ][, the Macintosh 512k, the groundbreaking original G3 iMac, and even the blue & white G3.
All machines that served us well, in their time.
See the complete, current list of obsolete Macs by clicking here.