The rare collection of Apple products from expatriates in Dubai traces the evolution …



(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Hardcore fans of Apple products often go into a frenzy when a new product from the tech giant hits shelves. The queues at 4 a.m. outside Apple showrooms – in the UAE and around the world – when a new iPhone hits shelves is proof of the brand’s massive popularity.

But how many people remember the first Macintosh computer released by Apple? Or the first iPhone introduced?

Dubai expat Jimmy Grewal’s love for Apple has turned him into a vintage collector who claims he owns all the major Apple products ever released since the company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, who has abandoned his studies in 1976.

Among his rare multi-million dirham collection is an original 1976 Apple-1 computer designed by co-founder Steve Wozniak and hand-assembled in the home of Steve Jobs’ parents; the revolutionary Apple Lisa computer; the iconic 1984 Macintosh; the Newton MessagePad portable personal digital assistant; and what is believed to be the first Apple product sold in the United Arab Emirates – a 1979 Apple II computer.

“I hope my collection inspires people and helps them understand Apple’s humble beginnings and fascinating evolution over the past 30 years,” Grewal, a former Microsoft employee at the Khaleej Times, told the premiere. exhibition this weekend. He will present 40 pieces from his private collection of rare Apple computers at GITEX 2021 from October 17 to 21 (Zabeel Hall 3, Stand Z3-FT1).

The exhibition is organized in partnership with the Dubai World Trade Center as part of the 41st edition of GITEX Global.

Grewal’s AAPL Collection, named for the company’s stock symbol, documents Apple’s historic rise from a Silicon Valley startup to the technological might that sparked the smartphone revolution. Apple is the world’s most valuable publicly traded company with a market capitalization of nearly 9 trillion Dh ($ 2.5 trillion).

“This is Apple’s first Apple-1 computer assembled in Steve Job’s proverbial garage. It was not a commercial success and sold less than 130 pieces. But it sparked the Apple revolution that allowed them to lift their first investment, ”Grewal said, pointing to the neatly framed motherboard in his office at Dubai Investment Park.

The model, which doesn’t have an exterior case, screen, keyboard or power supply, is still around and regularly fetch over 1.5 million Dh ($ 410,000) at auction.

Grewal, who grew up in Dubai and worked at Microsoft to develop Internet Explorer and Office for Mac before returning to Dubai, knows every piece of his AAPL collection of 150 people.

The first Apple II computers went on sale on June 10, 1977 and were Apple’s first fully assembled and ready-to-use product. It was also the first personal computer for the consumer market and the first to support color graphics. To reflect the color graphics capability of the computer’s character cells, the Apple logo on the case was depicted using rainbow stripes, which remained a part of Apple’s corporate logo until. ‘in early 1998.

“This is Apple-2 – the second most successful model they released in 1977. It is the first mass-produced model that is easy to use and features the first spreadsheet called VisiCalc,” said Grewal, who is married to Pavanpreet.

The model was the first computer that supported color graphics and could be connected to a monitor or television.

“This is the first time that we have had an apple on the Apple logo,” said Grewal, who is currently the executive director of Elcome International in Dubai.

It is estimated that 40,000 machines were sold during its production, although Apple eventually sold more than 5 million Apple II family computers between 1977 and 1993.

Lisa, named after the daughter of Steve Jobs, is a desktop computer developed by Apple, released on January 19, 1983. It is one of the first personal computers to feature a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse. in a machine intended for individual business users. Development for the Lisa began in 1978, and it underwent many changes before shipping at US $ 9,995 (equivalent to $ 25,970 in 2021 after inflation) with a five-megabyte hard drive. Only 10,000 pieces were sold in two years.

Released with great fanfare in January 1984, the Macintosh was the first affordable computer to include a graphical user interface. It was built around the new Motorola 68000 chip, which was significantly faster than previous processors, running at 8 MHz. The Mac came in a small beige case with a built-in black and white monitor. It came with a keyboard and mouse, and had a floppy disk drive that took up 400KB of 3.5-inch disks – the first personal computer to do so. It originally sold for $ 2,495 in the United States.

The first of Apple’s truly portable Macs, the PowerBook 100 had essentially the same processor as the old Mac Portable. The 100 was well received despite its slow processor, passive matrix display, and the lack of an internal floppy drive. It originally sold for $ 2,500. The PowerBook 100 came out with the 140 and 170. While these latter two models were based on the same logic board, the 100 had a simpler logic board design and was designed and manufactured by Sony for Apple.

How did it all start?

Grewal says his fascination with computers began when he attended the American School of Dubai from 1982 to 1995.

“I think they were the first Apple customers in Dubai. They bought the first Apple computer in 1979, ”he said. The school later donated this computer to their former students and now graces the Grewal collection.

Years later, he bought a Model 1984 Macintosh at a garage sale in the United States. “I thought it was cool and bought it as a decorative piece for my dorm. Next week I went back and bought two more, ”he said.

And by the time he returned to Dubai in 2003, Grewal had an impressive collection of around 30 old Apple computers.

“Over the years, I have continued to enrich the collection through my former colleagues and coworkers at Apple. In 1986 my parents bought me the first computer I still have, ”he said.

Grewal says the evolution of Apple, its branding value and technological prowess is mind-boggling.

“For example, all the computing power of the 150 computers in my collection… they would represent about 1% of the computing power of an iPhone. This collection is a good reminder that you can become the most valuable and successful company in the world and have many failures, ”said Grewal.

Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist who pursues global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported on the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has written extensively on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From talks with Daesh militants to integration into the United Arab Emirates military in Yemen, to coverage of earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has emerged from conflict zones unscathed. most dangerous in the world. With over 14 years of experience, Anjana is currently Associate Editor at the Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often talks about women’s empowerment on her Facebook page which has over 40,000 followers.


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