The Weirdest Macs Apple Has Ever Produced
Another Macintosh product not manufactured by Apple is the Motorola Starmax computer from the late ’90s. For many years, Motorola had been making processors for Apple, and around 1996, the company licensed Apple’s operating system to use on full computers made by Motorola. Unlike the Brazilian company, Motorola did this with Apple’s complete blessing, but only for a few years.
These computers used hardware comparable to other computers at the time and, of course, also used Motorola PowerPC processors. They all used the latest version of Mac OS but were often better equipped and for less money. The Motorola Starmax 3000, according to CNET, originally came with 16MB RAM, 1.2GB hard drive, and a 603e processor. At this time, Apple offered its Macintosh Performa 6400/200 beginning at $2,100 (via Every Mac). At the same time, the Starmax was offered starting at $1,595, which represented a considerable bargain.
When these computers came out, Apple was in a very difficult position and losing market share. According to YouTuber Mac84, Apple Computer had trouble gaining in the new connected world of the internet and was trying whatever it could to stave off bankruptcy. The idea behind the Macintosh clones was that the licensing fees would bring in increased revenue for almost no investment. However, it was a disaster for the company as the clones only produced lower-priced competition that ate into its already tiny market share and further hurt sales for the company. After realizing its mistake, Apple ended the licensing of its OS and has never repeated that mistake.