Apple Mouse


Traditional ball mechanism

Perhaps the single most important feature that sets Apple mice apart from all others is its single button control interface. It was not until 2005 that Apple introduced a mouse featuring a scroll ball and 4 programmable uttons.

All mice made by them contained a ball-tracking control mechanism until 2000, when Apple introduced optical LED based control mechanisms. Apple’s latest mouse uses laser tracking.


In 1979, Apple was planning a business computer and arranged a visit with XEROX Parc research center to view some of their experimental technology. It was there they discovered the mouse which had been incorporated into the graphical user interface (GUI) used on the Xerox Alto. They were so inspired they scrapped their current plans and redesigned everything around the mouse and GUI.

One of the biggest problems was that the three button Xerox mouse cost over US$400 to build, which was not practical for a consumer-based personal computer. Apple commissioned Hovey-Kelley to assist them with the mouse design, which not only had to be redesigned to cost US$25 instead of US$400, but also needed to be tested with real consumers outside a laboratory setting to learn how people were willing to use it. Hundreds of prototypes later, Apple settled on a single button mouse, roughly the size of a deck of cards. With the design complete, the operating system was adopted to interface with the single button design utilizing keystrokes in combination with button clicks to recreate some of the features desired from the original Xerox 3 button design.

With the single button mouse design established for almost 25 years, the history of the Apple Mouse is basically a museum of design and ergonomics. The original mouse was essentially a rectangular block of varying beige and gray color and profile for about a decade. In 1993 Apple redesigned the package to be egg-shaped, which was widely copied throughout the industry.[citation needed] Nevertheless it was still a tool available only in corporate gray or (rarely) black. With the release of the iMac in 1998 the mouse became available in an array of translucent colors. Apple also completed the transition to a completely circular design.

Two years later, Apple switched back to a more elliptical shape and monochromatic black and white design. The rubber ball tracking mechanism was updated with a solid-state optical system, and its single button was moved out of sight to the bottom of the mouse. Keeping up with the technological trends Apple went wireless in 2003 and two years later, though maintaining its iconic design style, broke its most controversial implementation in the mouse concept and for the first time released a one button mouse with five programmable electrostatic sensors and an integrated scroll ball. Though the Macintosh aftermarket had provided these options to discerning users for decades, Apple itself only made them complementary with its offerings after the passage of much time.


All of Apple’s Bluetooth mice have cross-compatibility with almost every Bluetooth capable computer, though they are not supported by Apple for use on PCs.

Apple’s USB mice likewise are compatible with nearly all USB equipped machines.

DE-9 serial connector

Prior to USB, Apple created the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) interface. Though some other manufacturers (Sun, HP, NeXT, etc) licensed Apple’s technology and ADB mice were completely interchangeable between them, the mouse interface IBM introduced on the PS/2 quickly came to dominate the market and crushed all competition. ADB-to-PS/2 adapters were always extraordinarily rare, while the early years of Apple’s transition to USB brought with it a raft of popular USB-to-ADB adapters.

Apple’s first mice used a DE-9 serial connection, specific to Apple systems. As the personal computer was still in its infancy with no standards, Apple’s mice could be used on any system modified to implement identical protocols in its software in combination with a spliced cable as necessary.[citation needed]


Lisa Mouse (A9M0050)

Macintosh Mouse (beige & Platinum)

The mouse created for the Apple Lisa was one of the very first commercial mice sold in the marketplace. Included with the Lisa system in 1983, it was based on the mouse used in the 1970s on the Alto computer at Xerox PARC. Unique to this mouse was the use of a steel ball, instead of the usual rubber found in subsequent and modern mice. It connected to the CPU by means of a standard DE-9 and unique squeeze-release connector. Though developed by Apple, it was actually designed by an outside firm, Hovey-Kelley, who built hundreds of prototypes and conducted exhaustive testing with focus groups in order to create the perfect device. Their perseverance paid off as not only did they bring the design in on time and on budget, but the resulting device remained virtually unchanged for almost 20 years. It was this mouse that established Apple’s mouse as a one-button device for over 20 years. Every single aspect of the mouse was researched and developed, from how many buttons to include, to how loud the click should be. The original case design was Bill Dresselhaus’s and took on an almost Art Deco flavor with its formal curving lines to coordinate with the Lisa.

Macintosh Mouse (M0100)

The Macintosh has the distinction of launching the mouse which has become the indispensable computing device we know it as today.[citation needed] However, its mouse was little changed from the original Lisa version and is completely interchangeable. The case was a slightly darker brown than Lisa’s beige coloring and it had less formal lines, with a thick chamfer around its edges to match the Macintosh case. Mechanically, the Lisa’s steel ball was replaced by a rubber one, but otherwise connected with the same DB-9 connectors, though updated with a square-shape and standard thumb screws. When the Macintosh Plus debuted in 1986, Apple had made minor revisions to the mouse mechanism and across all product lines, unified the cable connectors and used a more rounded shape. The following year, Apple once again unified its product lines by adopting a uniform “Platinum” gray color for all products. In 1987 this mouse had its final design change, updating both its color to Platinum with contrasting dark gray “Smoke” accents and minor mechanism changes.

Apple Mouse IIc

Apple Mouse (IIc)

(M0100) Four months after the Macintosh debut, the Apple IIc was introduced with the revolutionary addition of an optional mouse to manipulate standard 80 column text (a feat in and of itself). The mouse was similar to the Macintosh mouse, though it was in a creamy-beige color that co-ordinated with the IIc’s bright off-white case and had a slightly modified design which was sleeker than the Macintosh’s blockier shape. It also was uniformly the same color, eliminating the Mac & Lisa’s contrasting taupe accents on the mouse button and cable. Unlike the Macintosh, the IIc Mouse shared a dual purpose port with gaming devices like joysticks. In order for the IIc to know what was plugged into it, its mouse had to send the appropriate signal. Despite these differences, it carried the exact same model number as the Macintosh version.

(A2M4015) An Apple Mouse packaged for the IIc, it coincided with a minor change in the mouse mechanism and connector style.

(A2M4035) In 1988 it took on the identical physical appearance and coloring as the Platinum gray Macintosh Mouse. Unlike its predecessors, the USA manufactured versions of the Platinum Macintosh/Apple IIe mouse will work on the IIc too.[citation needed] All versions of the IIc Mouse will work with any Macintosh or Apple II card.[citation needed] As a result, Apple briefly sold the intermediate model as the Apple Mouse optionally for use across all platforms.

AppleMouse II (M0100/A2M2050)

By mid 1984 Apple’s commitment to bringing the mouse to its entire product line resulted in the release of the Apple II Mouse Interface peripheral card.[citation needed] Since this was a dedicated mouse port, Apple simply re-packaged the Macintosh mouse, but with the same creamy-beige cable and connector used on the IIc mouse and bundled it along with special software called MousePaint for use with the Apple II, II Plus, and IIe computers. Like the original IIc mouse, it used the same model number as the Macintosh. Unlike the Mouse IIc, however, it can be interchanged with the Macintosh version, but cannot be used on the IIc. Due to the popularity of the Macintosh and shortage of mice, Apple later repackaged the original Apple Mouse IIc in this bundle as well since it was cross-platform compatible.[citation needed] The AppleMouse II and its successors were never included as standard equipment on any computer.

Apple Mouse (A2M4015)

ADB Mouse

Since the original Apple Mouse IIc was compatible across all platforms, Apple renamed the mouse in 1985 and offered it as an optional purchase for all computers and separate from the Apple II interface card. It featured an updated mechanism and the new uniform rounded cable connector. Apple would briefly reuse this name later for a re-badged Apple Pro Mouse.

Apple Mouse IIe (A2M2070)

By 1986 Apple had updated its product lines with new cable connectors. With the Apple IIe already 3 years old, the AppleMouse II was re-badged for the IIe alone and essentially used a repackaged Macintosh Mouse with no modifications. Later it would also use the Platinum Macintosh version. The US manufactured version of the Platinum mouse is also interchangeable with the identical looking IIc mouse. this was the first apple mouse to have a ps/2 compatible connection

Apple Desktop Bus Mouse (G5431/A9M0331)

The black ADB Mouse II

In September 1986 Apple continued a year of major change by converting its mice and keyboards to the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB). Newly redesigned, this mouse retained the blocky footprint of its predecessor, but had a lower, triangular profile. The first official Snow White design language mouse (the Apple Mouse IIc was technically the first), it was a uniform Platinum gray color, including the single button, with only the cables and connectors retaining the contrasting darker gray “Smoke” color. It was introduced on the Apple IIGS computer and later became the standard included mouse with all Macintosh desktop computers for the next 6 years.

Apple Desktop Bus Mouse II (M2706)

In only its third major redesign in 10 years, the Apple mouse shed its blocky exterior for rounded curves. The so called tear-drop mouse, was essentially the same as its predecessor but with a new case subsequently held as the ideal shape of mice[citation needed]. Indeed the basic design has persevered into current models, as well as being widely copied by other mouse manufacturers. It was included with all Macintosh desktop computers from 1993 until 1998. It was also the first mouse produced by Apple in black to match the Macintosh TV as well as the Performa 5420 sold outside the US.

Apple USB Mouse (M4848)

Main article: Apple USB Mouse

Apple USB Mouse

Released with the iMac in 1998 and included with all successive desktop Macs for the next 2 years, the round “Hockey puck” USB mouse is widely considered one of Apple’s worst mistakes. Marking the switch from ADB, the colorful translucent mouse was a radical departure from its predecessors, down to a ball whose two-tone surface fluttered past the user’s eyes as it spun under the mouse’s translucent housing.

However stylish, the mouse’s round shape is widely considered clumsy, due to its small size and tendency to rotate in use. This was a major cause for the success of the Griffin iMate ADB to USB adapters, as they allowed for the use of the older, more comfortable ADB Mouse II to be used with those iMacs. Later revisions included a shallow indentation on the front of the button, but this was not enough to prevent a flood of third-party products like the iCatch, a shell that attached to the USB mouse to give it the ADB mouse’s elliptical shape.

Another flaw introduced in the Apple USB Mouse, shared across all of Apple’s USB offerings, is the atypically short cord. Though intended for use through the integrated hub in Apple’s keyboards, Apple’s transition to USB coincided with the relocation of ports on their laptops from the center to the left edge. As none of Apple’s USB mice have cords longer than two feet, they are impractical for most right-handed users.

Apple Pro Mouse (M5769)

Main article: Apple Pro Mouse

Apple Pro Mouse

In a move away from the bold colors of the iMac and in a return to the styling of the traditional mouse design, in 2000 Apple discontinued the USB mouse and introduced the monochromatic Pro Mouse. A similar design to the ADB II mouse, but this time in black, was surrounded by a clear plastic shell. After taking years of criticism for their continuation of the 1-button mouse, Apple effectively flipped the design of a ormal mouse upside-down, with the sleekly featureless appearance that resulted inspiring its jocular appellation as he first 0-button mouse. This was the first Apple mouse to use an LED for fully solid-state optical tracking instead of a rubber ball. It was included as the standard mouse with all shipping desktop Macs. Later, it underwent a minor redesign, switched from black to white, and dropped Pro from its name.

Apple Mouse Like many earlier products (see SuperDrive) Apple re-used the name briefly. Unlike the recent Apple Keyboard models, however, Apple did not continue to use the Apple Mouse name for its subsequent model releases.

Apple Wireless Mouse (A1015)

Main article: Apple Wireless Mouse

Apple wireless Mighty Mouse

An optional Bluetooth-based cordless version of the Apple Mouse in white, released in 2003 alongside with a matching wireless keyboard, was Apple’s first cordless mouse. Combined with internal Bluetooth interfaces in new Macs, this bypassed their wired relatives’ aberrantly truncated cords to once again make Apple’s mice usable for right-handed laptop owners.

Apple Mighty Mouse

Main article: Apple Mighty Mouse

Previously included with all new Macintosh desktop models, it was a major departure from Apple’s one-button philosophy integrated in its design since the Lisa.

(A1152) Under increasing pressure to sell a generic two button mouse with a scroll wheel, Apple surprised the industry in 2005 by instead making a mouse which eschewed buttons for touchpad-like capacitive controls, and featured a tiny integrated trackball in lieu of a scrollwheel.

(A1197) A year later, an optional wireless version was released with the same name as its wired counterpart. It is also Apple’s first laser mouse.

Apple Magic Mouse

Main article: Apple Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse

Introduced on October 20, 2009 as a replacement to the Wireless Mighty Mouse. The Magic Mouse features multi-touch gesture controls similar to those found on the iPhone and the MacBook’s trackpads, wireless Bluetooth capabilities and laser-tracking. The Magic Mouse is included with the new iMac however the wired Mighty Mouse (now renamed “Apple Mouse”) is still available as an option when buying.

Mouse derivatives


Apple Joystick IIe/IIc Essentially a gaming device around long before the mouse, the joystick could be used for many of the same functions. This and the Apple Graphics Tablet were the only non-mouse pointing devices Apple ever released and only for the Apple II series of computers.


Apple Graphics Tablet The Apple Graphics Tablet was a large flat surface covered with a grid and had an attached stylus. Released for the Apple II Plus and later a modified version for the Apple IIe.

Pippin Keyboard An optional keyboard accessory was provided for the Pippin, which had a large graphics tablet and stylus on the top half of its notebook-like hinged body.


PowerBook trackball

Macintosh Portable The Macintosh Portable included the first trackball, essentially a large palm-sized, upside-down mouse.

PowerBook The PowerBook line scaled down the trackball to be thumb-sized and included one in every portable from 1991 to 1995 when it was phased out in favor of the trackpad.

Pippin controller The Pippin, developed by Apple, had a gamepad with a built-in trackball. Versions were made which connected via the Pippin’s AppleJack childproof ADB connector, infrared, and normal ADB.


PowerBook/iBook/MacBook The built-in ouse of choice on all Apple portables since 1995.[neutrality is disputed] The trackpad has been modified to match the color of the case, traditionally black, it turned white with the iBook and MacBook and aluminum with the PowerBook G4 and MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air introduced a multi-touch trackpad with gesture support, which has since spread to the rest of Apple’s portable products. Like Apple’s single-button mice, all of their trackpads have no more than one button (though some early PowerBooks had a second physical button, it was electrically the same as the primary button;) also like Apple’s new mice, their latest trackpadseginning with the unibody MacBooks and MacBookliminated physical buttons.

Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh The only desktop Macintosh not to include a mouse aside from the Mac Mini. The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh instead had a trackpad which could lock into the palm rest of its keyboard.

iPod Starting with the iPod 2G, the mechanical scroll wheel was replaced with a wheel-shaped trackpad. Starting from the iPod 3G, this extended to the replacement of all buttons.


Newton/eMate In 1993 the Apple Newton used a precision touchscreen which required a rigid and moderately sharp object for input, such as a fingernail or its included stylus. The Newton’s touchscreen interaction was equivalent to a simple graphics tablet, and was used to affect what eventually became the most widely lauded handwriting recognition system on the market. This technology eventually found its way onto the Macintosh in the form of 10.2’s Inkwell feature, sparking wild rumors of a Newton revival.

iPad/iPhone/iPod touch The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch incorporate multi-touch touch screens for the iPhone OS’s gesture-based interfaces.

See also

Apple keyboard

Timeline of Apple products


^ Stanford Magazine > March/April 2002 > Feature Story > Mighty Mouse

^ Stanford Magazine > March/April 2002 > Feature Story > Mighty Mouse

^ Apple Lisa Mouse ~ o l d m o u s e .c o m ~

^ History of computer design: Apple Lisa

^ Macintosh Stories: Apple II Mouse Card

^ Apple II Mouse

^, Original Apple Packaging

^ Apple IIc: Use Mouse Designed for Macintosh

^ Apple II History Chap 13

^ Mouse Compatibility: Macintosh Plus and Apple II Computers

^ Gardiner, Bryan (2008-01-24). “Learning From Failure: Apple’s Most Notorious Flops”. Wired News. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 

^ The Mac Observer – Review – Still Have An iPuck? iCatch Makes The Round Mouse Usable

^ Apple’s Magic Mouse: one button, multitouch gestures, Bluetooth, four-month battery life

External links Keyboard

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Apple hardware


Apple I  Apple II family (II II Plus, II Europlus, II J-Plus, IIe, IIc, IIGS, IIc Plus)  Apple III family (Apple III, III Plus)


Lisa  Lisa 2/5  Lisa 2/10



Compact Macintosh family (128K, 512K, XL, Plus, 512Ke, SE, SE/30, SE FDHD, Classic, Classic II, Color Classic, Color Classic II)  Macintosh II family (II, IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, IIsi, IIvi, IIvx)  LC family (LC, LC II, LC III, LC 475, LC III+, LC 520, LC 550, LC 575, LC 580, LC 630, 5200 LC, 5260 LC, 5300 LC, 5400 LC)  Performa family  Macintosh TV  Quadra family (700, 900, 950, 800, 840AV, 610*, 650*, 660AV*, 605, 630)  Centris family (610*, 650*, 660AV*)  Power Macintosh family (6100, 7100, 8100, 6200, 5200, 9500, 7200, 7500, 8500, 6300, 5260, 5300, 5400, 7600, 6400, 4400, 5500, 6500, 7300, 8600, 9600, G3, B&W, G4, Cube, G5)  20th Anniversary Mac  iMac family (G3, G4, G5, Core, Core 2)  eMac  Mac Pro  Mac mini family (G4; Core; Core 2)


Macintosh Portable  PowerBook family: (100 series (100, 140, 170, 145, 160, 180, 165, 145B, 165c, 180c, 150)  Duo series (210, 230, 250, 270c, 280, 280c, 2300c)  500 series (520, 520c, 540, 540c, 550c)  190 series (190, 190cs)  5300 series (5300, 5300cs, 5300c, 5300ce)  1400 series (1400c, 1400cs)  3400c  2400c  G3 series (Wallstreet, Lombard, Pismo)  G4 series (Titanium, Aluminum))  iBook family: (G3 series (Clamshell, Dual USB)  G4)  MacBook family: (MacBook series (Core; Core 2)  Pro series (Core; Core 2)  Air series (Core 2))


Workgroup Server (95, 60, 80, 6150, 8150, 9150, 7250, 8550, 7350, 9650)  Network Server (500, 700)  Macintosh Server (G3, G4)  Xserve (G4, CN; G5, CN; Intel)



Apple TV  AppleFax  Conferencing Camera 100  Cinema Display  iPad  iPhone  iPod (Classic, Photo, Mini, iPod+HP, Shuffle, Nano, Touch)  Newton (MessagePad, eMate 300)  PowerCD  Powered Speakers  Printers (Color Printer, Dot Matrix Printer, ImageWriter, LaserWriter, Scribe Printer, SilenType, StyleWriter, Portable StyleWriter)  QuickTake  Scanner

Other projects

and accessories

300 Modem  3.5″ Drive  AirPort (Card, Base Station)  AppleCD  Disk II, IIc  Hard Disk 20, 20SC  IIe Card  Interactive Television Box  iPod accessories (Dock Connector, Camera Connector, iPod Hi-Fi, Nike+iPod)  iSight  Keyboard (Adjustable, Extended, Pro, Wireless)  LocalTalk  Mouse (Pro, Wireless, Mighty,Magic)  Paladin  Peripheral Cards (80-Column Text, Accelerators, Clocks, Processors, Serials)  Pippin  ProFile  Remote  Time Capsule  USB Modem  Xserve RAID

Italics indicate hardware currently produced. See also: Apple hardware before 1998, Apple hardware since 1998.

Categories: Apple Inc. peripherals | Apple Inc. hardware | Apple II peripherals | Macintosh peripherals | Computing input devices | History of human-computer interaction | Pointing devices | Video game control methodsHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from January 2009 | All articles needing additional references | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from January 2009 | Articles with unsourced statements from March 2009 | All articles with minor POV problems | Articles with minor POV problems from January 2009

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