[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Welcome to eWorld

January 2nd, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Apple eWorld Online Service Advertisement - 1995The time Apple went AOL.

In the lost era between Jobs (1985-1996), Apple produced many strange and ill-fated products. Here we see an ad for eWorld, Apple’s subscription dial-up online service that launched in June 1994.

eWorld offered proprietary features like message forums, email, weather, news, and other information in a fashion similar to CompuServe, Prodigy, or AOL. It also provided an early consumer portal to the Internet.

Due to its high price ($8.95 per month plus $7.90 per hour from 6 AM to 6 PM on weekdays), poor marketing, and the fact that the World Wide Web was breathing down its neck, eWorld never really took off. Apple shut down the service in March 1996.

By the way, Happy New Year!

[ From Discover, May 1995, p.27 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Did you ever use a subscription online service? Which one(s)?

10 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Welcome to eWorld”

  1. BDD Says:

    I never subscribed to eWorld, but I do have a t-shirt given out during its launch. The service was just too expensive, and my old 14.4 modem and the WWW did just fine during that time, thank you…

  2. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Prodigy! That was my first introduction to online worlds, in late 1992. I started on BBSes early in 1993.

  3. SirPaul Says:

    I used Prodigy back in the day, as well as.. *shudder* AOL.

    In other news, you KNOW that if that service were around today, it would be called iWorld

  4. Zoyous Says:

    My older brother got me into local dial-up BBSes circa ’89, but I never tried one of the subscription services. I remember reading the ads for them and not quite understanding what they were.

  5. Eagles409 Says:

    I used AOL for quite a while. I kind of miss getting the AOL CD’s in the mail every single day. I remember seeing people who would make art sculptures out of old AOL CD’s.

  6. s1500 Says:

    Charging hourly “airtime” for an online service sounds as ridiculous now, as it did 3 decades ago. CompuServe was known as Compu$erve due to this. The nice side effect is that BBSes flourished due to cost differences.

  7. Braybett Says:

    This ad annoys me. And also, it was proven false: now we have computers everywhere and all kids aren’t getting A’s in Current Events.

    In fact, they never even offered a Current Events class in my high school…

  8. NESFan Says:

    I’m a retro lover, and I have some friends that might be interested in this page too.
    Why don´t you put a “Share in Facebook” button? It may be useful.
    A great page. I know about most of the games you talk here, but the computers are something new for me. Can you find something that surprise me?

  9. Dimmer Says:

    I think the first service I used was AppleLink: a highly expensive option, only made worse by the fact that local calls were all toll numbers in the UK. The experience and interface however were very well thought out, easy to understand and use.

    Following that, I used CompuServe for a couple of years. The interface was a mess in comparison, but the costs were better.

    eWorld was the last premium type service I used, and that was a very brief use. The interface there was OK, but a bit too over designed IMHO.

    Interesting of course to backtrack here: eWorld was a custom front-end designed by Apple to use AOL’s dial up network, and AOL was formed from an Apple project to offer AppleLink to consumers (Personal AppleLink). What goes around…

  10. caseycastille Says:

    HA! I love that “on-line” is written as such, using a hyphen.

    My family used Prodigy in 1992; that was the first online platform I ever used for reconnecting with anyone from my past, a task that now seems prosaic, but at the time felt quite magical.

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