History of Apple Inc.
Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is a multinational corporation that creates consumer electronics, personal computers, computer software, and commercial servers, and is a digital distributor of media content. Apple's core product lines are the iPhone smart phone, iPad tablet computer, iPod portable media players, and Macintosh computer line. Founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created Apple Computer on April 1, 1976, and incorporated the company on January 3, 1977, in Cupertino, California.
For more than two decades, Apple Computer was predominantly a manufacturer of personal computers, including the Apple II, Macintosh, and Power Mac lines, but it faced rocky sales and low market share during the 1990s. Jobs, who had been ousted from the company in 1985, returned to Apple in 1996 after his company NeXT was bought by Apple. The following year he became the company's interim CEO, which later became permanent. Jobs subsequently instilled a new corporate philosophy of recognizable products and simple design, starting with the original iMac in 1998.
With the introduction of the successful iPod music player in 2001 and iTunes Music Store in 2003, Apple established itself as a leader in the consumer electronics and media sales industries, leading it to drop "Computer" from the company's name in 2007. The company is now also known for its iOS range of smart phone, media player, and tablet computer products that began with the iPhone, followed by the iPod Touch and then iPad. As of 2012[update], Apple is the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, with an estimated value of US$626 billion as of September 2012. Apple Inc's market cap is larger than that of Google and Microsoft combined. Apple's worldwide annual revenue in 2010 totaled US$65 billion, growing to US$127.8 billion in 2011 and $156 billion in 2012.
- 1 1969–1984: Jobs and Wozniak
- 2 1985–1997: Sculley, Spindler, Amelio
- 3 1998–2001: Apple's comeback
- 4 2002–2007: iTunes, iPods, Intel transition
- 5 2007–present: Apple Inc., iPhone, iOS, and iPad
- 6 Financial history
- 7 Timeline of Apple Inc. products
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
1969–1984: Jobs and Wozniak
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had withdrawn from Reed College and UC Berkeley, respectively by 1975. Wozniak designed a video terminal that he could use to log on to the minicomputers at Call Computer. Alex Kamradt commissioned the design and sold a small number of them through his firm. Aside from their interest in up-to-date technology, the impetus for "the two Steves" seems to have had another source. In his essay From Satori to Silicon Valley (published 1986), cultural historian Theodore Roszak made the point that the Apple Computer emerged from within the West Coast counterculture and the need to produce print-outs, letter labels, and databases. Roszak offers a bit of background on the development of the two Steves’s prototype models.
In 1976, Wozniak started attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club. New microcomputers such as the Altair 8800 and the IMSAI inspired him to build a microprocessor into his video terminal and have a complete computer.
At the time the only microcomputer CPUs generally available were the $179 Intel 8080 ($785.00 in present-day terms), and the $170 Motorola 6800 ($745.00 in present-day terms). Wozniak preferred the 6800, but both were out of his price range. So he watched, and learned, and designed computers on paper, waiting for the day he could afford a CPU.
When MOS Technology released its $20 ($83.00 in present-day terms) 6502 chip in 1976, Wozniak wrote a version of BASIC for it, then began to design a computer for it to run on. The 6502 was designed by the same people who designed the 6800, as many in Silicon Valley left employers to form their own companies. Wozniak's earlier 6800 paper-computer needed only minor changes to run on the new chip.
Wozniak completed the machine and took it to Homebrew Computer Club meetings to show it off. At the meeting, Wozniak met his old friend Jobs, who was interested in the commercial potential of the small hobby machines.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had been friends for some time, having met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. They began their partnership when Wozniak, a talented, self-educated electronics engineer, began constructing boxes which enabled one to make long-distance phone calls at no cost, and sold several hundred models. Later, Jobs managed to interest Wozniak in assembling a computer machine and selling it.
Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop, who said they would be interested in the machine, but only if it came fully assembled. The owner, Paul Terrell, went further, saying he would order 50 of the machines and pay US $500 ($2.07 thousand in present-day terms) each on delivery. Jobs then took the purchase order that he had been given from the Byte Shop to Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor, and ordered the components he needed to assemble the Apple I Computer. The local credit manager asked Jobs how he was going to pay for the parts and he replied, "I have this purchase order from the Byte Shop chain of computer stores for 50 of my computers and the payment terms are COD. If you give me the parts on a net 30-day terms I can build and deliver the computers in that time frame, collect my money from Terrell at the Byte Shop and pay you."
The credit manager called Paul Terrell who was attending an IEEE computer conference at Asilomar in Pacific Grove and verified the validity of the purchase order. Amazed at the tenacity of Jobs, Terrell assured the credit manager if the computers showed up in his stores Jobs would be paid and would have more than enough money to pay for the parts order. The two Steves and their small crew spent day and night building and testing the computers and delivered to Terrell on time to pay his suppliers and have a tidy profit left over for their celebration and next order. Steve Jobs had found a way to finance his soon-to-be multimillion-dollar company without giving away one share of stock or ownership.
The machine had only a few notable features. One was the use of a TV as the display system, whereas many machines had no display at all. This was not like the displays of later machines, however; text was displayed at 60 characters per second. However, this was still faster than the teleprinters used on contemporary machines of that era. The Apple I also included bootstrap code on ROM, which made it easier to start up. Finally, at the insistence of Paul Terrell, Wozniak also designed a cassette interface for loading and saving programs, at the then-rapid pace of 1200 bit/s. Although the machine was fairly simple, it was nevertheless a masterpiece of design, using far fewer parts than anything in its class, and quickly earning Wozniak a reputation as a master designer.
Joined by another friend, Ronald Wayne, the three started to build the machines. Using a variety of methods, including borrowing space from friends and family, selling various prized items (like calculators and a VW bus) and scrounging, Jobs managed to secure the parts needed while Wozniak and Wayne assembled them. But the owner of the Byte Shop was expecting complete computers, not just printed circuit boards. The boards still being a product for the customers Terrell still paid them. Eventually 200 of the Apple I's were built.
Wozniak had already moved on from the Apple I. Many of the design features of the I were due to the limited amount of money they had to construct the prototype, but with the income from the sales he was able to start construction of a greatly improved machine, the Apple II; it was presented to the public at the first West Coast Computer Faire on April 16 and 17, 1977. On the first day of exhibition, Jobs introduced Apple II to a Japanese chemist named Toshio Mizushima who became the first authorized Apple dealer in Japan.
The main difference internally was a completely redesigned TV interface, which held the display in memory. Now not only useful for simple text display, the Apple II included graphics, and, eventually, color. Jobs meanwhile pressed for a much improved case and keyboard, with the idea that the machine should be complete and ready to run out of the box. This was almost the case for the Apple I machines sold to The Byte Shop, but one still needed to plug various parts together and type in the code to run BASIC.
Building such a machine was going to be financially burdensome. Jobs started looking for cash, but Wayne was somewhat gun-shy due to a failed venture four years earlier, and eventually dropped out of the company. Banks were reluctant to lend Jobs money; the idea of a computer for ordinary people seemed absurd at the time. Jobs eventually met Mike Markkula who co-signed a bank loan for US$250,000, and the three formed Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. The name Apple was chosen because the company to beat in the technology industry at the time was Atari, and Apple Computer came before Atari alphabetically and thus also in the phone book. Another reason was that Jobs had happy memories of working on an Oregon apple farm one summer.
With both cash and a new case design in hand thanks to designer Jerry Manock, the Apple II was released in 1977 and was one of the three "1977 Trinity" computers generally credited with creating the home computer market (the other two being the Commodore PET and the Tandy Corporation TRS-80). Millions were sold well into the 1980s. A number of different models of the Apple II series were built, including the Apple IIe and Apple IIGS, which continued in public use for nearly two decades thereafter.
While the Apple II was already established as a successful business-ready platform because of Visicalc, Apple was not content. The Apple III was designed to take on the business environment. The Apple III was released on May 19, 1980.
The Apple III was a relatively conservative design for computers of the era. However, Steve Jobs did not want the computer to have a fan; rather, he wanted the heat generated by the electronics to be dissipated through the chassis of the machine, forgoing the cooling fan.
Unfortunately, the physical design of the case was not sufficient to cool the components inside it. By removing the fan from the design, the Apple III was prone to overheating. This caused the integrated circuit chips to disconnect from the motherboard. Customers who contacted Apple customer service were told to "raise the computers six inches in the air, and then let go", which would cause the ICs to fall back into place.
Thousands of Apple III computers were recalled and, although a new model was introduced in 1983 to rectify the problems, the damage was already done.
In the July 1980 issue of Kilobaud Microcomputing, publisher Wayne Green stated that "the best consumer ads I've seen have been those by Apple. They are attention-getting, and they must be prompting sale." In August, the Financial Times reported that
Apple Computer, the fast growing Californian manufacturer of small computers for the consumer, business and educational markets, is planning to go public later this year. [It] is the largest private manufacturer in the U.S. of small computers. Founded about five years ago as a small workshop business, it has become the second largest manufacturer of small computers, after the Radio Shack division of the Tandy company.
On December 12, 1980, Apple launched the Initial Public Offering of its stock to the investing public. When Apple went public, it generated more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and instantly created more millionaires (about 300) than any company in history. Several venture capitalists cashed out, reaping billions in long-term capital gains.
In January 1981, Apple held its first shareholders meeting as a public company in the Flint Center, a large auditorium at nearby De Anza College, which is often used for symphony concerts. (Previous meetings were held quietly in smaller rooms, because there had only been a few shareholders.) The business of the meeting had been planned (or choreographed) so that the voting could be staged in 15 minutes or less. In most cases, voting proxies are collected by mail and counted days or months before a meeting. In this case, after the IPO, many shares were in new hands.
Steve Jobs started his prepared speech, but after being interrupted by voting several times, he dropped his prepared speech and delivered a long, emotionally charged talk about betrayal, lack of respect, and related topics.
The IBM PC
IBM entered the personal computer market in August 1981 with the IBM PC. After examining a PC and finding it unimpressive, Apple confidently purchased a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal with the headline "Welcome, IBM. Seriously". Microsoft head Bill Gates was at Apple headquarters the day of IBM's announcement and later said "They didn't seem to care. It took them a full year to realize what had happened". By 1983 the PC surpassed the Apple II as the best-selling personal computer. By 1984 IBM had $4 billion in annual PC revenue, more than twice that of Apple and as much as the sales of it and the next three companies combined, and a Fortune survey found that 56% of American companies with personal computers used IBM PCs, compared to Apple's 16%.
Xerox PARC and the Lisa
While Apple Computer’s business division was focused on the Apple III, a separate group was focused on a computer that would change the world. While the Apple III was another iteration of the text-based computer, this new machine would feature a completely different interface and introduce the words mouse, icon, and desktop into the lexicon of the computing public.
In return for the right to buy US$1,000,000 of pre-IPO stock, Xerox granted Apple Computer three days access to the PARC facilities. After visiting PARC, they came away with new ideas that would complete the foundation for Apple Computer's first GUI computer, the Apple Lisa.
The first iteration of Apple's WIMP interface was a floppy disk where files could be spatially moved around. After months of usability testing, Apple designed the LISA interface of windows and icons.
The Lisa was introduced in 1983 at a cost of US$9,995 ($23.7 thousand in present-day terms). Because of the high price, Lisa failed to penetrate the business market.
Macintosh and the "1984" commercial
The Macintosh 128k was announced to the press in October 1983, followed by an 18-page brochure included with various magazines in December. Its debut, however, was announced by a single national broadcast of the now famous US$1.5 million television commercial, "1984". It was directed by Ridley Scott, aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984, and is now considered a "watershed event" and a "masterpiece." 1984 used an unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by her white tank top with a Picasso-style picture of Apple’s Macintosh computer on it) as a means of saving humanity from "conformity" (Big Brother). These images were an allusion to George Orwell's noted novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised "Big Brother."
For a special post-election edition of Newsweek in November 1984, Apple spent more than US$2.5 million to buy all 39 of the advertising pages in the issue. Apple also ran a “Test Drive a Macintosh” promotion, in which potential buyers with a credit card could take home a Macintosh for 24 hours and return it to a dealer afterwards. While 200,000 people participated, dealers disliked the promotion, the supply of computers was insufficient for demand, and many were returned in such a bad shape that they could no longer be sold. This marketing campaign caused CEO John Sculley to raise the price from US$1,995 to US$2,495 ($5.66 thousand in present-day terms).
Two days after the 1984 ad aired, the Macintosh went on sale. It came bundled with two applications designed to show off its interface: MacWrite and MacPaint. Although the Mac garnered an immediate, enthusiastic following, it was too radical for some, who labeled it a mere "toy". Because the machine was entirely designed around the GUI, existing text-mode and command-driven applications had to be redesigned and the programming code rewritten; this was a challenging undertaking that many software developers shied away from, and resulted in an initial lack of software for the new system. In April 1984 Microsoft's MultiPlan migrated over from MS-DOS, followed by Microsoft Word in January 1985. In 1985, Lotus Software introduced Lotus Jazz after the success of Lotus 1-2-3 for the IBM PC, although it was largely a flop. Apple introduced Macintosh Office the same year with the lemmings ad, infamous for insulting potential customers. It was not successful.
Despite initial marketing difficulties, the Macintosh brand was eventually a success for Apple. This was due to its introduction of desktop publishing (and later computer animation) through Apple's partnership with Adobe Systems which introduced the laser printer and Adobe PageMaker. Indeed, the Macintosh would become known as the de facto platform for many industries including cinema, music, advertising, publishing and the arts.
1985: Jobs leaves Apple
After an internal power struggle, the board of directors sided with Sculley and Jobs was stripped of all duties. Jobs, while taking the position of Chairman of the firm had no influence over Apple's direction and subsequently resigned. In a show of defiance at being set aside by Apple Computer, Jobs sold all but one of his 6.5 million shares in the company for $70 million. Jobs then acquired the visual effects house, Pixar for $5M ($10.8 million in present-day terms). He also went on to found NeXT Inc., a computer company that built machines with futuristic designs and ran the UNIX-derived NeXTstep operating system. NeXTSTEP would eventually be developed into Mac OS X. While not a commercial success, due in part to its high price, the NeXT computer would introduce important concepts to the history of the personal computer (including serving as the initial platform for Tim Berners-Lee as he was developing the World Wide Web).
1985–1997: Sculley, Spindler, Amelio
Under leadership of John Sculley, Apple issued its first corporate stock dividend on May 11, 1987. A month later on June 16, Apple stock split for the first time in a 2:1 split. Apple kept a quarterly dividend with about 0.3% yield until November 21, 1995. Between March 1988 and January 1989, Apple undertook five acquisitions, including software companies Network Innovations, Styleware, Nashoba Systems, and Coral Software, as well as satellite communications company Orion Network Systems.
Apple continued to sell both lines of its computers, the Apple II and the Macintosh. A few months after introducing the Mac, Apple released a compact version of the Apple II called the Apple IIc. And in 1986 Apple introduced the Apple IIgs, an Apple II positioned as something of a hybrid product with a mouse-driven, Mac-like operating environment. Even with the release of the first Macintosh, Apple II computers remained the main source of income for Apple for years.
At the same time, the Mac was becoming a product family of its own. The original model evolved into the Mac Plus in 1986 and spawned the Mac SE and the Mac II in 1987 and the Mac Classic and Mac LC in 1990. Meanwhile, Apple attempted its first portable Macs: the failed Macintosh Portable in 1989 and then the more popular PowerBook in 1991, a landmark product that established the modern form and ergonomic layout of the laptop. Popular products and increasing revenues made this a good time for Apple. MacAddict magazine has called 1989 to 1991 the "first golden age" of the Macintosh.
In the late 1980s, Apple's fiercest technological rivals were the Amiga and Atari ST platforms. But computers based on the IBM PC were far more popular than all three, and by the 1990s, they finally had a comparable GUI thanks to Windows 3.0, and were out-competing Apple.
Apple's response to the PC threat was a profusion of new Macintosh lines including Quadra, Centris, and Performa. Unfortunately, these new lines were marketed poorly by what was now "arguably one of the worst-managed companies in the industry". For one, there were too many models, differentiated by very minor graduations in their tech specs. The excess of arbitrary model numbers confused many consumers and hurt Apple's reputation for simplicity. Apple's retail resellers like Sears and CompUSA often failed to sell or even competently display these Macs. Compounding matters was the fact that, although the machines were cheaper than a comparable PC (when taken into account all the components built-in which had to be added to the 'bare bones PC'), the poor marketing gave the impression that the machines were more expensive. Inventory grew as Apple consistently underestimated demand for popular models and overestimated demand for others.
In 1991, Apple partnered with long-time competitor IBM and Motorola to form the AIM alliance. The ultimate goal was to create a revolutionary new computing platform, known as PReP, which would use IBM and Motorola hardware and Apple software. As the first step toward the PReP platform, Apple started the Power Macintosh line in 1994, using PowerPC processors from Motorola and IBM. These processors used a RISC architecture, which differed substantially from the Motorola 680X0 series that were used by all previous Macs. Parts of Apple's operating system software were rewritten so that most software written for older Macs could run in emulation on the PowerPC series. Apple also refused IBM's offer to purchase the company, but later unsuccessfully sought another offer from IBM, and at one point was "hours away" from an acquisition by Sun Microsystems.
In addition to computers, Apple has also produced consumer devices. In 1993, Apple released the Newton, an early personal digital assistant (PDA). It defined and launched the PDA category and was a forerunner and inspiration of devices such as Palm Pilot and Pocket PC.
During 1995, a decision was made to (officially) start licensing the Mac OS and Macintosh ROMs to 3rd party manufacturers who started producing Macintosh “clones”. This was done in order to achieve deeper market penetration and extra revenue for the company. This decision lead to Apple having over a 10% market share until 1997 when Steve Jobs was re-hired as interim CEO to replace Gil Amelio. Jobs promptly found a loophole in the licensing contracts Apple had with the clone manufacturers and terminated the Macintosh OS licensing program ending the Macintosh clone era. The result of this action was that Macintosh computer market share quickly fell from 10% to around 3%.
1996: Return of Steve Jobs
In 1996, the struggling NeXT company beat out Be Inc.'s BeOS in its bid to sell its operating system to Apple. Apple purchased Steve Jobs' company, NeXT on December 10, 1996, and its NeXTstep operating system. This would not only bring Steve Jobs back to Apple's management, but NeXT technology would become the foundation of the Mac OS X operating system.
On November 10, 1997, Apple introduced the Apple Store, an online retail store based upon the WebObjects application server the company had acquired in its purchase of NeXT. The new direct sales outlet was also tied to a new build-to-order manufacturing strategy.
On July 9, 1997, Gil Amelio was ousted as CEO of Apple by the board of directors. Jobs stepped in as the interim CEO to begin a critical restructuring of the company's product line. He would eventually become CEO and served in that position until August 2011. On August 24, 2011 Steve Jobs resigned his position as chief executive officer of Apple before his long battle with pancreatic cancer took his life on October 5, 2011.
At the 1997 Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be entering into a partnership with Microsoft. Included in this was a five-year commitment from Microsoft to release Microsoft Office for Macintosh as well as a US$150 million investment in Apple. As part of the deal Apple and Microsoft agreed to settle a long-standing dispute over whether Microsoft's Windows operating system infringed on any of Apple's patents. It was also announced that Internet Explorer would be shipped as the default browser on the Macintosh, with the user being able to have a preference. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates appeared at the expo on-screen, further explaining Microsoft's plans for the software they were developing for Mac, and stating that he was very excited to be helping Apple return to success. After this, Steve Jobs said this to the audience at the expo:
If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us that's great, because we need all the help we can get, and if we screw up and we don't do a good job, it's not somebody else's fault, it's our fault. So I think that is a very important perspective. If we want Microsoft Office on the Mac, we better treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude; we like their software.
So, the era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over as far as I'm concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy, this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry and to get healthy and prosper again.
The day before the announcement Apple had a market cap of $2.46 billion, and had ended its previous quarter with quarterly revenues of US$1.7 billion and cash reserves of US$1.2 billion, making the US$150 million amount of the investment largely symbolic. Apple CFO Fred Anderson stated that Apple would use the additional funds to invest in its core markets of education and creative content.
1998–2001: Apple's comeback
iMac, iBook, and Power Mac G4
While discontinuing Apple's licensing of its operating system to third-party computer manufacturers, one of Jobs's first moves as new acting CEO was to develop the iMac, which bought Apple time to restructure. The original iMac integrated a CRT display and CPU into a streamlined, translucent plastic body. The line became a sales smash, moving about one million units each year. It also helped re-introduce Apple to the media and public, and announced the company's new emphasis on the design and aesthetics of its products.
In 1999, Apple introduced the Power Mac G4, which utilized the Motorola-made PowerPC 7400 containing a 128-bit instruction unit known as AltiVec, its flagship processor line. Also that year, Apple unveiled the iBook, its first consumer-oriented laptop that was also the first Macintosh to support the use of Wireless LAN via the optional AirPort card that was based on the 802.11b standard; it helped popularize the use of Wireless LAN technology to connect computers to networks.
Mac OS X
In 2001, Apple introduced Mac OS X, an operating system based on NeXT's NeXTstep and incorporating parts of the FreeBSD kernel. Aimed at consumers and professionals alike, Mac OS X married the stability, reliability and security of Unix with the ease of a completely overhauled user interface. To aid users in transitioning their applications from Mac OS 9, the new operating system allowed the use of Mac OS 9 applications through the Classic environment. Apple's Carbon API also allowed developers to adapt their Mac OS 9 software to use Mac OS X's features.
In May 2001, after much speculation, Apple announced the opening of a line of Apple retail stores, to be located throughout the major U.S. computer buying markets. The stores were designed for two primary purposes: to stem the tide of Apple's declining share of the computer market and to respond to poor marketing of Apple products at third-party retail outlets.
In October 2001, Apple introduced its first iPod portable digital audio player. The iPod started as a 5 gigabyte player capable of storing around 1000 songs. Since then it has evolved into an array of products including the Mini (now discontinued), the iPod Touch, the Shuffle, the iPod Classic, the Nano, the iPhone and the iPad. Since March 2011, the largest storage capacity for an iPod has been 160 gigabytes.
2002–2007: iTunes, iPods, Intel transition
Moving on from colored plastics and the PowerPC G3
In early 2002, Apple unveiled a completely redesigned iMac, using the G4 processor and LCD display. The new iMac G4 design had a white hemispherical base and a flat panel all-digital display supported by a swiveling chrome neck. After several iterations increasing the processing speed and screen sizes from 15" to 17" to 20" the iMac G4 was discontinued and replaced by the iMac G5 in the summer of 2004.
In 2002, Apple also released the Xserve 1U rack mounted server. Originally featuring two G4 chips, the Xserve was unusual for Apple in two ways. It represented an earnest effort to enter the enterprise computer market and it was also relatively cheaper than similar machines released by its competitors. This was due, in no small part, to Apple's use of Fast ATA drives as opposed to the SCSI hard drives used in traditional rack-mounted servers. Apple later released the Xserve RAID, a 14 drive RAID which was, again, cheaper than competing systems.
In mid-2003, Steve Jobs launched the Power Mac G5, based on IBM's G5 processor. Its all-metal anodized aluminum chassis finished Apple's transition away from colored plastics in their computers. Apple claims this was the first 64-bit computer sold to the general public. The Power Mac G5 was also used by Virginia Tech to build its prototype System X supercomputing cluster, which at the time garnered the prestigious recognition of the third fastest supercomputer in the world. It cost only US$5.2 million to build, far less than the previous No. 3 and other ranking supercomputers. Apple's Xserves were soon updated to use the G5 as well. They replaced the Power Mac G5 machines as the main building block of Virginia Tech's System X, which was ranked in November 2004 as the world's seventh fastest supercomputer.
A new iMac based on the G5 processor was unveiled August 31, 2004 and was made available in mid-September. This model dispensed with the base altogether, placing the CPU and the rest of the computing hardware behind the flat-panel screen, which is suspended from a streamlined aluminum foot. This new iMac, dubbed the iMac G5, was the world's thinnest desktop computer, measuring in at around two inches (around 5 centimeters).
2004, however, was a turning point for Apple. After creating a sizable financial base to work with, the company began experimenting with new parts from new suppliers. As a result Apple was able to produce new designs so quickly over a short amount of time, with the release of the iPod Video, then the iPod Classic, and eventually the iPod touch and iPhone. Each Apple product thus far has been under equally high demand.
On April 29, 2005, Apple released Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" to the general public.
Apple's wildly successful PowerBook and iBook products relied on Apple's previous generation G4 architecture which were produced by Freescale Semiconductor, a spin off from Motorola. Engineers at IBM had minimal success in making their PowerPC G5 processor consume less power and run cooler but not enough to run in iBook or PowerBook formats. As of the week of October 24, 2005 Apple released the Power Mac G5 Dual that features a Dual-Core processor. This processor contains two cores in one rather than have two separate processors. Apple has also developed the Power Mac G5 Quad that uses two of the Dual-Core processors for enhanced workstation power and performance. The new Power Mac G5 Dual cores run individually at 2.0 GHz or 2.3 GHz. The Power Mac G5 Quad cores run individually at 2.5 GHz and all variations have a graphics processor that has 256-bit memory bandwidth.
Retail store expansion
Initially, the Apple Stores were only opened in the United States, but in late 2003, Apple opened its first Apple Store abroad, in Tokyo's Ginza district. Ginza was followed by a store in Osaka, Japan in August 2004. In 2005, Apple opened stores in Nagoya, the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Sendai. Another store was opened in Sapporo in 2006. Apple's first European store opened in London in November 2004, and is currently the largest store. A store in the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham opened in April 2005, and the Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford, Kent opened in July 2005. Apple opened its first store in Canada in the middle of 2005 at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in North York, Toronto. Later on in 2005 Apple opened the Meadowhall Store in Sheffield and the Trafford Centre Store in Manchester (UK). Recent additions in the London area include the Brent Cross Apple Store (January 2006) and the Apple Store in Westfield in Shepherd's Bush (September 2008).
Also, in an effort to court a broader market, Apple opened several "mini" stores in October 2004 in attempt to capture markets where demand does not necessarily dictate a full scale store. The first of these stores was opened at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California. These stores follow in the footsteps of the successful Apple products: iPod mini and Mac mini. These stores are only one half the square footage of the smallest "normal" store and thus can be placed in several smaller markets.
In a keynote address on June 6, 2005, Steve Jobs officially announced that Apple would begin producing Intel-based Macintosh computers beginning in 2006. Jobs confirmed rumors that the company had secretly been producing versions of its current operating system Mac OS X for both PowerPC and Intel processors over the past 5 years, and that the transition to Intel processor systems would last until the end of 2007. Rumors of cross-platform compatibility had been spurred by the fact that Mac OS X is based on OpenStep, an operating system that was available for many platforms. In fact, Apple's own Darwin, the open source underpinnings of Mac OS X, was also available for Intel's x86 architecture.
On January 10, 2006, the first Intel-based machines, the iMac and MacBook Pro, were introduced. They were based on the Intel Core Duo platform. This introduction came with the news that Apple would complete the transition to Intel processors on all hardware by the end of 2006, a year ahead of the originally quoted schedule.
Apple and "i" Web services
In 2000, Apple introduced its iTools service, a set of free web-based tools that included an email account, internet greeting cards called iCards, a service called iReview that gave internet users a place to read and write reviews of Web sites, and a tool called KidSafe which promised to prevent children from browsing inappropriate portions of the web. The latter two services were eventually canceled because of lack of success, while iCards and email became integrated into Apple's .Mac subscription based service introduced in 2002 and discontinued in mid-2008 to make way for the release of the new MobileMe service, coinciding with the iPhone 3G release. MobileMe, which carried the same US$99.00 annual subscription price as its .Mac predecessor, featured the addition of "push" services to instantly and automatically send emails, contacts and calendar updates directly to users' iPhone devices. Some controversy surrounded the release of MobileMe services to users resulting in expected downtime and a significantly longer release window. As a result of this, Apple extended the subscriptions of existing MobileMe subscribers by an additional 30 days free-of-charge. At the WWDC event in June 2011, Apple announced its most up to date cloud service, iCloud, replacing MobileMe. This service kept most of the core services that MobileMe offered, however dropping iDisk, Gallery, and iWeb. Additionally, it added a number of other features to the group, including Find my Mac, iTunes Match, Photo Stream, Documents & Data Backup, and iCloud backup for iOS devices. The service requires users to be running iOS 5 and OS X 10.7 Lion.
iPod and iTunes store
On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod, a portable digital music player. Its signature features included an LED, easy to use interface, and a large capacity drive (initially 5 GB) which was enough to hold approximately 1,000 songs. It was quite large when compared to the 20–30 songs of Flash-based players of the time. Apple has since revised its iPod line several times, introducing a slimmer, more compact design, Windows compatibility (previous iPods only interacted with Macintosh computers), AAC compatibility, storage sizes of up to 160 GB, and easier connectivity with car or home stereo systems. On October 26, 2004, Apple released a color version of their award winning iPod which can not only play music but also show photos. In early 2005, Apple unveiled a smaller iPod: the iPod Shuffle, which is about the size of a pack of gum. Speaking to software developers on June 6, 2005, Steve Jobs said the company's share of the entire portable music device market stood at 76%.
Apple has revolutionized the computer and music industry by signing the five major record companies to join its new music download service, the successful iTunes Music Store, now known as iTunes Store. Unlike other fee-based music services, the iTunes Store charges a flat US$0.99 per song (or US$9.99 per album). Users have more flexibility than on previous on-line music services. For example, they can burn CDs including the purchased songs (although a particular playlist containing purchased music may only be burned seven times), share and play the songs on up to five computers, and, of course, download songs onto an iPod.
The iTunes Music Store commercial model is one-time purchase, which contrasts with other commercial subscription music services where users are required to pay a regular fee to be able to access musical content (but are able to access a larger volume of music during the subscription).
The iTunes Music Store was launched in 2003 with 2 million downloads in only 16 days; all of which were purchased only on Macintosh computers. Apple has since released a version of iTunes for Windows, allowing Windows users the ability to access the store as well. Initially, the music store was only available in the United States due to licensing restrictions, but there were plans to release the store to many other countries in the future.
In January 2004 Apple released a more compact version of their iPod player, the 4 GB iPod Mini. Although the Mini held fewer songs than the other iPod models at that time, its smaller size and multiple colours made it popular with consumers on debut with many stores having "sold out" their initial inventories of the devices.
In June 2004 Apple opened their iTunes Music Store in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. A European Union version opened October 2004 (actually, a Eurozone version; not initially available in the Republic of Ireland due to the intransigence of the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) but eventually opened Thursday January 6, 2005.) A version for Canada opened in December 2004. On May 10, 2005, the iTunes Music Store was expanded to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.
On December 16, 2004, Apple sold its 200 millionth song on the iTunes Music Store to Ryan Alekman from Belchertown, Massachusetts. The download was The Complete U2, by U2. Just under three months later Apple sold its 300 millionth song on March 2, 2005. On July 17, 2005, the iTunes Music Store sold its 500 millionth song. At that point, songs were selling at an accelerating annualized rate of more than 500 million.
On January 11, 2005, an even smaller version of the iPod was announced, this one based on flash memory instead of using a miniaturized hard drive. The iPod Shuffle, like its predecessors, proved so popular that it sold out almost immediately, causing delays of up to four weeks in obtaining one within a single week of its debut. This is despite the fact that critics had gawked at the lack of LCD screen in the Shuffle, a norm in almost all current flash memory based mp3 players.
The iPod is giving an enormous lift to Apple's financial results. In the quarter ending March 26, 2005, Apple earned US$290 million, or 34¢ a share, on sales of US$3.24 billion. The year before in the same quarter, Apple earned just US$46 million, or 6¢ a share, on revenue of US$1.91 billion.
In July 2005, the iPod was given a color screen, merging the iPod and iPod Photo.
On September 7, 2005, Apple replaced the iPod Mini line with the new iPod Nano. While some consumers were put off by the high price tag (US$199 for 2 GB), and easily scratchable surface, the Nano had sold 1 million units in the first 17 days.
A month later, on October 12, 2005 Apple introduced the new 5th generation iPod with video playback abilities. The device is also 40% thinner than a 4th generation iPod and has a larger screen.
On October 25, 2005, the iTunes Store went live in Australia, with songs selling for A$1.69 each, albums at (generally) A$16.99 and music videos and Pixar short films at A$3.39. Briefly, people in New Zealand were able to buy music off the Australian store. However, that loophole was quickly closed.
On February 23, 2006, the iTunes Music Store sold its 1 billionth song.
The iTunes Music Store changed its name to iTunes Store on September 12, 2006 when it began offering video content (TV shows and movies) for sale. Since iTunes' inception it has sold over 2 billion songs, 1.2 billion of which were sold in 2006. Since downloadable TV and movie content was added 50 million TV episodes and 1.3 million movies have been downloaded.
In early 2010, Apple celebrated the 10 billionth song downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.
2007–present: Apple Inc., iPhone, iOS, and iPad
On January 9, 2007, Apple Computer, Inc. shortened its name to simply Apple Inc. In his Macworld Expo keynote address, Steve Jobs explained that with their current product mix consisting of the iPod and Apple TV as well as their Macintosh brand, Apple really wasn't just a computer company anymore. At the same address, Jobs revealed a product that would revolutionize an industry in which Apple had never previously competed: the Apple iPhone. The iPhone combined Apple's first widescreen iPod with the world's first mobile device boasting visual voicemail, and an internet communicator able to run a fully functional version of Apple's web browser, Safari, on the then-named iPhone OS (later renamed iOS).
iOS evolution: iPhone and iPad
The first version of the iPhone became publicly available on June 29, 2007 in selected countries/markets. It was another 12 months before the iPhone 3G became available on July 11, 2008. Apple announced the iPhone 3GS on June 8, 2009, along with plans to release it later in June, July, and August, starting with the U.S., Canada and major European countries on June 19. This 12-month iteration cycle has continued with the iPhone 4 model arriving in similar fashion in 2010, a Verizon model was released in February 2011, and a Sprint model in October 2011, shortly after Jobs' death.
On February 10, 2011, the iPhone 4 was made available on both Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Now two iPod types are multi-touch: the iPod nano and the iPod touch, a big advance in technology. Apple TV currently has a 2nd generation model, which is 4 times smaller than the original Apple TV. Apple has also gone wireless, selling a wireless trackpad, keyboard, mouse, and external hard drive. Wired accessories are, however, still available.
The Apple iPad was announced on January 27, 2010 with retail availability commencing in April and systematically growing in markets throughout 2010. The iPad fits into Apple's iOS product line, being twice the screen size of an iPhone without the phone abilities. While there were initial fears of product cannibalisation the FY2010 financial results released in Jan 2011 included commentary of a reverse 'halo' effect, where iPad sales were leading to increased sales of iMacs and MacBooks. On March 2, 2011, Apple unveiled the iPad's second generation model, the iPad 2. Like the 4th generation iPod Touch and iPhone, the iPad 2 comes with a front-facing camera as well as a rear-facing camera, along with three new apps that utilize these new features: Camera, FaceTime, and Photobooth (only on iPad2).
Resurgence compared to Microsoft
Since 2005, Apple's revenues, profits, and stock price have grown significantly. On May 26, 2010 Apple's stock market value overtook Microsoft's, and Apple's revenues surpassed those of Microsoft in the third quarter of 2010. After giving their results for the first quarter of 2011 Microsoft's net profits of $5.2 billion were lower for the quarter than those of Apple Inc., which earned $6 billion in net profit for the quarter. The late April announcement of profits by the Five companies marks the first time in twenty years that Microsoft's profits have been lower than Apple's., and according to Arstechnica "this would have been 'unimaginable' 10 years before."
The Guardian reported that one of the reasons for the change is because PC software, where Microsoft dominates, has become less important compared to the tablet PC and smartphone markets, where Apple has a strong presence. One reason for this was a surprise drop in PC sales in the quarter. Another issue for Microsoft is that their online search business has lost a lot of money, with a loss of $700 million in the first quarter of 2010. Although Microsoft's online division losses were high, even if they had made no loss Apple's profits would have been slightly higher.
On November 25, 2013, Apple acquired a company called PrimeSense.
|Financial period||Net sales (Mil USD)||Net profits (Mil USD)||Revenue growth||Return on net sales|
'AAPL' is the stock symbol under which Apple Inc. trades on the NASDAQ stock market. Apple originally went public on December 12, 1980, with an initial public offering at US$22.00 per share. The stock has split 2 for 1 three different times on June 15, 1987, June 21, 2000 and February 28, 2005. Apple initially paid dividends from June 15, 1987 to December 15, 1995. On March 19, 2012, Apple announced that it would again start paying a dividend of $2.65 per quarter (beginning in the quarter that starts in July 2012) along a $10 billion share buyback which would commence September 30, 2012, the start of its fiscal 2013 year.
Gene Munster and Michael Olson of Piper Jaffray are the main analysts who track Apple stock. Piper Jaffray estimate future stock and revenue of Apple annually, and have been doing so for several years.
Timeline of Apple Inc. products
- Products on this timeline indicate introduction dates only and not necessarily discontinued dates, as new products begin on a contiguous product line.
This timeline may not be accurate.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Apple Inc..|
- Apple Computer History Weblog
- Apple Computer quotes and history on Google Finance
- Transcripts of Apple Computer's Quarterly Conference Calls
- Apple History Timeline
- Welcome to Macintosh – 2008 documentary film about Apple history and innovation.
- 25 Years of Mac: From Boxy Beige to Silver Sleek – 2008 Wired on the 25th anniversary of the Macintosh.www.colby.com