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History of Apple company

Apple

By RilwanPublished 9 months ago 5 min read
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History of Apple company
Photo by David Hepworth on Unsplash

Apple was founded as Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976, by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. It was incorporated by Jobs and Wozniak as Apple Computer, Inc. in 1977. The company's second computer, the Apple II, became a best seller and one of the first mass-produced microcomputers. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. The company developed computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, including the 1984 original Macintosh, announced that year in a critically acclaimed advertisement called "1984". By 1985, the high cost of its products, and power struggles between executives, caused problems. Wozniak stepped back from Apple and pursued other ventures, while Jobs resigned and founded NeXT, taking some Apple employees with him.

As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved throughout the 1990s, Apple lost considerable market share to the lower-priced duopoly of the Microsoft Windows operating system on Intel-powered PC clones (also known as "Wintel"). In 1997, weeks away from bankruptcy, the company bought NeXT to resolve Apple's unsuccessful operating system strategy and entice Jobs back to the company. Over the next decade, Jobs guided Apple back to profitability through a number of tactics including introducing the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad to critical acclaim, launching the "Think different" campaign and other memorable advertising campaigns, opening the Apple Store retail chain, and acquiring numerous companies to broaden the company's product portfolio. When Jobs resigned in 2011 for health reasons, and died two months later, he was succeeded as CEO by Tim Cook.

Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion in August 2018, then at $2 trillion in August 2020, and at $3 trillion in January 2022. As of April 2023, it was valued at around $2.6 trillion. The company receives criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices, and its business ethics, including anti-competitive practices and materials sourcing. Nevertheless, the company has a large following and enjoys a high level of brand loyalty. It has also been consistently ranked as one of the world's most valuable brands.

History

Main article: History of Apple Inc.

1976–1980: Founding and incorporation

See also: History of Apple Inc. § 1971–1985: Jobs and Wozniak

In 1976, Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in his parents' home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California.[8] Although it is widely believed that the company was founded in the house's garage, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called it "a bit of a myth".[9] Jobs and Wozniak did, however, move some operations to the garage when the bedroom became too crowded.[10]

Apple's first product, the Apple I, designed by Steve Wozniak, was sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard, monitor, and case. The owner of this unit added a keyboard and wooden case.

The Apple II Plus, introduced in 1979, designed primarily by Wozniak.

Apple Computer Company was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne as a partnership.[8][11] The company's first product was the Apple I, a computer designed and hand-built entirely by Wozniak.[12] To finance its creation, Jobs sold his Volkswagen Bus, and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator.[13]: 57 [a] Wozniak debuted the first prototype Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club in July 1976.[14] The Apple I was sold as a motherboard with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips—a base kit concept which would not yet be marketed as a complete personal computer.[15] It went on sale soon after debut for US$666.66 (equivalent to $3,428 in 2022).[16][17]: 180  Wozniak later said he was unaware of the coincidental mark of the beast in the number 666, and that he came up with the price because he liked "repeating digits".[18]

Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated on January 3, 1977,[19][20] without Wayne, who had left and sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 only twelve days after having co-founded Apple.[21] Multimillionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of US$250,000 (equivalent to $1,207,304 in 2022) to Jobs and Wozniak during the incorporation of Apple.[22] During the first five years of operations, revenues grew exponentially, doubling about every four months. Between September 1977 and September 1980, yearly sales grew from $775,000 to $118 million, an average annual growth rate of 533%.[23]

The Apple II, also invented by Wozniak, was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the first West Coast Computer Faire.[24] It differed from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, because of its character cell-based color graphics and open architecture. While the Apple I and early Apple II models used ordinary audio cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5+1⁄4-inch floppy disk drive and interface called the Disk II in 1978.[25][26]

The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer application" of the business world: VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program released in 1979.[25] VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II and gave home users an additional reason to buy an Apple II: compatibility with the office.[25] Before VisiCalc, Apple had been a distant third place competitor to Commodore and Tandy.[27] By the end of the 1970s, Apple had become the leading computer manufacturer in the United States.[28]

On December 12, 1980, Apple (ticker symbol "AAPL") went public selling 4.6 million shares at $22 per share ($.10 per share when adjusting for stock splits as of September 3, 2022),[20] generating over $100 million, which was more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956.[29] By the end of the day, 300 millionaires were created, from a stock price of $29 per share[30] and a market cap of $1.778 billion.[29][30]

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