On April 1, 1976, somewhere in a garage in California, three most innovative brains of the era sat working on a project that led to the creation of one of the world’s most valuable companies – Apple Inc. Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Inc. The company which is recognized as one of the most powerful tech companies that takes residence in the Silicon Valley and has over 480 retail stores which are spread in 18 countries across the globe. For a company that had its modest beginnings in a garage, Apple Inc., has a story that is worth penning down. Let us reminisce the journey that this tech giant took to reach where it stands today.
The company began selling computers that were built by Steve Wozniak. The first Apple computer was known as the Apple I and it sold for $666.66. With only 200 models of the Apple I being created, they have today become a collector’s item for a generation in which over one billion active Apple devices are being used around the world. One of the prized Apple I computers was sold last year for whopping $200,000. What makes it worth such a huge sum is the fact that it was created by the company’s founders.
When the team of three decided to create a second model which was more advanced and created ripples in the world of personal computing. With the success of Apple II, the company began to get noticed. This is when the legendary band, Beatles’ record label Apple Corp took legal action against Apple Computer because it used the Apple name and logo. The tiff between the two entities continued over a long period of time until it finally settled in 2006. Before this, an agreement was reached that Apple Computer would stick to its name in the tech business only while Apple Corp would use its name in the music world.
Apple started trading its shares on Dec 12, 1980 when it had opened at $22 a share. On its journey to creating a niche for itself in the tech universe, Apple has gone through some critical time periods too. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak injured himself in a plane crash in 1981, he worked briefly with the company but left permanently in 1985. In 1983, Steve Jobs had hired John Sculley who was earlier a PepsiCo executive.
One of the most trying periods for Apple was when Steve Jobs left the firm in the mid-80s. This was after he struggled with his pet project – the first Macintosh computer. Jobs left the company in the wake of a boardroom coup which was organized by John Sculley – the person Jobs had recruited. Jobs went on to begin another company called NeXT. Before Jobs left Apple, the first Mac had already made its debut and it was inarguably seen as a breakthrough in computers as users bade farewell to typing commands and welcomed a more user-friendly interface. The fact that you could use mouse clicks to control the computer made the universe of computers available for those who didn’t know about computers and computer commands a lot.
Apple was not very appeased when it felt that Microsoft and HP were trying to copy the look and feel of the graphical user interface which was available on the Macintosh. This led to a lawsuit filed against the two companies but most of the claims were disregarded by the judge in April 1992.
Apple continued to innovate in order to provide better and more advanced computers to their users. With this in mind, the company ventured into portable computing with its first laptop. This line of computers were the predecessors for the splendid MacBook of today. With success in portable computing Apple did not want to stop short of its successes. So it continued to expand its horizons and explore new opportunities.
This is what brought Newton, the Apple’s personal digital assistant into the world. We are talking about a time which goes long back before iPhones saw the light of the world. What made Newton outstanding, was its feature that allowed it to recognize handwriting. However, it didn’t really work as it was supposed to, which led to a lot of ridicule for this project.
Jobs returned to the company when it was in the middle of a financial crisis in 1997. He immediately shelved the unpopular Newton and Apple went on to acquire NeXT which roughly marks the time when Jobs returned to the company. His return to the company was in the form of adviser to CEO Gil Amelio, but Amelio was soon ousted and Jobs took position in the top role till the time the company looked for a replacement.
While he was serving the company on an interim basis, Jobs introduced the world to the iMac desktop computer. He soon acquired the role permanently and the company opened its first retail store in 2001. As the company stabilized financially and began putting its creative minds to work once again to build something that could awe the world, we were introduced to the iPods. This is the time when music changed entirely for us. The way we listen to it and the way we buy it. Apple found a whole new cult of users who found the iPod to be synonymous to listening to music. With the launch of iTunes, Apple silently replaced the CDs too.
It was on a journey where looking back was not an option any longer. The tech universe was expanding by leaps and bounds and Apple began building a niche in the centre of the technological revolution that made cell phones our can’t-live-without devices and computers and tablets the best place to make notes, create presentations, host meetings and attend conferences. Apple’s passion to create devices that weren’t only powerful at the core but were also majestic to look at created an unshakeable fan following.
The first iPhone was unveiled in 2007 while the iPad made its appearance in 2010. Both the devices were splendid and make an important chunk of Apple’s market today. While the iPod was one of Apple’s claims to fame as it reinvented the music market, Apple’s flagship phone had a magnetism of its own. Its popularity is yet to decline and the biggest evidence of its numerous users in the long queues at the Apple stores when the latest iPhones launch. Apple’s users have created a community of their own and for those who have used Apple, it is said that there is very less chance of the moving to a different brand.
Apple’s status today is mainly because of its superb devices, pleasant services and the amazing apps that it provides. Not to forget that our initiation to the world of apps is highly accorded to Apple too. The App Store was launched a year after the iPhone was unfurled and since its launch, the number of apps have grown continuously giving the chance to numerous developers to use their talent in creating apps for the store. At this time, Apple’s app store has more than 11 million developers.
With Apple rising to success, the company faced a second period of disorientation when Steve Jobs decided to leave because of his health. The world lost a brilliant personality when Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011. When Jobs had resigned from his position in the company, Tim Cook was named the next CEO. Cook took the reins of the company in his hands and very efficiently guided Apple to further success. For a brand that had already established its position in the industry, Cook had less concern about building the brand and more about meeting the growing needs of the users to ensure their allegiance to the company did not fade away.
Apple Watch was the next Apple product to be announced and it quickly took the lead in the market of smartwatches. Most of Apple’s products are not something that were invented by the company, but the way Apple packages everything in a spectacular device is what makes it the best for its fans. The company obsesses over attention to detail, making sure that its users’ experience is never compromised. For many people, it has become a thing of status when it comes to using Apple products. In fact, not very long ago, loyalty to Apple and Windows computers could have easily created a heated argument among the people.
Last year, Apple’s music streaming service was launched, and it already has over 10 million paid subscribers. The company takes pride in providing best in class products with the latest technology and the best experience. This is one of the reasons why users choose Apple over other products.
Lately, Apple was swirled into the limelight for reasons that included the FBI and the US government. I am talking about the San Bernardino case which created an intense showdown between the tech giant and FBI. The company has always boasted of the level of security that it provides to its users by means of encryptions. The terrorist in the San Bernardino case is said to have used an iPhone too and the FBI wanted Apple to help them unlock the phone.
Apple saw this as a breach of security as it may end up handing over the FBI a backdoor entry to almost any iPhone around the world. Apple was not prepared to do this which led to a volley of legal exchanges between Apple and the US Government. Reportedly, most of the Silicon Valley tech giants were in support of Apple for its strong stride against the FBI. A recent piece of information from the FBI closed the case as the FBI was able to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.
Apple has evolved in the many years that it has spent in the industry. Analysts say that the company is inclined towards selling apps and music to the massive number of Apple users. This clearly shows how the device-making tech company has explored new horizons to ensure a steady amount of income in the dynamically changing tech industry. The company’s 40th birthday was marked with the release of the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro. These latest devices clearly state that Apple is ready to explore markets where it did not venture before.