Get to know how Apple became big!
Want to know just how the most profitable tech company got its start and built its way to greatness? Stick around for a story of highs, lows, and everything in-between!
Today, Apple, Inc. (formerly Apple Computers, Inc.) is the single largest and most profitable information technology company that has ever been. Apple is responsible for multiple breakthroughs in personal computing including the Apple II, the iPod, Mac and iPhone: all devices which completely transformed the consumer marketplace.
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, with the primary goal of selling the Apple I personal computer kit, built by Wozniak, and now recognized as the architect of personal computing. It essentially was a motherboard detached from any RAM, keyboard or monitor. Its successor, the Apple II, would add these necessities, creating a personal computing device that anyone could buy and use for the very first time.
Apple went public in 1980 at $22 a share, instantly creating more millionaires than any other company in history. Steve Jobs, after previewing the new Xerox Alto became convinced that a graphical user interface (GUI) was the future of computing. With this drive he pushed the Apple Lisa team and the Macintosh teams to get a model in production. The Lisa came first, but was ultimately a failure; however, the Macintosh proved to be another powerhouse for Apple when launched in 1984 accompanied by a critically acclaimed commercial directed by Ridley Scott based on the novel of the same name. The success of the Macintosh hailed the pinnacle of Apple’s early successes.
In 1985, a power struggle developed between Jobs and then-CEO John Sculley. Essentially, Jobs liked to spend lots of money in R&D and the board instructed the CEO to contain this kind of spending. Steve Jobs in response to this attempted a coup against Sculley. When all this came to a head, the board sided with Sculley and Steve Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc. the same year.
Sadly to say, with Jobs’ departure, Apple stopped innovating. The late ’80s and early ’90s saw a stagnated Apple stuck in a cycle of confusing product lineups, failed forays into mobile computing, and a financial crisis. The tides of change wouldn’t reach Apple’s shores until Gil Amelio, Apple’s CEO in February 1997, purchased NeXT, Inc. effectively bringing Steve Jobs back into the Apple family.
Within a few months of the NeXT acquisition, Jobs was already acting-CEO when the board ousted Amelio in July of 1997. He began working closely with legendary designer Jony Ive and the very next year, Apple announced the all-in-one iMac. The rest of the 90s saw Apple making many acquisitions that would later emerge as key software like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro.
2001 was a big year and came with three major milestones for Apple: Mac OS X, the iPod, and the first physical retail Apple Stores. Future releases like the MacBook and its Pro iteration proved equally successful at reestablishing Apple Computers as a symbol of innovation, design, and quality. But there’s one more thing…
In 2007, the very first smartphone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, dubbed the iPhone, you could take everything you could do on a computer and now do it on a phone. Apple then doubled down with the iPad in 2010. Unfortunately, the next year in 2011, Steve Jobs passed away. Since then, his replacement CEO Tim Cook has been continuing Jobs’ vision; looking to transform both TV through the use of apps, as well as introducing the world’s most successful wearable to date: the Apple Watch. What else does Apple hold for us in the future?