Apple Computer Inc.
Apple Computer Inc. 1976 – Current
A History of Innovation
Apple Computer got its start in 1976. It was founded by Steve Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak. They both got their start making devices that sounded a tone to give the user of the device free long distance calling. However, when Steve Jobs saw the Apple 1 that Woz was working on, he saw the potential of the computer and set out to build a company and soon got the help of a venture capitalist.
Above: Apple Cofounder Steve Jobs
Above: Apple Cofounder Steve Wozniak
Their first computer was the Apple 1 and while it was a significant leap in user design and friendliness, it was far from what we today understand as a user friendly computer. The Apple 1 required some assembly, which required some electrical knowledge.
In the following year, Apple Computer released the Apple 2, which had a long life, lasting 11 years before being cancelled. However, the Commodore 64 is considered the longest selling and top selling computer model of all time because the internal components did not change from year to year. The only change Commodore made was introducing more software and a cleaner design in the Commodore 64C. The Apple 2 however, received several major upgrades to its hardware over the 11 years.
11 Years of Apple II
Apple tried several times to innovate and reproduce the success of the Apple 2 line of computers. However, unlike today, while being innovative, not all of Apple’s designs took off. The Apple 3 and Lisa flopped badly costing the company significant money and market share. However, by 1984, Apple once again had a hit with the Macintosh computer, a line of computers that are still around today. However, the operating system of the original macs was thrown out in 2000 and replaced with a Unix core.
Above: Apple 2 Plastic Case
NeXT and OS X
Known as OS X, or OS Ten, the Mac began to once again increase in market share. OS X gave the Macintosh stability, preemptive multitasking and many advanced features provided by Unix. By the time Apple switched to the Intel processor line, the Macintosh was stable and began attracting previous mac owners that left for Windows and new users from the windows world.
Apple continues to innovate like no other company but those early years were much different from the carefully planned and managed company of today. After Steve Jobs left in the mid 1908s, apple began introducing countless models. Many employees, let alone customers, had trouble differentiating the difference between them.
By the late 1990s, Apple Computer was in trouble and facing bankruptcy. On its last legs, Steve Jobs sold NeXT to Apple and came on its an interim CEO. He quickly cancelled OS licensing, introduced OS X, introduced the iPod and then brought out iTunes.
By 2003, Apple was no longer in danger of failure. Apple would later release the iPhone that in four short years became the top selling smartphone, dethrowning the once great Nokia. A few years after that, Apple released the iPad. The IPad was panned by critics and then went on to break sales records. In one year, the Apple sold more iPads than all tablets ever sold in the last ten years.
Above: Apple iPhone