A brief history of Apple

I’m working on blog postings about Snow Leopard and iTunes 9. There is so much to cover that it is taking longer than I expected. In the mean time here’s some information I culled from Wikipedia.org.

The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first “killer app” of the business world—the VisiCalc spreadsheet program.

In December 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.

Apple introduced the PowerBook in 1991, which established the modern form and ergonomic layout of the laptop computer. The Powerbook was 7 pounds and had a 3 hour battery life, and sold a billion dollars worth within the first year.

In 1985, a power struggle developed between Jobs and CEO John Sculley, who had been hired two years prior . Apple’s board of directors sided with Sculley and Jobs was removed from his managerial duties. Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc. the same year.

After multiple failed attempts to improve Mac OS … [CEO Gil] Amelio chose to purchase NeXT and its NeXTSTEP operating system, bringing Steve Jobs back to Apple as an advisor. On July 9, 1997, Gil Amelio was ousted by the board of directors after overseeing a three-year record-low stock price and crippling financial losses. Jobs became the interim CEO and began restructuring the company’s product line.

On August 15, 1998, Apple introduced a new all-in-one computer reminiscent of the [original] Macintosh 128K: the iMac. It sold close to 800,000 units in its first five months and returned Apple to profitability for the first time since 1993.

Mac OS X, based on NeXT’s OPENSTEP and BSD Unix was released on March 24, 2001, after several years of development. Aimed at consumers and professionals alike, Mac OS X aimed to combine the stability, reliability and security of Unix with the ease of use afforded by an overhauled user interface.

On May 19, 2001, Apple opened the first official Apple Retail Stores in Virginia and California. The service quickly became the market leader in online music services, with over 5 billion downloads by June 19, 2008.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address on June 6, 2005, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would begin producing Intel-based Mac computers in 2006. By August 7, 2006 Apple had transitioned the entire Mac product line to Intel chips, over 1 year sooner than announced. The Power Mac, iBook, andPowerBook brands were retired during the transition; the Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro became their respective successors.

Apple’s success during this period was evident in its stock price. In January 2006, Apple’s market cap surpassed that of Dell. Nine years prior, Dell’s CEO Michael Dell said that if he ran Apple he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

On February 6, 2007, Apple indicated that it would sell music on the iTunes Store without DRM (which would allow tracks to be played on third-party players) if record labels would agree to drop the technology. On April 2, 2007, Apple and EMI jointly announced the removal of DRM technology from EMI’s catalog in the iTunes Store, effective in May.

On July 11, 2008, Apple launched the App Store to sell third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Three months later, it was announced that Apple had become the third-largest mobile handset supplier in the world due to the popularity of the iPhone.

On January 14, 2009, an internal Apple memo from Steve Jobs announced that he would be taking a six-month leave of absence, until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health and to allow the company to better focus on its products. Despite Steve Jobs’ absence, Apple recorded its best non-holiday quarter (Q1 FY 2009) during the recession with a revenue of $8.16 billion and a profit of $1.21 billion.

Khürt Williams

Khürt Williams is Principal for Monkey Hill, LLC, a Skillman, New Jersey based information security governance, risk and compliance consultancy. He's also an avid landscape photographer, and *nix geek.