Unveiling the History of Apple Computers: A Journey of Innovation and Triumphs

Apple's logo as a large sign.

In 2018, Apple became the first publicly traded corporation to be valued at $1 trillion in market cap value.

Two years later, the company’s value doubled to $2 trillion. Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, going so far as to be ranked first on Forbes’ list of the most valuable brands.

A Look Into Apple

Despite its many astounding accomplishments, Apple continues to produce innovative products and services. The company recently released the iPhone 14 smartphone in September 2022.

Besides smartphones, Apple sells a range of other products and services, with the most renowned ones being personal computers, wearables, accessories, software applications, and operating systems.

The Founding of Apple

Apple has been at the forefront of the personal computer revolution since its founding. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne started this company in 1976 to change people’s perceptions of computers.

They aspired to make computers small and user-friendly for customers to use at home or the office.

However, Ronald Wayne left Apple two weeks after founding Apple. Being the older one, he worried that any debts accrued by the company would end up being his responsibility.

Wayne sold his 10% stake for $800, which would be worth more than $70 billion today.

The two remaining founders chose Job’s home garage as Apple’s first operations base, where Steve Wozniak began working on the company’s first computer, Apple I.

Wozniak had initially designed Apple I while working as an engineering intern at The Hewlett- Packard Company (famously known as HP). HP expressed no interest in his computer.

Apple I, Apple II, and Macintosh

Apple launched its first computer, Apple I, in July of 1976, retailing at $666.66. The computer consisted of only an assembled working circuit board with no casing, mouse, or keyboard.

Apple sold approximately 200 units of Apple I and began working on Apple II.

Steve Jobs needed money to expand the company and work on Apple II. He submitted the company’s plans to banks, but all were reluctant to invest in his business.

They viewed his idea to make computers for ordinary people as absurd. Steve Jobs also got rejected by Don Valentine, the founder of Sequoia Capital, but Don recommended him to Mike Markkula.

Mike Markkula invested $92,000 for a one-third stake in Apple, thus becoming the company’s angel investor.

With the help of Mike Markkula, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple on January 1977. Jobs and Wozniak had initially established the entity as a partnership. Markkula later recruited Michael Scott to be Apple’s president and CEO. He considered the two founders lacked experience for a CEO position.

After incorporation, Steve Wozniak began working on the prototype for Apple II.

Jobs wanted this model to be fully-assembled and ready to run once removed from the box. The computer had a built-in keyboard, beautiful plastic casing, and colored graphics.

Apple II also contained VisiCalc, the company’s first spreadsheet and calculating software for business functions. The color graphics and VisiCalc software helped propel the sales of Apple II.

Apple moved to its first real office in 1978. By this time, sales had propelled to $775,000.

Apple II continued growing in popularity. In 1980, Apple reported revenues amounting to $118 million. Apple released Apple III in 1980, but this model, which contained a design flaw and overheated quickly, faced stiff competition from IBM computers.

Apple later released the Apple Lisa computer and the Macintosh, which became a success in 1984. Jobs had initially been tasked to head the Lisa project but was later transferred to the less exciting Macintosh project.

The success of the Macintosh is due to Apple’s 1984 commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. More than 70,000 units got sold after this commercial.

Steve Jobs resigned in 1985 after growing friction with Apple’s new CEO, John Sculley. Jobs preferred working his own way, while Sculley wanted the company to abide by structure and strict oversight on future projects.

Jobs staged a coup to oust Sculley, but it backfired when the board sided with Sculley. By this time, Steve Wozniak had already resigned because he felt the company was moving in a different direction.

Apple After Steve Jobs’s Resignation

After Job’s resignation, Apple’s management was free to implement their own ideas. They decided to target high-end customers by pricing the Macs higher than competitors, a strategy that Jobs opposed.

The board agreed that it would be better to sell fewer units but make higher profits from each sale. They named this policy “55 or die,” meaning the company should make at least 55% profit from each machine.

The strategy worked well initially, considering Apple’s computers had a better user interface. However, revenue began to topple in the 1990s after IBM produced cheaper personal computers.

Apple also needed better software to compete with Microsoft’s Windows 3.0. The company acquired NeXt, a software company Jobs started after resigning, which marked his return to Apple.

Steve Jobs Returns to Apple

Jobs became interim CEO a few weeks after returning to Apple. He enjoyed calling his position iCEO. His first strategic move was to partner with Microsoft to create a Mac version of the Microsoft Office Software.

Apple also launched the online Apple store in 1997, the iMac in 1998, and the iPod in 2001. The iMac was an all-in-one computer with a sleek design and advanced technological features. Apple sold 80,000 iMacs in the first five months.

In 2001, Apple launched Mac OS X to replace the System 7 operating system the company had used since the 1990s. The same year, the company also released the iPod, a portable MP3 player.

The iPod quickly became a market leader, selling around 450 million units during its lifespan. Apple launched iTunes, computer software for downloading and playing music, in 2003. iTunes also became a market leader in the music retail industry by 2005.

The next most resounding launch was the iPhone, which Apple announced during the 2007 Macworld Expo.

Here, Jobs mentioned that Apple Computer Inc. would change its name to Apple Inc. since the company didn’t just sell computers.

Apple sold 270,000 iPhones within two days of the announcement. In 2008, Apple released the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and opened it for third-party applications. It sold more than 60 million applications in only a month.

Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO on August 24th, 2011, due to ongoing health concerns and passed away on October 5th, 2011. Tim Cook became Apple’s new CEO.

Interesting Facts

  1. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak named their company Apple because Jobs liked apples. Jobs found the name fun, spirited, and non-intimidating. The two founders tried to think of a more technical name but couldn’t, so they settled for Apple.
  2. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold Apple I for $666.66 per piece because Wozniak loved repeated numbers. During an interview, Wozniak admitted he didn’t know this number represented the mark of the beast.
  3. Apple’s first logo was designed by Ronald Wayne before he left the company. It featured Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Jobs thought this logo was old-fashioned and too detailed to fit on a small gadget, so he hired Rob Janoff to design another one. Janoff came up with the bitten apple logo.
  4. Apple’s 1984 commercial is considered one of the best adverts of all time.

Timeline.Apple Company Timeline

1976

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne start Apple.

1977

Apple gets incorporated as Apple Computer Inc. after Mike Markkula joins the company.

1983

Steve Wozniak resigns from Apple.

1984

Apple launches Apple Lisa Computer and the Macintosh.

1985

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple after losing favor with the board.

1997

Steve Jobs returns to Apple after the company acquires his software company NeXt. He becomes interim CEO.

1998

Apple launches the iMac.

2001

Apple releases Mac OS X and the iPod.

2003

Apple introduces iTunes.

2007

Apple launches iPhone and Apple TV. Apple also changes its official name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc.

2010

Apple introduces the iPad.

2011

Steve Jobs steps down as CEO, and Tim Cook becomes CEO.

2014

Apple unveils iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

2018

Apple becomes the first publicly traded company to get valued at $1 trillion in market cap value.

More About Apple

Impact on Society

It’s interesting to see the effect Apple has had on society. Naturally, this subject goes beyond the scope of this post, therefore it makes sense to offer a link to the latest search results for the most popular information while gaining a large overview of the topic from multiple perspectives.

Search Results – Apple’s Impact on Society

Setbacks

All companies have setbacks. Apple is no exception. By looking at Apple’s challenges, you learn how the management team handled them and an indication of the strength of the management team.

Many challenges are related to management, markets, strategies, marketing, products, etc.

A few products Apple didn’t succeed with include the following:

  • Apple Newton (1993)
  • Apple Quicktake 200 digital camera (1994)
  • Power Mac G4 Cube (2000)
  • Macintosh TV (1993)
  • etc.

One management decision that didn’t help Apple become where it is today is when John Sculley was brought on as CEO, Which eventually led to the departure of Steve Jobs.

In addition to exploring challenges faced by Apple, you will learn what steps were taken and whether they pulled through or went in a different direction.

See the link below for the latest search results for Apple’s setbacks.

Search Results – Apple Setbacks.

Successes

Whether you are curious about Apple or looking to build your management skills, examining the success of one of the world’s most successful companies is something you may be interested in.

Some of Apple’s most notable successes come from the following Product lines:

  • Apple II
  • Mac
  • iPod
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Apple Watch

However, there is too much information to list in this post. Therefore, it’s better to always access the latest search results from the link below to have the latest and most popular articles.

Search Results – Apple Success.

Lessons Learned from Apple

Taking lessons from Apple is something you can study to gain an overview of how this garage startup became one of the world’s most successful and richest companies.

In addition, the lessons learned from Apple can turn into a roadmap for successful management, whether you learn what to do or what not to do!

Search Results – Lessons learned from Apple.

Executive Team

You can find out all about apple’s executive team by using the link below, giving you access to the latest search results to explore the current and past executive teams that run Apple.

Search Results – Executive team of Apple.

Working at Apple

When you look at reviews related to working at Apple, you’ll get an overview of what it’s like, and a look into the company culture.

In addition, employee reviews give you an indication of the strength of the management team.

Search Results – Working at Apple.

Complaints and Lawsuits

Searching for complaints and lawsuits about Apple will give you a better idea of how the company is run.

Many legitimate complaints and lawsuits indicate problems in management.

For more, explore the link below.

Search Results – Complaints and Lawsuits related to Apple.

Financials

Whether you are thinking of investing in Apple or if you’re interested in its financials the link below offers the latest search results giving you an overview of how one of the richest companies in the world operates.

Search Results – Apple financials.

Company Assessment

Check out the link below for the latest information published by analysts regarding Apple’s strengths and where the company is headed.

Search Results – Apple performance, trends, and assessment.

Books

There are many books published about Apple, including:

Apple, Inc: Strategic Analysis of a Global Powerhouse

by Wendy Keller, Patricia Perrier, et al.

Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired–and Secretive–Company Really Works

by Adam Lashinsky

After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost its Soul

by Tripp Mickle, Will Damron, et al.

For more, see the most recent books related to Apple Inc available on Amazon.

News

You can use Google News to see what the media covers about Apple.

In addition, using a site like Google news allows you to set up an alert to get a notification whenever something new is covered by the media.

See Google’s News search results related to Apple.

Videos

YouTube is an excellent source of information for learning more about Apple.

Check out the latest videos and documentaries to give you a stronger company overview.

See the most recent videos related to Apple.