The history of Apple

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As one of the best-known and most trusted names in the world of technology, Apple has millions upon millions of devoted fans all over the world. Every time the company releases a new product - or even when there's speculation that it might - it doesn't take long for anticipation to reach fever pitch. However, there was a time when the company's star was considered to have long since been on the wane, and its decline did seem inexorable at one point. However, a string of major successes at around the turn of the millennium and after went on to firmly re-establish Apple as perhaps the major player in the technology field.

As Wikipedia explains, old friends Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were the driving force behind Apple from the very beginning. Jobs and Wozniak had first met in 1971, having been introduced by mutual friend Bill Hernandez. By 1975, the pair had withdrawn from their studies and were starting to experiment with early computer technology. Wozniak started attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club, an early computer hobbyists' club in Silicon Valley, in 1976. Jobs and Wozniak met again at a Homebrew Computer Club meeting, with the former particularly interested in the potential of a machine designed by the latter.

Jobs later persuaded Wozniak to design a fully-functional computer machine, the Apple I, for commercial sale. The machine stood out from its peers in that it had a display screen - most computers of the time had no monitor at all - and consisted of far fewer parts than other comparable devices. The Apple II, meanwhile, made its public debut in 1977. It featured a completely redesigned TV interface, and a much more ambitious design than its predecessor. Apple Computer had been officially formed in April 1976, with the name chosen because it would be placed alphabetically above rival Atari in the phone book.

As an article on points out, Apple launched its first Macintosh computer in 1984. More than 70,000 units were shifted in the first 100 days of the device's release. However, a power struggle within the company saw Jobs ousted in 1985. It would be another 12 years before he returned. While Apple profits continued to grow through the mid and late 1980s, the Power Macintosh series proved to be an expensive failure, causing significant losses which continued into the 1990s.

By the end of 1997, Jobs was reinstalled as Apple's chief executive and oversaw the launch of the iMac the following year. The device was an instant hit, selling 800,000 units within four months of its launch. This set the scene for the company's revival. The best-selling iPod music player followed in 2001, before Apple entered the nascent smartphone market with the iPhone six years later. Apple pushed the boundaries further with the launch of the iPad, arguably the first tablet computer to achieve real mainstream popularity, in 2010. By September of that year, the company had sold 275 million iPods across the globe. Steve Jobs, however, sadly died in October 2011.

So when you next come to purchase an iPad 4 case, it might be worth thinking about the turbulent and challenging corporate history of Apple. Certainly, not many would bet against it remaining a trendsetter for years to come.

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Jane Foulds has 25 articles online

The article was contributed by Jane Foulds a freelance technology writer who is keenly interested in Apple.

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The history of Apple

This article was published on 2013/04/13