- "Apple" redirects here. For the line of personal computers released from 1976 to 1993, see Apple series.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL; NYSE: AAPL; previously Apple Computer, Inc.) is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include its Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes the macOS operating system; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Final Cut Pro X, a non-linear video editing system; Logic Pro, a suite of music production tools; the Safari internet browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system. In 2010, the company operated 301 retail stores in ten countries, and an online store where hardware and software products were sold. In May 2011, Apple became one of the largest companies in the world and the most valuable technology company in the world, having surpassed Microsoft.
For reasons as various as its philosophy of comprehensive aesthetic design to its distinctive advertising campaigns, Apple has established a unique reputation in the consumer electronics industry. This includes a customer base that is devoted to the company and its brand, particularly in the United States. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The company has also received widespread criticism for its contractors' labor, environmental, and business practices.
Established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, and incorporated on January 3, 1977, the company was previously named Apple Computer, Inc., for its first 30 years, but removed the word "Computer" on January 9, 2007, to reflect the company's ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers. In September 2010, Apple had 46,600 full time employees, 2,800 temporary full time employees around the world, and worldwide annual sales of $65.23 billion.
- See also: Category:Apple products
The first product put forth by the partnership of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs was a "blue box," a device used for "phone phreaking," or making illegal free telephone calls through technological means. Inspired by an October 1971 Esquire magazine article about John Draper, a.k.a. Captain Crunch, who was a prominent phreaker, Wozniak, himself an engineering student, created his own blue box. Wozniak and Jobs used the box to tap into computers across the U.S., and other sensitive lines. Matching the pattern for later products, Jobs was the one who pushed the item in the direction of turning a profit. Early on, most sales were made by Wozniak in the dormitories at Berkeley. When Jobs began college at Reed College in Oregon, he sold them there. As for the success of the product, Wozniak said, "We sold a ton of 'em."
Apple series (discontinued)
- Apple I, an 8-bit kit computer with a logic board and no case, introduced in 1976.
- Apple II, a self-contained model and a runaway success, introduced in June 1977.
- Apple II plus, a refined version, introduced in June 1979.
- Apple III, Apple's first major failure in the business market, released in Noveber 1980.
- Apple IIe, a more powerful and cost-reduced version, introduced in January 1983.
- Apple IIc, a compact version, introduced in April 1984.
- Apple IIGS, a faster and more advanced 16-bit version, introduced in September 1986.
- Apple IIc Plus, a refined compact version, introduced in September 1988.
- Main article: Macintosh
- iMac, consumer all-in-one desktop computer introduced in 1998.
- Mac mini, consumer sub-desktop computer and server introduced in 2005.
- Mac Pro, workstation-class desktop computer introduced in 2006, replacing the Power Macintosh.
- MacBook Pro, professional notebook introduced in 2006, replacing the PowerBook.
- MacBook Air, ultra-thin, ultra-portable notebook introduced in 2008.
- Main article: macOS
Apple develops its own operating system to run on Macs, macOS (formerly known as Mac OS X), the latest major version being macOS 10.15, also known as Catalina. Apple also independently develops computer software titles for its macOS operating system. Much of the software Apple develops is bundled with its computers. An example of this is the consumer-oriented iLife software package that bundles iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, GarageBand, and iWeb. For presentation, page layout and word processing, iWork is available, which includes Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. iTunes, QuickTime media player, Safari web browser, and Software Update are available as free downloads for both Mac OS X and Windows.
Apple also offers a range of professional software titles. Their range of server software includes the operating system macOS Server; Apple Remote Desktop, a remote systems management application; WebObjects, Java EE Web application server; and Xsan, a Storage Area Network file system. For the professional creative market, there is Aperture for professional RAW-format photo processing; Final Cut Pro X, an online video editor, and Logic Pro X, a comprehensive music toolkit.
Apple also offers online services through iCloud, which capitalizes on the ability to store personal data on an online server and thereby keep all internet-connected devices in sync.
- Main article: iPod
On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod digital music player. It has evolved to include various models targeting the wants of different users. The iPod is the market leader in portable music players by a significant margin, with more than 220 million units shipped as of September 2009. Apple has partnered with Nike to offer the Nike+iPod Sports Kit enabling runners to synchronize and monitor their runs with iTunes and the Nike+ website. Apple currently sells four variants of the iPod.
- iPod Classic (previously named iPod from 2001 to 2007), a portable media player first introduced in 2001, currently available in a 160 GB model.
- iPod Nano, a portable media player first introduced in 2005, was available in 8 and 16 GB models. The newest generation had a FM radio, a pedometer, and a new multi-touch interface that replaced the traditional iPod click wheel.
- iPod Shuffle, a digital audio player first introduced in 2005, currently available in 2 and 4 GB models.
- iPod Touch, a portable media player that runs iOS, first introduced in September 2007 after the iPhone went on sale. Currently available in 8, 32, and 64 GB models. The latest generation features the Apple A4 processor, a Retina Display, and dual cameras on the front and back. The back camera allows video recording at 720p.
- Main article: iPhone
At the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the long anticipated iPhone, a convergence of an Internet-enabled smartphone and iPod. The original iPhone combined a 2.5G quad band GSM and EDGE cellular phone with features found in hand held devices, running scaled-down versions of Apple's Mac OS X (dubbed iOS, formerly iPhone OS), with various Mac OS X applications such as Safari and Mail. It also includes web-based and Dashboard apps such as Google Maps and Weather. The iPhone features a 3.5-inch (89 mm) touch screen display, 4, 8, or 16 GB of memory, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (both "b" and "g"). The iPhone first became available on June 29, 2007 for $499 (4 GB) and $599 (8 GB) with an AT&T contract. On February 5, 2008, Apple updated the original iPhone to have 16 GB of memory, in addition to the 8 GB and 4 GB models. On June 9, 2008, at WWDC 2008, Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone 3G would be available on July 11, 2008. This version added support for 3G networking, assisted-GPS navigation, and a price cut to $199 for the 8 GB version, and $299 for the 16 GB version, which was available in both black and white. The new version was visually different from its predecessor in that it eliminated the flat silver back, and large antenna square for a curved glossy black or white back. Following complaints from many people, the headphone jack was changed from a recessed jack to a flush jack to be compatible with more styles of headphones. The software capabilities changed as well, with the release of the new iPhone came the release of Apple's App Store; the store provided applications for download that were compatible with the iPhone. On April 24, 2009, the App Store surpassed one billion downloads. On June 8, 2009, at Apple's annual worldwide developers conference, the iPhone 3GS was announced, providing an incremental update to the device including faster internal components, support for faster 3G speeds, video recording capability, and voice control. On June 7, 2010, at WWDC 2010, the iPhone 4 was announced, which Apple says is its "'biggest leap we've taken" since the original iPhone. The phone includes an all-new design, 960x640 display, Apple's A4 processor used in the iPad, a gyroscope for enhanced gaming, 5MP camera with LED flash, front-facing VGA camera and FaceTime video calling. Shortly after the release of the iPhone 4, it was realized by consumers that the new iPhone had reception issues. This is due to the stainless steel band around the edge of the device, which also serves as the phones cellular signal and Wi-Fi antenna. The current fix for this issue was a "Bumper Case" for the phone distributed for free to all iPhone 4 owners for a few months. The music of Mihalis Safras was used in one of the iPhone marketing campaigns.
- Main article: Apple TV
At the 2007 Macworld conference, Jobs demonstrated the Apple TV, (previously known as the iTV), a set-top video device intended to bridge the sale of content from iTunes with high-definition televisions. The device links up to a user's TV and syncs, either via Wi-Fi or a wired network, with one computer's iTunes library and streams from an additional four. The Apple TV originally incorporated a 40 GB hard drive for storage, includes outputs for HDMI and component video, and plays video at a maximum resolution of 720p. On May 31, 2007 a 160 GB drive was released alongside the existing 40 GB model and on January 15, 2008 a software update was released, which allowed media to be purchased directly from the Apple TV. In September 2009, Apple discontinued the original 40 GB Apple TV and now continues to produce and sell the 160 GB Apple TV. On September 1, 2010, alongside the release of the new line of iPod devices for the year, Apple released a completely redesigned Apple TV. The new device is 1/4 the size, runs quieter, and replaces the need for a hard drive with media streaming from any iTunes library on the network along with 8 GB of flash memory to cache media downloaded. Apple with the Apple TV has added another device to its portfolio that runs on its A4 processor along with the iPad and the iPhone. The memory included in the device is the half of the iPhone 4 at 256 MB; the same as the iPad, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 3G, and iPod touch 4G. It has HDMI out as the only video out source. Features include access to the iTunes Store to rent movies and TV shows (purchasing has been discontinued), streaming from internet video sources, including YouTube and Netflix, and media streaming from an iTunes library. Apple also reduced the price of the device to $99.
- Main article: iPad
On January 27, 2010, Apple introduced their much-anticipated media tablet, the iPad running a modified version of iOS. It offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, eBooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, video games, and most existing iPhone apps. It also includes a mobile version of Safari for internet browsing, as well as access to the App Store, iTunes Library, iBooks Store, contacts, and notepad. Content is downloadable via Wi-Fi and optional 3G service or synced through the user's computer. AT&T is currently the sole US provider of 3G wireless access for the iPad.
On March 2, 2011, Apple introduced an updated iPad model which had a faster processor and two cameras on the front and back respectively. The iPad 2 also added support for optional 3G service provided by Verizon in addition to the existing offering by AT&T. However, the availability of the iPad 2 has been limited as a result of the devastating tsunami and ensuing earthquake in Japan in March 2011.
After Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple Computer, Microsoft released Windows 2.0 with a GUI that was similar to the Mac. Apple CEO John Sculley filed a federal lawsuit in 1988 against Microsoft. After Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, he negotiated an end to the lawsuits with Microsoft and agreed to cross-license technology between the two companies in exchange for Microsoft's commitment to continue developing software such as Microsoft Office for the Mac and an investment of $150 million in Apple non-voting stock. Though the joint announcement by Jobs and Gates was met with shock at Macworld Expo Boston in 1997, the investment from Microsoft helped save Apple from bankruptcy.
Apple Inc. has also sued Samsung for allegedly copying iPhone features into their Galaxy mobile devices. Samsung in turn threatened Apple with countersuits and potential disruption of their product releases. After Apple prevailed in the lawsuit, Samsung pledged to create a "firewall" to prevent unauthorized transfer of technology from its manufacturing to its mobile divisions. However, Apple took its mobile processor manufacturing business to TSMC. In 2020, Apple began shifting orders for future iPhone screens from Samsung to LG.
- Main article: App Store: App removal controversies
In August 2020, Epic Games submitted an update for their Fortnite game that was rejected by the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for violating their respective policies. Epic retaliated by filing federal lawsuits against both companies and releasing a parody of Apple's 1984 ad in an attempt to mock Apple.
- Microsoft's relationship with Apple by Christoph Dernbach, Mac History. 2011-01-30.
- Today in Apple history: Microsoft gets sued for ripping off Mac OS by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac. 2019-03-17.
- In wake of Apple ruling, Samsung's internal 'firewall' between divisions protects key partnership, by Chris Welch, The Verge. 2012-08-27.
- Apple shift to TMSC for iPhone may force Samsung to split chip design, fabrication businesses, by Mike Wuerthele, Apple Insider. 2016-12-13.
- LG gets orders for 20M OLED iPhone screens this year, ending Samsung monopoly by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac. 2020-05-27.
- Apple stumbled into a war with the gaming industry and the future of iOS is at stake by Nick Statt, The Verge. 2020-08-15.
- Fortnite vs Apple vs Google: a brief and very incomplete timeline by Dieter Bohn, The Verge. 2020-08-14.
- Apple official website
- Apple History (archived 1997-12-10)
- Apple Support official Twitter
- Apple official YouTube channel
- Apple Computer Corporate Timeline - January 1976 to May 1995 at the Mothership
- Apple Inc. at Wikipedia
- “Apple, Rising” 1976-1985 by Jack Doyle at the Pop History Dig (2010-05-10)