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Apple Wiki

Official Apple photo from 2005

Jonathan J. "Jon" Rubinstein (born October 1956) is an American electrical engineer who was the Senior Vice President of the iPod Division at Apple Computer.

Early life and education[]

Rubinstein was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1975.[citation needed] He received his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1978 and 1979, respectively. He later earned a M.S. in computer science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.[1]


After completing his graduate studies, Rubinstein joined Hewlett-Packard in Colorado. He spent about two years in the company’s manufacturing engineering division, developing quality-control techniques and refining manufacturing processes. Later, Rubinstein worked on HP workstations.[2]


In 1990, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs recruited Rubinstein to run hardware engineering at NeXT . Rubinstein led development of the NeXT RISC Workstation, which was never released because the company decided to shut down its underperforming hardware business in 1993 to focus on software. After helping to wind down manufacturing at NeXT, Rubinstein went on to start another company, Power House Systems, which was soon renamed Firepower Systems. The company was backed by Canon and used technology developed at NeXT to build high-end systems based around PowerPC processors. Motorola acquired the business in 1996.[2][3]

Apple Computer[]

Jony Ive Jon Rubinstein color iMacs

Rubinstein (right) with industrial designer Jonathan Ive and color iMac G3 models that were released in January 1999.

After NeXT was acquired by Apple, Jobs again recruited Rubinstein to join the company as Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering. Rubinstein initiated a cost-cutting plan as Jobs cancelled failing product lines to focus on a simplified set of products for consumers and professionals. The Power Macintosh G3 and the iMac G3 helped Apple regain its competitive edge in the marketplace. Because sales of the Mac still remained relatively low in the industry, the concept of the "digital hub" was created to expand into consumer electronics.[4] Rubinstein brought aboard Tony Fadell to develop what would be known as the iPod. When Rubinstein retired in 2006, and he was succeeded by Fadell, who became the new head of the iPod Division.[5]

After Apple[]

Rubinstein later became the CEO of Palm, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2010 for $1.2 billion.[6] He has since been a member of the board of directors at Amazon.[7]


  1. Aaron, Ken (Fall 2005). Behind the Music. Cornell Engineering Magazine. Cornell University College of Engineering.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Perry, Tekla S.. "Jon Rubinstein", IEEE Spectrum, February 2000. 
  3. Hof, Robert. "A computer maker's power move", Business Week, March 7, 1994. 
  4. Kahney, Leander. Straight Dope on the iPod's Birth, Wired News, 2006-10-17. Retrieved on 2006-10-30.
  5. Chris Preimesberger, "Apple Promotes Two Key Executives", eWeek, October 14, 2005
  6. HP to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion. Hewlett-Packard (April 10, 2010).
  7. Jonathan Rubinstein. Crunchbase. Retrieved on 21 April 2020.

External link[]


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