Apple is the centre of all inventions – the first time the fruit fell on Isaac Newton’s head, the Universal Law of Gravitation changed the way we looked at science. And in 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak got hit by another ‘Apple’ idea – unveiled the Apple I. It revolutionized the entire way we work now. Today, it's the 40th Happy Birthday of Apple – the Founders started out on April 1, 1976 in Jobs’ garage in Cupertino, California.
The concept, the ideas of the founders were much ahead of its time. When they publicly released the Apple II in 1977 – which was the first personal computer for the masses – little did anyone know about its implications it will have on our work and life. We cannot think of working anywhere but on a laptop/computer these days. The next generation is learning to use computers before they can master their writing. Such is the dynamic power of their thoughts. The ideas never stopped – from creating Apple Disk II (in 1978) – an external floppy-disk drive to ProFile hard disk (in 1981) – a 5MB mass storage system, to releasing the printers in 1982, till Lisa happened.
Lisa was a new brand that Apple launched in 1983 – a brand of personal computers that would offer a graphical user interface – LISA stood for Local Integrated Software Architecture. And in the same year, Apple became one of the Fortune 500 companies. The innovation continued and with an iconic commercial, Apple launched its first Macintosh. The success of Macintosh was such that the company had to stop Lisa.
Jobs and Wozniak left the company in the middle of 80s. But the innovative culture that they had created continued with Macintosh II – the first colour Mac. Towards the end of 1989, the idea of portable computers had already started seeping-in in the minds of the executives running the show – the idea which culminated into a cult called the ‘Macbooks’ as we know today.
The company with all the changes in the leadership during the early 90s, kept on releasing new products – and in 1996, the company Chairman & CEO Gil Amelio paved the way for Jobs’ return after purchasing the latter’s software called the NeXT. The company was back with Jobs from then. And the next 15 years, Steve Jobs made sure Apple is what everyone is talking about. The alliance with Microsoft in 1997 was a masterstroke of Jobs’. By 1998, by changing the Operating Systems strategy, and introducing the OS X, Apple launched the colourful iMac, and then in 1999 created the portable version called the iBook.
The beginning of the 21st century brought in more ideas and were met with grand success – iTunes, iPod, iMac redesigned to be flat-panelled, iPhoto, iMovie, Safari, iPod Mini with colour screens, iPod Nano, MacBook Pro with Intel processors – apps we all use today. In this digitized world, the apps, created a decade back are still relevant – that’s how Steve Jobs’ vision can be gauged. The idea of closed-software (not compatible with other devises) made it little difficult but in 2003, Apple decided to make its music software compatible with Windows.
Devises were getting smaller, and so was the world – globalised communication. The idea of iPod made way for Apple to get into the mobile business – Apple’s iPhone which changed the way the company works. In 2007, when Steve Jobs first launched Apple smartphone, the world was in awe. And people who started using Apple iPhones kept on raving about it – still Apple phone launches are the most anticipated launches of the world. With MacBook Air – the thinnest laptop of all times, Tablets, iPads and then came Siri – the intelligent voice assistant for the users. And finally Jobs came up with iCloud, an online media storage system where people were able to backup all their files and it would not matter if you lost your gadget or even data.
Steve Jobs was fighting pancreatic cancer and due to his illness, he resigned from Apple. Tim Cook took charge and the Jobs’ vision is still being carried on with iPad Mini, Apple watch, iPhone 5C in pastel colours, iPhone 5S with fingerprint Touch ID sensor, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus 5.5-inch Phablet, iPhone SE, iPad Pro. Steve Jobs succumbed to cancer in 2011.
In November 2014, Apple became the first US company to be valued at over $700 billion. The company employs 115,000 permanent full-time employees as of July 2015 and maintains 475 retail stores in seventeen countries as of March 2016. It operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world's largest music retailer. There are over one billion actively used Apple products worldwide as of March 2016.
Here's wishing Apple a great 40th!