A company that has grown by 15000% since 2001 should be doing something that most of the others aren’t doing. Interested to know the name and other details of such a company? Well, it is the most famous company that we know today, i.e. Apple Inc. There must be a long history of Apple. Like all other companies, there would be a point where the company would have been started, then passed numerous phases to reach to the current stage where Apple computers and other products are known as the trademark of quality.
In this article, we are going to equip you with all the important information about the history of Apple that would help you to know how has Apple grown over time in not only the computer industry but the mobile phone segment as well. Apart from both these segments, a few other segments are also the part of the company and are the part if the iDevices that Apple provides to its users. Heading with the introduction to the company, we are going to explore its current state and then move back to the founding period of Apple. So stay with us to know everything about your favorite company.
Introduction of Apple Inc.:
Currently employing 132,000 people in the company, Apple is amongst the top few companies in the IT sector. You don’t particularly have to go through the internet to find out the current level of success of Apple Inc. rather you can just have a look around you to find a number of Apple products. Whether they are in the form of iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or MacOS, each of the products has an established market. If you are wondering about the profit that Apple Incorporation earns, then you’ll be amazed to know that Apple Inc. has made a profit of US$59.531 billion in the year 2018.
With the successful products that you are seen in the marketplace by Apple, you should not doubt the figure of the net profit that we have highlighted above. Apart from the number of employees that are, working on the net profit earned by the company is enough to show its worth.
Now let’s see how Apple Inc. established and what is its history.
History of Apple Inc.:
We are going to divide this history section of this article into a number of different sections so that this article won’t get boring for you and you would get all the necessary information through it. Some of the sections that we are going to cover here include the founding members and different phases that the company went through.
Apple Inc. was incorporated by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. However, it took around a years’ time for the founders of Apple Inc. to get it registered as a company in the United States. Prior or to January 1977, Apple Inc. was an idea started as a random, but the commercial effort to secure this idea was made on January 3, 1977. The place where this wonderful idea was registered was Cupertino, California.
What does Apple Inc. provide?
If you aren’t aware of all the products of Apple Inc., then here is a list of product that the company provides to the users:
- Consumer electronics – Ipad, iPhone, iPod
- Personal Apple computers – MacBook
- Computer software – Macintosh
- Digital media distribution – iTunes
The I-devices are the core products that the company provides to the users, and it is the history of Apple that most of the consumer products of the company have the I associated with them such as Ipad, iPhone, and iPod. All the new versions of these products come with the same series, thus creating it a brand for the users.
Different phases of the history of Apple Inc.:
Here are the different phases of the history of Apple Inc.:
Early phase or pre-formation stage of Apple:
This was the time when both the Steves who founded the company actually met. Both of them completed their degrees in 1975 from different colleges. But one of the things that were common in both of them was their aptitude for technology. Both of them had a keen interest in how the existing things worked and how could they be improvised in order to generate better working technology for themselves.
How did both the Steves meet?
It wasn’t the case that both these Steves met once and created the existing Apple company in a few meetings, rather they were friends. They met in 1971 through a mutual friend. With this mutual friend in between, both the Steves, started using technology to create income for themselves. It was an informal arrangement where they experimented with making boxes that could allow people to conduct long distance cost without involving any money. With the initial success of this idea, they both realized their potential in working on technology for the purpose of earning.
It was back then when the idea of creating and selling computers was floated between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. There is a completely mind-blowing story involved with this initiation of Apple company. It is one of the milestones that the history of Apple would always point towards. Getting interested in it? Let’s continue to the next section.
Formation of Company and Apple 1:
Both Steves had the idea about the creation of computers but they could not commercialize, especially at a large scale without any orders or investment. So, one of the first orders that Steve Jobs managed to get was from a local computer store. The terms of this order are particularly interesting.
There was no sample available with Steve Jobs to show the history of Apple Inc. or the products that he or his team could make. But he entered in an arrangement where a working computer was acceptable by the management of the local store. The condition was that if Steve Jobs and his team really managed to relate something workable, the local store would buy 50 more pieces from them at a rate of $500 each. This was a huge amount at that time, so the deal was finalized.
But now the question was where they would get the spare parts for making the machines. In order to resolve this problem, Steve Jobs went to Cramer Electronics. For them relying on a random individual was not possible. But when he showed his order slip and asked to get the spare parts on a 30-day credit term, the credit manager agreed, and he was able to procure all the necessary parts that were required for the initial creation of the computer. This was the initiation of the soon to be a billionaire company. The best part of this setting was the strategy used by the partners to finance their computers. They did not have to give away any of the shares or stock holdings to anyone but still managed to get the necessary financing.
What was included in the initial computers?
The initial computers that were created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were simple. Only a few important features were the part of this system, but still, they managed to grab the attention of the users. Some of these features include a TV display system, the existence of bootstrap code on ROM, and the presence of a cassette interface. All the features meant lower design components used in the computer with the existence of better speed and performance as compared you a number of other devices available in the market. This computer was termed as Apple 1 and is the initial version of the computers that have been created under the Apple brand name.
Struggle during the phase:
Despite getting the initial 50 orders from Byte store, it wasn’t possible for both the partners to create their own vicinity or factory line where they could manufacture the computers. So one of the things that they did was borrowing the space from mutual friends, and selling a number of electronic and technology goods at varied rates. However, this was not a feasible model for the company to flourish. This is why Steves tried to get loans from the bank for this purpose. Neither the banks one the individual lenders were willing to provide funds for the project that no one was willing to use. You’ll have to be in the shoes of the people of the 70s decade to relate to this point.
There was no scope of using computers at a personal level at that time. Even the businesses weren’t used to have computers. The conglomerates’ or the large organizations were the legitimize users of the computers. So investing in the creation of computers seemed absurd to the users.
Entry and Exit of Ronald Wayne:
Initially, Ronald Wayne also became the partner of the company. It was the time when both the Steves, Wayne and Mike Mark Kula were able to find a bank loan and signed it together. They were the initial days of the company, and its ups and downs in the company were the part of the routine. However, Wayne did not want to be a part of the company with high risk and left the business at quite an early stage. Such a setting left both the Steves to be the prominent and active partners of the venture.
Once the formal company was established and it had enough money to manage the computers in a better way, Wayne wanted to introduce new features to the computers. These computers were named as Apple 2. Most of the design features that Apple 1 had been due to the limited resources available with the owner. As soon the resources issues were settled, Wayne experimented the inclusion of new features that could offer better functionality.
This was the time when the company made direct contact with the public. West Coast Computer Fare was chosen for this purpose, which was a two day fair for highlighting the different types of computers. This fare came with huge success for the company because this was the place where a Japanese chemist got impressed with the design and features of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. He was the first authorized dealer of Apple 2in Japan.
What was included in Apple 2?
This features and history of Apple 2 are not much different from Apple 1. There were slight modifications and improvements in the existing design. These changes made the computer a better version. Apart from the improved TV display, the computer could store the display for some time in memory. Moreover, graphics improved the overall visuals of the computers. Later, colors were also introduced in the same version to make it a lot better than the last version of the computers that the company produced.
Role of Jerry Manock:
The Apple 2 released in 1977 had great input from a designer known as Jerry Manock. He managed to create a compact form that was far easier to set up than the previous version. At this stage, Apple 2 was being recognized for the efforts that were being made in the industry. In fact, the release of Apple 2 has an important place in the history of Apple as Apple 2 is known to be a key instigator in creating the home demand for the computers.
Imagine if Apple 2 wouldn’t have been there to ease up the settings and usage process of Apple 2, we could have got the computers for our daily usage after waiting a lot more. So Apple actually deserves a bit of appreciation on this end too.
This version of Apple computers was released in 1980. It was by far the most sophisticated version and was intended for the business users. One of the design innovations that the managers and the creators of Apple 3 introduced was the removal of cooling fan from the hardware components. The main idea was that Apple computer would dissipate the amount of heat generated through chassis. But this did not work as planned. The removal of fan and no proper working of chassis for the removal of extra heat resulted in the creation of disintegration of the chips from the motherboard.
There was a definite resentment in the people who were using this version of Apple computers. The people who were asking for the solutions to fix the problem were asked to lift up the computer six inches and then leave it. The purpose of such a rash treatment was to allow the integrated circuits to get back to the original position.
If you are finding such a solution funny, it actually was! You wouldn’t have seen it coming from one of the best companies in the IT sector today. The history of Apple contains a few such incidents that could actually provide you with the struggling stories that Apple had to face in order to reach the current level.
Next versions of Apple:
We are not going to get in detail for every version of Apple computers that were previously produced. The new technology and the features were constantly included in the computers to create a good brand reputation in the market. The brand name that Apple created for itself in the initial days helped in the creation of the competitive advantage, making the company stand out from the other companies existing at that time.
As we mentioned in the above section that the third series of Apple computers had the problem. So it would be appropriate to mention Apple 4 here. Apple 4 came with a solution to the problem that was being faced by the users of Apple 3. This new version was released in 1983. Although, it was a good measure to manage the problems created the previous version with problems made the users skeptical about the company already.
Initial public offering or IPO:
One of the milestones in the history of Apple Inc. is its initial public offering or IPO. The company became available for the public to invest in it in 1980. The IPO was far more successful in comparison to some of the leading brands that existed in the market at that time. One of the examples was Ford’s iPod. Apple’s IPO generated a huge sum of investment, which triggered a new era in the history of Apple.
One of the important things that you would want to know from the first meetings with the shareholders is that Steve Jobs wanted to deliver a great speech about the company and its products etc. But as there were too many interruptions, he left this idea and started talking about the emotional content. That speech had a great audience. And he became prominent for his public speaking skills at that time too.
1984 and the success of Apple:
After the formal iPod, changes with the design of the computer and inclusion of a number of technologies in the creation process of the computer and the computer itself, Apple Inc. quite prominent in the industry.
Role of Advertisement:
It was the first time in 1984 when Apple released its first TV commercial. By spending a lot of money for this purpose, Apple Inc. managed to spend $1.5 million to air the commercial in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII.
Additionally, 1984 did not only mark the history of video commercials, but the magazine advertisements also got a prominent place in the history of Apple. The post-election edition of Newsweek was all booked by Apple. Yes, all of it. It was a huge investment and had an important role in establishing the image of the company at that time. You can surely say that this was the era when Apple started its branding formally and started taking out the campaigns to generate one in the best possible way.
The purpose of going for extreme marketing was the launch of Macintosh. Because of the best commercial aired two days earlier to the launch, the new product of the company received a great response from the buyers as well. However, for a particular part of the audience, the new Macintosh was a toy. The reason for such a statement was that there was no backend interface where users could make changes. It was all about the graphical user interface. This is what created problems for some of the users.
Later, with the passage of time and the introduction of new functionalities in the field of technology, Macintosh has managed to grab the attention of a great number of users. It has got quite prominent in the market and has become part of the lives of a number of individuals.
Apple without Steve Jobs:
In the growth phase of a company, it has to face a number of challenges. One of the most prominent ones is to manage growth. The increasing number of individuals associated with the business can have different visions, and that creates a conflict in governing the company. It was being faced by Apple in 1985. President Steve Jobs wanted to work on Macintosh and provide it as the solution to the business whereas the aim of CEO Sculley had an inclination towards the Apple 2 generation computers.
Although initially it was agreed that company will go with the Macintosh division. But at the end when it failed, it improved the position of Sculley in the company.
Jobs had no influence left in the company, so he decided to set part his ways from the company. Once Jobs left the company, he started investing in other technological companies. Many of those companies have the importance in terms of existence, but none of them made it to commercial success.
History of Apple: 1985 – 1977:
When the original founder of the company left Apple Inc. Sculley was the first boss that the company had. In the consequent year of his leadership, the company declared a dividend that showed the maintenance of the high standard. In the next year, the stock was split by the ratio 2:1. Till 1989, five different acquisitions were made by Apple Inc., thus adding to the success of the company.
Moreover, the Macintosh and Apple 2 range both were continued under the leadership of Sculley in order to enhance the profit. However, the newer versions and features was another thing that the company had to incorporate in the business line. This is why new versions of the existing computer ranges became a part of the company.
Even the Mac, which was performing less than Apple 2 range of computers but still it, was establishing itself as a special division in the company. Premium and latest versions of this range of computer were also being introduced in the market, targeting the business users. According to MacAddict magazine, the period of 1989 to1991 was considered as the first golden age of the Macintosh range of computers.
Adaptation of Apple to the internet:
Internet, which was one of the newer products at that time, had a place for Apple or you can say that Apple capitalized the opportunity and became one of the 100 companies to buy the .com extension domain. For most of you, it won’t come with a surprise, if we would say that the existing apple.com domain is about 32 years old.
The downfall of the company:
The study of the history of Apple shows that like most of the companies, Apple has faced the upstream and downstream as in the entire journey as well. By 1996, the great reputation that the company was building up over time seemed to halt. There were no new products in the market. Moreover, the existing products were facing immense competition from the other companies existing in the market. It seemed difficult that with the same situation, Apple computers would be able to secure their position in the industry for the long run. But that was not the end of the company.
Rehiring of Steve Jobs:
In 1977, Steve Jobs came back to Apple Inc. as an interim CEO. On his return, he started restructuring the company. And this restructuring was on a massive level. When he rejoined Apple, he made significant changes to the structure of the company. Moreover, changes in the governance were also made. This helped in generating the success, which is extending till date.
The creation of Apple Store, new and latest version of the personal gadgets, partnership with Microsoft. All of these ventures was part of the leadership of Steve Jobs. He actually brought back the company from its down phase to the success again. The history of Apple was transformed once again. In August 2011, he resigned from the position of CEO because of his health condition. Later, in October he died dealing with pancreatic cancer.
History of the company: 1977- 2011:
This version of Apple company is what most of you would have often read about. From the introduction of Apple Watches and sophisticated technology in personal gadgets, this era of Apple and its product brought real glory to the company. The extended version of this era is what we are seeing even today.
Apple Inc. has a long history. There are points in the history of Apple where the company made the wrong decisions whereas they were times when the company celebrated its success and passion. One of the greatest people to whom this success can be attributed to is Steve Jobs. Not only he was the founding members of the company, rather he had the vision to make Apple one of the best IT companies as well. At the end of the day, he managed to bring all the success that he wanted for his company. He was no doubt one of the most influential individuals of the world.
What do you think of him, in particular, and Apple Inc., in general? Share your comments below to ensure a healthy discussion.