Apple 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 has been a Silicon Valley trend-setter for almost four decades.
It was the first successful personal computer company and the popularizer of the graphical user interface.
Apple is the world’s second-largest information technology company by revenue after Samsung Electronics, and the world’s third-largest mobile phone maker.
It is one of the Big Five American information technology companies, alongside Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft.
Apple Inc. had its genesis in the lifelong dream of Stephen G. Wozniak to build his own computer—a dream that was made suddenly feasible with the arrival in 1975 of the first commercially successful microcomputer, the Altair 8800, which came as a kit and used the recently invented microprocessor chip. Encouraged by his friends at the Homebrew Computer Club, a San Francisco Bay area group centred around the Altair, Wozniak quickly came up with a plan for his own microcomputer.
In 1976, Apple was founded by three men: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne with the intention of selling Wozniak’s hand-built Personal Computer named Apple 1.
The Apple 1 was sold as a motherboard with CPU, RAM and basic textual-video chips. It then lacked a built-in keyboard, monitor, case or any other Human Interface Devices (which was later added in 1977).
In July 1976, the Apple 1 went on sale and was sold for $666.66. Steve Wozniak took a special liking for repeated numbers and hence the fancy number as the price.
The Apple Computer Inc. was incorporated on January 3rd, 1977. Mike Markkula, the multimillionaire who had taken interest in the Apple-1 provided the company required funding and business expertise. Mike Markkula was the 3rd employee with a one-third share in the company. He suggested a man named Michael Scott be the company’s first president and CEO as he thought Steve was too young and undisciplined to be the CEO.
The Apple II was the first personal computer to achieve significant commercial success. It was designed in 1977 by Steve Wozniak, a brilliant engineer with a knack for packing a lot of functionality into a small and affordable package.
The Macintosh, or Mac, is a line of personal computers Apple has sold since 1984. The original Macintosh was the first commercially successful computer to use a graphical user interface (GUI) based on a mouse. It cost $2495, or about $5700 in 2014 dollars.
Back in 1985 Sculley turned down an appeal from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to license its software. This decision would later come back to haunt him because Microsoft, whose Windows operating system (OS) featured a graphical interface similar to Apple’s, became their toughest competition in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s.
In 1998, Jobs unveiled the iMac. It sported a colorful, curvy look and was one of the most affordable computers Apple had ever made.
With the introduction of the successful iPod music player in 2001 and iTunes Music Store in 2003, Apple established itself as a leader in the consumer electronics and media sales industries, leading it to drop
“Computer” from the company’s name in 2007.
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.
Also 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.
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.
According to online quantitative data portal Statista.com, the most popular category on the Apple App Store, as of September 2014, is perhaps unsurprisingly, Games – accounting for 20.38% of all available apps on Apple’s online marketplace.
As of June 30, 2015, Apple was the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization.
On August 2, 2018, Apple made history by becoming the first publicly traded US company to be valued at $1 trillion, as measured by market capitalization.
In August of 2020, the company broke records again by becoming the first US company to reach a $2 trillion market cap.