History of Apple Inc.
- 1976–1980: The early years
The Apple I, Apple's first product, was sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard, monitor, and case. The owner of this unit added a keyboard and a wooden case.
Apple was established on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. They were hand-built by Wozniak and first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips)—less than what is today considered a complete personal computer.The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66 ...view middle of the document...
The company introduced the ill-fated Apple III in May 1980 in an attempt to compete with IBM and Microsoft in the business and corporate computing market.
Jobs and several Apple employees including Jef Raskin visited Xerox PARC in December 1979 to see the Xerox Alto. Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000 shares of Apple at the pre-IPO price of $10 a share. Jobs was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a graphical user interface (GUI), and development of a GUI began for the Apple Lisa.
When Apple went public, it generated more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and instantly created more millionaires (about 300) than any company in history.
1981–1985: Lisa and Macintosh
The Model from Apple's "1984" ad, set in a dystopian future modeled after the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, set the tone for the introduction of the Macintosh.
Steve Jobs began working on the Apple Lisa in 1978 but in 1982 he was pushed from the Lisa team due to infighting, and took over Jef Raskin's low-cost-computer project, the Macintosh. A turf war broke out between Lisa's "corporate shirts" and Jobs' "pirates" over which product would ship first and save Apple. Lisa won the race in 1983 and became the first personal computer sold to the public with a GUI, but was a commercial failure due to its high price tag and limited software titles.
The first Macintosh, released in 1984
In 1984, Apple next launched the Macintosh. Its debut was announced by the now famous $1.5 million television commercial "1984". It was directed by Ridley Scott, aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984, and is now considered a watershed event for Apple's success and a "masterpiece".
The Macintosh initially sold well, but follow-up sales were not strong due to its high price and limited range of software titles. The machine's fortunes changed with the introduction of the LaserWriter, the first PostScript laser printer to be offered at a reasonable price point, and PageMaker, an early desktop publishing package. The Mac was particularly powerful in this market due to its advanced graphics capabilities, which were already necessarily built-in to create the intuitive Macintosh GUI. It has been suggested that the combination of these three products was responsible for the creation of the desktop publishing market.
In 1985, a power struggle developed between Jobs and CEO John Sculley, who had been hired two years prior. The Apple board of directors instructed Sculley to "contain" Jobs and limit his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products. Rather than submit to Sculley's direction, Jobs attempted to oust him from his leadership role at Apple. Sculley found out that Jobs had been attempting to organize a putsch and called a board meeting at which Apple's board of directors sided with...