APPLE COMPUTER HISTORY 1976-1981 Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs, high school friends interested in electronics had been perceived as outsiders. In touch after graduation, both dropped out of school, getting jobs at Silicon Valley companies. (Woz for Hewlett-Packard, Jobs for Atari). Wozniak dabbled in computer-design and in 1976 designed the Apple I. Jobs insisted he and Woz sell the machine, and on April 1,1976, Apple Computer was born. Hobbyists did not take the Apple I seriously, and Apple did not begin to take off until 1977, when the Apple II debuted at a computer trade show. The first personal computer in a plastic case with color graphics resulted in many orders. With the introduction in early '78 of the Apple Disk II, sales further increased. By 1980, when the Apple III was released, Apple had several thousand employees, and was beginning to sell computers abroad. Apple’s new directors, more conservative men, ensured Apple was a "real company," to the dismay of many of its original employees. In 1981, a saturated market made it more difficult to sell computers, and in February. Apple laid off 40 employees. Wozniak was injured in a plane crash, took a leave of absence and returned only briefly, leaving Jobs as Chairman of Apple Computer. 1981-1985 Following a visit to Xerox PARC in 1979, Jobs began to develop the Lisa, which would redefine personal computing, but Jobs, a poor project manager, was taken off the Lisa by Mike Markkula, Apple’s President. Jobs decided to take over working with the Macintosh - which had started as a $500 personal computer. In 1981, IBM released its first PC, quickly dominating the field. Jobs realized Apple would have to “grow-up" to compete, realized he was not the man for the job, and in 1983, Jobs courted John Sculley, Pesident of Pepsi-Cola to become Apple’s President and CEO. However, it soon was clear Sculley knew little about the computer industry. As the Macintosh announcement drew closer, Jobs realized that Macs would ultimately be made or broken by the software industry and worked hard to get developers to write programs for the upcoming machine. On January 22nd, 1984, during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple aired its infamous 60 second commercial introducing the Macintosh. Directed by Ridley Scott, the Orwellian scene depicted the IBM world being shattered by a new machine. Initially, Macs sold well, but by late 1984, people were becoming fed up with its small amount of RAM, and lack of hard drive connectivity. In 1985 Jobs and Sculley began to argue; Sculley believed Jobs was out of control; Jobs believed Sculley knew nothing about the computer industry. In May of Jobs enticed Sculley to go a meeting in China, planning to stage a boardroom coup while Sculley was gone. However someone leaked the information to Sculley, and after a heated argument between the him and Jobs; the board took a vote, and sided unanimously with Sculley. Jobs resigned that day. 1985-1993 In the summer of 1985, Apple laid off a fifth of its work force, some 1,200 employees, and posted its first quarterly loss. Sculley battled with Microsoft's Bill Gates over the introduction of Windows 1.0, which had many similarities to the Mac GUI. Gates finally agreed to sign a statement to the effect that Microsoft would not use Mac technology in Windows 1.0. It said nothing of future versions of Windows, and Gates' lawyers made sure it was airtight. Apple had effectively lost exclusive rights to its interface design. What brought Mac out of the hole were the LaserWriter, the first affordable PostScript Macintosh laser printer, and PageMaker, one of the first Desktop Publishing programs, making Macs an ideal inexpensive publishing solution. Macs were overnight successes. In 1987, Apple introduced the Mac II. Expandable, it made the Macintosh line a viable, powerful family of computers. Apple was shipping 50,000 Macs a month. By 1990 the market was saturated with PC clones; Microsoft rolled out Windows 3.0, which could run on virtually all of the PC-clones in the world. It was becoming clear that Apple could not provide both the hardware and the software to drive an industry. In late 1991, Apple released the PowerBook, an instant success. The Newton Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) was released in August 1993, but the first generation had extremely poor hand-writing recognition and did not sell well. 1993-2000 The Board of Directors relieved Sculley as CEO, replacing him with a fairly impersonal man named Spindler, who oversaw several accomplishments. In 1994 Apple announced the PowerMac family, based on the PowerPC chip, an extremely fast processor co-developed with IBM and Motorola that allowed Macs to compete with, and in many cases surpass, the speed of Intel's newer processors. Spindler licensed the Mac OS to several companies, including Power Computing, one of the more successful Mac-clone makers, however only a handful of companies ever licensed the Mac OS. Apple's problem wasn't selling computers. By June 1995 Apple had $1 billion dollars in backorders - but did not have the parts to build them. Apple's problems were added to by the release of Windows '95, which mimicked the Mac GUI better than ever. In the winter of 1995-96 Apple posted a $68 million loss; Spindler was asked to resign and was replaced by Gil Amelio, former president of National Semiconductor, who made changes in the corporate structure of the company, and also strove to better inform developers and customers. Although the company announced a staggering $740 million loss for Q1 1996, Q2 brought loss of only $33 million, and in Q3 Apple profited nearly $30 million. However, Apple lost considerably more in Q4. In late december 1996, Apple announced it would be acquiring NeXT, and that Steven Jobs would be returning to the fold. The merger was brought about to acquire NeXTstep, which was to become the basis for Apple's next-generation OS, Rhapsody. In July 1997, Apple Amelio’s resigned, following another multi-million dollar quarterly loss. Fred Anderson, Apple's CFO, was put in charge of day-to-day operation, and Steve Jobs was given an "expanded role" at Apple for the interim. With no CEO and Apple Stock lower than it had been in 5 years, there were many decisions to be made. Jobs began to make striking changes in the structure of Apple. At MacWorld Boston in August 1997, Jobs, now being referred to as "interim CEO," made the keynote speech, and spoke of the company's upcoming aggressive advertising campaign, upcoming new Macs, and Rhapsody. He also announced an almost entirely new Board of Directors, including Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. In a ground breaking decision, Jobs announced an alliance with Microsoft in which they would have a 5-year patent cross-license and a final settlement in the ongoing GUI argument. Microsoft agreed to pay an unreleased sum of additional funds to quiet the allegations that it had stolen Apple's intellectual property in designing Windows. Microsoft also announced that Office '98 would be available for the Mac by years end. Jobs felt that Clone Vendors such as Power Computing were cutting into Apple's high- end market, and had failed to effectively expand the Mac OS market. In early Fall 1997, Apple announced its intention to buy out Power Computing's MacOS license, and much of its engineering staff. On November 10, 1997, Jobs announced Apple would now sell computers direct, both over the web and the phone, as Power Computing had done so well in the past. Jobs also announced two new Apple machines: the PowerMac G3, and the PowerBook G3. The Apple Store was a success, and within a week was the third-largest eCommerce site on the web. At MacWorld San Francisco in January, Jobs announced that Apple had, for the first time in more than a year, had a profitable First Quarter -to the tune of $44 Million. This sent Apple's stock back into the 20s. In April 1998, Jobs announced another profitable quarter ($57 Million). In 1998, Jobs announced a new PowerBook G3, an Educational Apple Store, and an entirely new Mac design - the iMac, Apple's answer to the low-end consumer question, with more than enough computing power for most people, at an affordable price. Jobs announced a dramatic shift in Apple's OS direction. Mac OS X would merge OS 8 and Rhapsody - Apple's upcoming version of NeXTStep - into one robust OS, with all the features of a modern OS and backward compatibility with most OS 8 applications. In July 1998, Jobs announced profits for the 3rd consecutive quarter ($101 million). The iMac was the best-selling computer in the nation, driving Apple sales beyond most predictions. Jobs announced a profitable Fall quarter, and in January 1999, a 5th consecutive profitable quarter, and a sleek new PowerMac G3. In July 1999, Steve Jobs introduced the iBook, bringing style to the low-end portable market. Several months later, Jobs announced the PowerMac G4, a professional desktop machine. Apple's stock was trading in the high 70s. In a Keynote at MacWorld Expo SF in January 2000, Jobs unveiled Apple's new Internet strategy: a suite of Mac-only internet-based applications called "iTools" and an exclusive partnership with Earthlink as Apple's recommended ISP. Jobs now was permanent CEO. Apple's sales and stock price, now $130, continued to rise. In July 2000, Apple announced the PowerMac G4 Cube, Apple's answer to those who wanted an iMac without a monitor, challenging the industry to minimize computer size while increasing their visual appeal. The biggest gamble Jobs had made since the release of the iMac, the Cube ended up a resounding failure. 2000+ The second half of 2000 resulted in the first unprofitable quarter in three years. One factor was the G4 Cube, selling poorly due to its high price. Apple announced two new applications: iDVD, a DVD-authoring program, and iTunes, which allowed users to encode and listen to MP3 songs, and then burn them to CDs. Apple's new corporate strategy, developed in the face of a slow down in the Technology industry was to build Mac-only applications that added value to the explosion of personal electronic devices - CD-players, MP3 players, digital cameras, DVD-players. In May 2001, Jobs announced Apple would be opening retail stores across America, selling Apple computers and third-party "digital lifestyle" products, such as mp3 players, digital still and video cameras, and PDAs. In 2001, the iPod, a small hard drive-based digital music player which favored style and form-factor over price hit the market. Regardless, today’s offspring are very popular. In 2005, Apple switched to Intel processors; Mac-Tels could now run both Windows and Mac OS. In 2007 the iPhone came to the market, successful at first, but under scrutiny as competitors are now entering the market.
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