Apple Inc, the technological giant of estimated value of $700 billion, has just completed its forty years of operations, and is moving confidently towards the next milestone of fifty. The company has enjoyed its share of ups and downs, but has shown tremendous resilience when faced with adversity. The way Apple has bounced back time and again only reaffirms our faith in the company that was founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs together with Ronald Wayne. They were eager to offer consumers a personal computer that would be capable of delivering something more than what an average personal computer provided at that time. Their passion for technology and an indomitable spirit to deliver the best at an affordable cost saw the birth of Apple Computer in 1976 in a garage in California. Little did they know at that time that they had sown the seeds of the most iconic company that would give the world one of the most valuable brands!
Meeting of great talents
It was a rare blend of special talents that ushered in a new era in computer technology. At the age of 26 years, Steve Wozniak became the inventor of Apple 1, having conceived, designed, and hand built the personal computer that revolutionized the world of computers. Steve Jobs, the born businessman and visionary with a rare acumen for marketing, was only 21 when he presented the product to users who simply got hooked to it. The first 200 Apple 1 computers were sold at $666 a piece to computer nerds who simply lapped up the product. The beginning was simply emphatic and it paved the way for further success within a very short span of time.
Making it different
Personal computers of those times were far from compact and had elaborate set-up. Apple 1 was created to provide users with much more ease and comfort in using personal computers. Compactness in design and structure attracted users who were seeing a micro computer that was hooked to a monitor and keyboard, and was able to display texts without the need of any extra circuitry. This was a master stroke from the makers that put them much ahead of the competition, as they were able to present users with something that no other personal computer could provide.
The company keeps growing
It had been a dream run for Apple Computer during its first four years. The success of Apple 1 was followed by the introduction of Apple 2. It took just one year for the company to record sales of $1 million. By the turn of 1978, it had emerged as the fastest growing company in America. 1980 saw the company going public with 4.6 million shares offered at $22 that were consumed within a few minutes. The enormous response from investors showed that Apple was a name that people began to trust, and wanted to be a part of.
Hits and misses
Although it was a dream start for the company, its story is not only about hits but there are misses too. Apple 3 was introduced in 1980, but could only survive till 1984, when it had to be withdrawn from the market as sales were not encouraging. Apple’s ambitious project on business computer saw the launch of Lisa, which was intended to take on IBM. But it was another failure that Apple had to accept. The company was quick to learn from the failures, and that was evident in its subsequent successes.
The coming of Mac
As a company, Apple Computer derived its strength from its ability to innovate and present things differently. The company could read the mind of consumers, and could leverage its innovative abilities to the maximum to win them over. They introduced the mouse that changed the way computers were used. The Macintosh personal computer set a new standard in computer display by using on-screen graphics that was one of a kind. It brought huge success that elevated the company to a pedestal much above the rest. 1984 saw the introduction of Mac, the people’s computer that recorded sales of 70,000 units in just 100 days, a feat that can be termed as phenomenal. It seemed that the company had reached its pinnacle of glory.
Despite the stupendous success and growth, all was not well inside Apple. The founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs had to part ways with the company by 1985 as a result of infighting with CEO John Sculley. This signaled a new era in Apple’s history when the graph of success took a downward turn. Apple found it hard to fend off competition especially from Microsoft and even diversified into cameras and speakers in its attempt to regain lost ground. But things did not look up. This phase continued till 1997 when Steve Jobs, who had founded a new company NeXT, was back with Apple. NeXT was later merged with Apple.
The new millennium marked the resurgence of Apple once again under Steve Jobs. The computer company evolved into a full-fledged technical company as Apple Inc. and introduced iconic products like iPod, a music player that changed the music industry for ever. In 2007, the iPhone was launched followed by the tablet iPad in 2010. The products multiplied the company’s profits, while share prices soared. Steve Jobs, who succumbed to cancer in 2012, passed on the mantle to Tim Cook who is now set to drive the company in its fifth decade.
The company is marching ahead with the momentum of growth that it has achieved. Despite a decline in sale of personal computers across the world, MacBook has recorded increased sales. The smartwatch, Apple’s wearable device that was declared last year, has a million pre-order bookings. In 2013, the iconic home of Steve Jobs, which was the birthplace of Apple, has earned landmark status. Tim Cook has started looking beyond the standard products by introducing streaming of Apple Music to be and paid television services. And taking a cue from Cook’s hints you should not be surprised to see an Apple Car some day.