Our next show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs has its first Pay-What-You-Can performance this Monday, March 21 at 8 pm, and we’re super excited! With the release of the iPad 2 last week, this show became extremely relevant and timely. Last Friday the Marketing and Communications staff here at Woolly spent the day at three different Apple store locations in the DC area, talking to people waiting in line for the iPad 2 and hearing about how much they love Apple products. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go to our Facebook page to see some hilarious photos, and check out our twitter hashtag #ShowUsYouriCrazy.
Learning about the history of the Apple company is pretty fascinating: a company created by two college dropouts, who built a computer in their garage that no one wanted to buy. Today, their company has a higher market share than most of their competitors, including the creator of Dell computers, who once said if he owned Apple he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” Much of Apple’s success came from expanding the focus of their company to reach not just computers, but to take over the digital music industry, cell phones, PC tablets, and whatever else the techies over in Silicon Valley will think of next. I learned some interesting facts when researching the history of the company, did anyone else know that the first Apple store opened here in the DC area? (It was in McLean, VA). Here are some highlights of the history and major milestones of the Apple company:
1972-1975: Steve Jobs meets Hewlett Packard employee Steve Wozniak, who invites him to join the ‘Homebrew Computer Club,’ where electronic-enthusiasts met, shared knowledge, and helped each other with their self-made computers. Jobs persuades Wozniak to build a personal computer with him, and they begin working on the Apple I.
1976: Jobs and Wozniak finish the Apple I and offer their low-cost PC to Hewlett Packard and then Atari, but neither company is interested. After being turned down, Jobs insists on producing the computer on their own so he sells his old Volkswagen and Wozniak sells his HP calculator. They gather around $1,250 and begin producing the first Apple I computers. On April 1st, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Jobs’ former colleague Ronald Wayne found Apple Computer. Apple I computers are first sold to a local computer store for $666.66 each.
1977-1979: The Apple II is released, selling for $1,295. Jef Raskin begins working on a computer concept, and the project is code-named ‘Macintosh’ after Raskin’s favorite type of apples: McIntosh.
1980: Apple sales skyrocket to $1 million per year and the company goes public at $22 a share. Within a year, the stocks’ value increases by 1700%. The Apple III is released and is sold for $4,340-$7,800 depending on the configuration.
1981-1983: Apple Computer, Inc. and Apple Corps, the recording company of the Beatles enter a secret agreement, allowing Apple Computer to use the name Apple for computer-related products. Apple hits $1 billion in annual sales.
1984: The ‘1984’ Apple ad is aired at the Super Bowl XVIII, which introduces the Macintosh computer. The Macintosh is an easy to use, all-in-one desktop computer with graphical user interface (Macintosh system software), retailing for $2,495.
1985: Steve Wozniak decides to leave Apple Computer, Inc. Tension between Jobs and CEO Sculley escalates: Sculley strips Jobs off all operational responsibilities- he remains chairman of Apple but has no influence on company decisions. Jobs eventually resigns from Apple and reveals his plans to found a new company to the Apple executives, and informs them that five Apple employees will follow him to the new company.
1985: Sculley signs a contract with Microsoft that grants Microsoft permission to use some Mac GUI (Graphical User Interface) technologies if Microsoft continues producing software for the Mac (Word, Excel). Based on this contract, Apple loses all lawsuits over copyright infringements against Microsoft in the following years.
1986-1988: Jobs agrees not to hire Apple employees for six months and not to build computers that were competitive with Apple’s. Steve Jobs founds his new company, called NeXT, Inc. Apple sues Microsoft and Hewlett Packard accusing them of violating copyrights of Apple on the Macintosh System Software. (Windows 2.0.3 features Mac-like icons).
1989-1991: Apple Corps sues Apple Computer accusing it of violating the terms of the agreement of 1981 by building computers with the capability of producing synthesized music. Apple Computer, Inc. pays Apple Corps $26.5 million. The lawsuit is settled.
1993: Apple releases the first PDA (Newton MessagePad). Although highly anticipated by the press, the Newton’s handwriting recognition fails to deliver the announced reliabilty, and Apple drops the Newton division only four years after the introduction of the first Newton MessagePad.
1993: The court decides that Windows 2.0.3 was covered by the 1985 deal between Apple and Microsoft. Sculley resigns from Apple and becomes chairman and CEO of Spectrum.
1996-1997: Apple Computer Inc. takes over NeXT Computer, Inc. for $430 million. Jobs returns to Apple due to the NeXT deal. Apple announces a $740 million loss in their second quarter. Gil Amelio resigns from his post as president and CEO of Apple, and Steve Jobs becomes the interim CEO of Apple.
1998-2000: Apple officially returns to profitability with Steve Jobs’ announcement of $47 million profit in the first quarter. The iMac is released and becomes the fastest selling PC in history. Steve Jobs officially becomes CEO of Apple again.
2001: Apple offers an application called iTunes for free download at www.apple.com. Apple opens its first retail store in McLean, VA, and eventually opens another 25 stores across the US. Steve Jobs introduces the iPod, a portable hard-disk MP3 player with 5 GB capacity (holding up to 1,000 MP3 songs). Additionally, Apple releases iTunes 2 which is required for transferring MP3 files from Mac to iPod.
2003: Apple Corps/Records sues Apple Computer (again) over the use of the name Apple in conjunction with the iTunes Music Store, which allows the user to download music from the internet. Apple introduces iTunes 4.1 for Mac and Windows, making Apple’s hugely successful iTunes Music Store available for the PC.
2004: Apple’s iTunes Music Store becomes available in Germany, France and the UK. It is the only commercially successful legal online music download service on the market with over 70% market share and over 70 million songs sold within one year.
2006: Jobs announced Apple would begin producing Intel-based computers: the Mac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro replace the PowerBook, PowerMac and iBook. Apple’s market cap surpassed that of Dell.
2007-2008: Jobs announces that Apple Computer, Inc. would now be known as Apple, Inc. because computers are no longer the single focus of the company (with its new ventures into the mobile electronic devices business). The first iPhone is released and 6.1 million were sold over five quarters. Apple’s share prices passed the $100 mark. Apple became the third largest mobile handset supplier in the world due to the popularity of the iPhone
2009: Jobs took a six-month leave of absence due to illness. Despite his absence, Apple had its best non-holiday quarter during the recession with a revenue of $8.16 billion and a profit of $1.21 billion.
2010: The iPad is released and sold more than 500,000 in its first week. 14.8 million were sold wordwide in 2010, representing 75% of the tablet PC sales at the end of 2010. Apple’s market cap exceeded that of its competitor Microsoft for the first time since 1989. Apple shares hit an all time high of $300.
2011: Steve Jobs once again announces a leave of absence due to illness, and the iPad 2 is released.
~ Brooke Miller, Press and Digital Content Manager