Apple Computer History / Timeline

From the first days of the Apple Computer Company in 1976 to the advanced technology of today, the powerful brand of Apple has lived through an interesting history. Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak started the company out of their garage with a dream of building the perfect personal computer. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Apple I – 1976

Although the first Apple computer would seem like an antique by the standards of today, it represented a big step in the history of the personal computer. The Apple I was built by hand in a garage by Wozniak and Jobs. It was first introduced in Palo Alto, California at the Homebrew Computer Club. In 1976, the Apple I became the first all-in-one computer that allowed users to display text without extra circuitry. The Byte Shop, an early computer retail shop, sold over 200 units.

Apple I Computer

Source: Apple I


The First Mac – 1984

The original Macintosh personal computer was really the product that helped Apple take off. The first Mac represented a change in the computing industry as it allowed everyone to own the power of a computer. When it first arrived, very few people actually knew how to use a personal computer, so Steve Jobs made sure that the interface of the Mac was as simple as possible.

This simple interface was known for its friendly appearance and even presented a smiling greeting to the user. The organisational structure of the Mac included folders that actually looked like file folders and a trash can image that made deleting things simple and user-friendly. The development of the mouse allowed users to move things and manipulate graphics like never before. It resulted in a new era of creative design and productivity in computing.

The First Apple Mac Personal Computer


The Powerbook 100 – 1991

After the failed introduction of the Macintosh Portable in 1989, Apple learned from its mistakes and introduced three new “Powerbook” computers in 1991. When the Powerbook 100 Series first hit the market, they caused quite a stir in the design community. The 100, 140 and 170 all offered stylish casing, efficient keyboard positioning and a “trackball.” These were the first notebook style computers to place the keyboard directly next to the display, leave enough room for palm rests and position the trackball effectively. These design innovations created the standard for what notebook computers are today.

Apple Powerbook 100 Notebook Computer
Source: The Powerbook


The iMac – 1998

In 1998, Apple introduced the first iMac and it quickly became the best-selling PC in the United States. The completely self-contained unit required very little set-up and even included a handle for easily moving it around. For those who didn’t know a lot about computers, the iMac was extremely appealing as it eliminated the tangle of cords between the computer and monitor. The overall design of the PC was also easy on the eyes. When placed in the retail stores, the teal iMac’s sleek mouse and translucent body stood out among beige desktops. Apple introduced a second generation one year later that came in five different bright colours. The iMac was responsible for Apple’s enormous growth during this time period.

The Apple iMac Personal Computer
Source: The iMac


The iPod – 2001

When Apple debuted the iPod in late 2001, no one could predict the consumer mania that would follow. Whether you bought one or not, the iPod began a revolution in technology, design and music. The iPod was originally priced at $399 and featured an innovative interface, quick downloading capability and enormous storage capacity for its size. It is no surprise that the iPod quickly became one of Apple’s top-selling products. In fact, it really created a new market of its own.

At a time when technologically savvy consumers were dealing with the fall of Napster, Apple introduced an almost perfect substitute. The commercials for the iPod became so popular that the younger generation actually used the iconic black silhouettes with white ear buds as a popular Halloween costume. As of September 2012, over 350 million iPods had been sold worldwide.

The Apple iPod Music Player


The iPhone – 2007

While the iPod’s huge success continued, investors and techies started wondering when Apple would enter the competitive smart phone market. Apple first announced the iPhone in January of 2007, but did not release it until June 29th of the same year. The iPhone gained immediate popularity with numerous rave reviews. It even took the title of TIME magazine’s “Invention of the Year.” By the end of September, Apple had already sold approximately 1.4 million iPhone units.

Although the original 8GB iPhone sold for $599 in America. It was quickly dropped to $399 just two months after its initial release. In 2008, the iPhone 3G was introduced at a price of $199 with a two-year contract with your mobile phone service provider. This price made the power of Apple’s iPhone accessible to almost everyone.

Apple’s long and unpredictable history continues to intrigue even the most experienced entrepreneurs, investors and tech-savvy consumers. Its enormous growth in a short period of time was quite impressive. The company has managed to maintain its power through recent economic downfalls and the death of Steve Jobs. With the constantly changing and quickly adapting world of mobile technology, no one knows exactly what the future might hold for this technology giant.

The Apple iPhone Smartphone
Source: The iPhone – Mac History


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