|Apple's headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California, USA.|
Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Cupertino, California that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software and personal computers. Its best-known hardware products are the Mac line of computers, the iPod music player, the iPhone smartphone, and the iPad tablet computer. Its software includes the OS X and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media browser, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and production suites. The company was founded on April 1, 1976, and incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977. The word "Computer" was removed from its name on January 9, 2007, reflecting its shifted focus towards consumer electronics after the introduction of the iPhone.
Apple is the world's second-largest information technology company by revenue after Samsung Electronics, and the world's third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2012. However, the company has received criticism for its contractors' labor practices, and for Apple's own environmental and business practices.
As of November 2012[update], Apple maintains 394 retail stores in fourteen countries as well as the online Apple Store and iTunes Store. It is the second-largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, with an estimated value of US$414 billion as of January 2013. As of September 29, 2012 (2012-09-29)[update], the company had 72,800 permanent full-time employees and 3,300 temporary full-time employees worldwide. Its worldwide annual revenue in 2012 totalled $156 billion.. In May 2013, Apple had made it to the top ten of the Fortune 500 list of companies for the first time, taking the 6 position, 11 places up from the previous year
Apple was established on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. The kits 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), which is 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 ($2,690 in 2013 dollars, adjusted for inflation.)
Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977, without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800. Multi-millionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of $250,000 during the incorporation of Apple.
The Apple II was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It differed from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, due to its character cell-based color graphics and an open architecture. While early models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface, the Disk II.
The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer app" of the business world, VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program. VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II and gave home users compatibility with the office, an additional reason to buy an Apple II. Apple was a distant third place to Commodore and Tandy until VisiCalc came along.
By the end of the 1970s, Apple had a staff of computer designers and a production line. The company introduced the 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 (800,000 split-adjusted 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.
On December 12, 1980, Apple went public at $22 per share, generating more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and instantly creating more millionaires (about 300) than any company in history.
2007–11: Widespread success
Apple achieved widespread success with its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad products, which introduced innovations in mobile phones, portable music players and personal computers respectively. In addition, the implementation of a store for the purchase of software applications represented a new business model. Touch screens had been invented and seen in mobile devices before, but Apple was the first to achieve mass market adoption of such a user interface that included particular pre-programmed touch gestures.
Delivering his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo on January 9, 2007, Jobs announced that Apple Computer, Inc. would from that point on be known as Apple Inc., because computers were no longer the main focus of the company, which had shifted its emphasis to mobile electronic devices. The event also saw the announcement of the iPhone and the Apple TV. The following day, Apple shares hit $97.80, an all-time high at that point. In May, Apple's share price passed the $100 mark.
In an article posted on Apple's website on February 6, 2007, Steve Jobs wrote that Apple would be willing to sell music on the iTunes Store without digital rights management (DRM) (which would allow tracks to be played on third-party players), if record labels would agree to drop the technology. On April 2, 2007, Apple and EMI jointly announced the removal of DRM technology from EMI's catalog in the iTunes Store, effective in May. Other record labels followed later that year.
In July of the following year, Apple launched the App Store to sell third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Within a month, the store sold 60 million applications and brought in $1 million daily on average, with Jobs speculating that the App Store could become a billion-dollar business for Apple. Three months later, it was announced that Apple had become the third-largest mobile handset supplier in the world due to the popularity of the iPhone.
On December 16, 2008, Apple announced that after over 20 years of attending Macworld, 2009 would be the last year Apple would be attending the Macworld Expo, and that Phil Schiller would deliver the 2009 keynote in lieu of the expected Jobs. Almost exactly one month later, on January 14, 2009, an internal Apple memo from Jobs announced that he would be taking a six-month leave of absence, until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health and to allow the company to better focus on its products without having the rampant media speculating about his health. Despite Jobs' absence, Apple recorded its best non-holiday quarter (Q1 FY 2009) during the recession with a revenue of $8.16 billion and a profit of $1.21 billion.