The History Of Apple. Inc

An apple store in Shanghai. Editorial credit: ThewayIsee /
An apple store in Shanghai. Editorial credit: ThewayIsee /
  • Steve Jobs' calligraphy class inspired some of Apple's fonts.
  • Steve Jobs was 56 years old when he died.
  • Steve Wozniak survived a plane crash.

Apple, Inc. is the first company in history to be valued at $1 trillion. It all began with two men named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Jobs is known as the marketing expert, while Wozniak brought his tech expertise to the mix.

But have you ever wondered how it all began? Read through the history of one of the most famous tech duos and learn about their forty-year journey together. 

How They Met

In the early 1970s, while Steve Jobs was still in high school and Steve Wozniak was attending UCLA Berkley, a mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced the pair. Fernandez thought they would become fast friends as they both had an interest in electronics and practical jokes. 

While Jobs was working at Atari, he enlisted the help of his friend Wozniak to work on the circuit board for a project called Game Breakout. They met up again in 1975, as members of the Homebrew Computer Club. 

The Beginning of Apple

Jobs and Wozniak assembled their first computer in the garage of this house. Editorial credit: turtix /

Soon after that meeting, Wozniak began work on creating the common home PC. When he presented his work to his employer, Hewlett Packard, his ideas were quickly rejected, but Jobs saw value in the product. Wozniak, Jobs, and a colleague of Jobs’ from Atari, Ronald Wayne, together formed Apple Computers. 

Why is it called Apple?

Some might speculate the name Apple was chosen in reference to an apple seed. When adequately watered, cared for, and fertilized, an apple seed will grow into something big and strong. Steve Jobs had a much more straightforward reason. When posed with the question, his reply was he liked apples, and it comes before Atari - his former employer - the phone book. 

Apple Starts to Take Off

An early version of an Apple computer featuring a floppy disk. Editorial credit: Angelo D'Amico /

The trio began working on production for the Apple I. The concept of computers was starting to take off, and soon the Apple II was in the works. In 1979, Apple came out with the first spreadsheet and calculator app, VisiCalc. VisiCalc quickly became an essential component of the business. 

Apple had its share of disappointment as well. In 1980, Jobs insisted on the removal of fans and vents on the Apple III design to reduce noise. The design flaw created the units to overheat, causing problems with the motherboard. Unfortunately, the incident coincided with the launch of IBMs first personal computer. With Apple forced to recall the Apple III models, IBM was able to overtake the company in sales. 

The Macintosh and The Lisa

A Lisa computer. Editorial credit: marietakesphotos /

In the early 1980s, Apple began work on two types of personal computers, the Lisa and the Macintosh. While the Lisa was more technologically advanced, consumers were discouraged by the price, and sales were in decline. Its counterpart, the Macintosh, found greater success in its offices and schools with its sleeker design and faster speed. 

Jobs Leaves Apple

Steve Jobs disagreed with then CEO John Sculley’s vision for the company. Sales for the Macintosh started well, but the product soon began to struggle with the success of its competitor, IBM’s PC. Jobs soon decided to step down from the company and sold its shares. 

Jobs Returns to Apple

A student doing homework on an Apple computer. Editorial credit: Jeri Bland /

In the late 1990s, Steve Jobs was working on a project known as NeXT. In 1996, Apple purchased NeXT for $400 million. Apple began implementing the NeXT operating system into its hardware. It wasn’t long before Jobs took over as CEO after interim CEO Gil Amelio was ousted. 

One of the first deals secured was one to release Microsoft Office on Macintosh Computers. Work soon began on a series of Apple products well-known today, such as desktops, the iMac, Apple laptops, and iBook. 

The Cell Phone Era

The first generation of iPhone. Editorial credit: cristo95 /

In 2007, the first iPhone was released, followed by new models in 2008 and 2009. By the time the iPad was introduced to the market, Apple products were in high demand, with buyers camping out through the night, eager to make their purchase. 

Jobs Resigns

Tim Cook is Apple's current CEO. Editorial credit: John Gress Media Inc /

Sadly in 2011, Steve Jobs resigned due to health issues. His replacement was a longtime Apple employee and COO Tim Cook. Cook was instrumental in maintaining Apple’s prominent position within the tech industry. New products and updates continue to this day under his leadership and guidance. 


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