69. Apple - How Amateurs built Most Valuable Company on the Plant

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Why Apple is So Important in the World ?


Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies, alongside Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.



The company's hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, the AirPods wireless earbuds and the HomePod smart speaker.


Apple's software includes macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, the Shazam acoustic fingerprint utility, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites, as well as professional applications like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, and iCloud. Other services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, and Apple Card.


Pic : Apple Headquarters, California, USA


Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc., in January 1977, and sales of its computers, including the Apple II, grew quickly. Within a few years, Jobs and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success.


Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, such as the original Macintosh in 1984, and Apple's marketing advertisements for its products received widespread critical acclaim. However, the high price of its products and limited application library caused problems, as did power struggles between executives. In 1985, Wozniak departed Apple amicably and remained an honorary employee, while Jobs and others resigned to found NeXT.


Pic : Founders


As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved through the 1990s, Apple lost market share to the lower-priced duopoly of Microsoft Windows on Intel PC clones. The board recruited CEO Gil Amelio to what would be a 500-day charge for him to rehabilitate the financially troubled company—reshaping it with layoffs, executive restructuring, and product focus.


In 1997, he led Apple to buy NeXT, solving the desperately failed operating system strategy and bringing Jobs back. Jobs pensively regained leadership status, becoming CEO in 2000. Apple swiftly returned to profitability under the revitalizing Think different campaign, as he rebuilt Apple's status by launching the iMac in 1998, opening the retail chain of Apple Stores in 2001, and acquiring numerous companies to broaden the software portfolio.


In January 2007, Jobs renamed the company Apple Inc., reflecting its shifted focus toward consumer electronics, and launched the iPhone to great critical acclaim and financial success. In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO due to health complications, and Tim Cook became the new CEO. Two months later, Jobs died, marking the end of an era for the company. In June 2019, Jony Ive, Apple's CDO, left the company to start his own firm, but stated he would work with Apple as its primary client.


Pic : Tim Cook, Current CEO


Apple is well known for its size and revenues. Its worldwide annual revenue totaled $265 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. Apple is the world's largest technology company by revenue and one of the world's most valuable companies. It is also the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei.


In August 2018, Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion. The company employs 123,000 full-time employees and maintains 504 retail stores in 24 countries as of 2018.


Pic : John Ive, Design Genius Brain behind Apple Products


It operates the iTunes Store, which is the world's largest music retailer. As of January 2018, more than 1.3 billion Apple products are actively in use worldwide. The company also has a high level of brand loyalty and is ranked as the world's most valuable brand. However, Apple receives significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices and unethical business practices, including anti-competitive behavior, as well as the origins of source materials.


Apple History


I. The beginning


It all started back in 1976, when college drop-outs Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, along with their friend Ronald Wayne established a company named Apple Computer. The association between Jobs and Wozniak, in particular, dates back to 1971, when they first met at Hewlett-Packard - where Wozniak worked - through a mutual friend.


Both of them started a business in 1972 that saw them selling a device called “blue box” which allowed users to illegally make free long-distance calls on AT&T’s network, and that too without getting traced.

“It was the magic that two teenagers could build this box for $100 worth of parts and control 100’s of billions of dollars of infrastructure in the entire telephone network in the whole world,” Jobs said later in a 1995 interview. “Experiences like that taught us the power of ideas. If we wouldn’t have made blue boxes, there would have been no Apple.”


Unsurprisingly, the device became popular, especially among criminals, with Jobs and Woz selling units for a total of $6,000. However, they gave up the venture after police started tightening the noose around them.


In 1974, Woz invited Jobs - who had just come back from a spiritual trip to India - to join the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto. While initially Woz helped Jobs - who was working with Atari at time - with his office project, soon they started working on a PC. What would eventually become Apple I (shown below) was ready by 1976.

The device, which was first introduced at the Homebrew Computer Club, was essentially a DIY kit that didn’t even have a case. It was designed and hand-built by Woz, and needed a keyboard and a monitor to work as a full fledged computer.



II. The Initial Struggles


After HP and Atari showed little interest in their product, which was priced at $666.66, citing no market demand, Jobs and Woz, along with Ronald Wayne decided to set-up their own company in the Jobs’ family garage. Apple Computer soon got their first order of 50 units (for $500 each) from the Byte Shop, the only computer store chain around at the time. Despite facing financial crunch, they somehow managed to deliver that order.


Nearly a couple of weeks later, Wayne - who held 10% of the company stock - decided to end his association with the firm as he wasn’t fine with Jobs’ idea of securing huge loans to build the Apple-1 in large quantities. He was given less than $1,000 for the stake that would have been worth around $72 billion today.


With Apple-1 turning out to be a successful product, Woz started working on Apple-II in the year 1976 itself. The idea was to create a pre-assembled personal computer for the general public. However, they still did not have enough money to produce it in large quantities.


III. The beginning of good times


Towards the end of the year 1976, ex-Intel manager named Mike Markkula invested $92,000 in the company. Subsequently, Apple Computer also secured a bank loan of $250,000, and managed to get $600,000 in venture funding - suddenly things were on the track. The company also got its logo designed in 1977.




IV. Jobs’ Xerox visit


Apple had produced only text-based machines till now. Although both Apple-I and II were a great success, Steve Jobs was looking for something different this time around. In the year 1979, when the company was working on Lisa and Macintosh, Jobs planned a three-day visit to PARC, Xerox’s research center in Palo Alto. In exchange, the deal saw Apple giving nearly 10,000 of its shares to Xerox at $10 each.


During the trip, Jobs and team was immensely impressed by the Xerox Alto, a computer that featured a graphical user interface and came with a three-button gadget which Xerox called a mouse.



V. When Jobs had to leave the company he founded


With Macintosh’s initial success, Apple was moving from strength to strength. However, the company’s top management saw a notable change. In the year 1983, Pepsi’s John Sculley agreed to join Apple as CEO. Steve Jobs had an important role in this as he convinced Sculley to join the company - he famously asked Sculley: “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?”


However, little did Jobs know that Sculley would become a sad episode in his professional history.


While initially everything was smooth, situation started changing gradually. Their management styles, which were completely different, often pitted them against each other. For example, the Macintosh was initially priced at $1,995, but after Sculley’s input, the price was hiked to $2,495 just before its launch.


"Jobs basically created his own team to create his own product, the Macintosh. His team actually had its own building. He even flew the pirate flag there. He said, 'It is better to be a pirate, than to be in the navy.' He had this company-within-a-company that became pitted against other parts of the company that actually made money," said Alan Deutschman, author of "Change or Die, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs."


Left with no viable option to gain back control and do what he liked, Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985 .


He founded his own company NeXT Software and he also bought Pixar from George Lucas, which would later become a huge success in computer animation of such movies as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo.


Through the rest of the 1980s, Apple was still doing well and in 1990 it posted its highest profits yet. This was, however, mostly due to the plans that Jobs had already set in motion before he left, most notably his deal with a tiny company by the name of Adobe, creator of the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Together the two companies created the phenomenon known as desktop publishing.


VI. Decline in Sales


Meanwhile, with the introduction of products like the LaserWriter and PageMaker, Macintosh’s sales rebounded, and Apple soon became the leader of the DTP market. However, this didn’t last long as the company saw its sales declining in 1989 primarily due to the high costs of its products and the rise of new competitors in the DTP market.

In the year 1990, Apple launched three lower cost models, including the Macintosh Classic, Macintosh LC, and Macintosh IIsi. All the three models proved to be successful.


VII. The Return of Steve Jobs and good times


Over the course of a few years, Apple's market share suffered slowly after its peak in 1990 and by 1996, experts believed the company to be doomed. It was not until 1997, when Apple was desperately in need of an operating system, that it bought out NeXT Software (Jobs' company) and the board of directors decided to ask for some help from an old friend: Steve Jobs.


Jobs became an interim CEO, or iCEO as he called himself (Jobs was not officially the CEO until 2000). Jobs decided to make some changes around Apple. He forged an alliance with Microsoft to create a Mac version of its popular office software.

The same year, the company introduced the Apple Online Store, and in 1998, the iMac was launched.


VIII. Mac OS X, iPod, and MacBook Pro


Not long after this decision was the turning point for the company. Jobs revamped the computers and introduced the iBook (a personal laptop). He also started branching out into mp3 players (iPod) and media player software (iTunes). This was Jobs' best move yet. While computers are still an important part of Apple, its music related products (i.e. iPod and iTunes) have become the company's most profitable sector. Apple has also recently released the iPhone, a cellular phone, and the Apple TV. While Steve Jobs died October 5, 2011, Apple continues on with his legacy.


As the decade turned, Apple launched Mac OS X, something which happened in March 2001. The operating system, which was based on BSD Unix and NeXT’s OPENSTEP, was aimed to be stable, reliable, as well as secure - it was said to be virtually crash-proof.


Then in the month of October, the iconic iPod was launched. Aimed primarily at youngsters, the $399 portable digital audio player turned out to be a roaring success, with the company selling more than 100 million units in the six years that followed.


2001 was also the year when the first Apple Retail Stores were opened in California and Virginia.


A couple of years later, Apple launched its iTunes Store, which allowed users to download music at $0.99 per song. It was not only user friendly, but also had an exhaustive library of songs. Its popularity could be judged from the fact that it witnessed more than 5 billion downloads by 2008.



In 2006, Apple launched the MacBook Pro. It was the company’s second PC after iMac to feature Intel’s Core Duo processor. The debut model had a 15-inch screen. However, a 17-inch variant was also launched the very next year.



The 2003-2007 period proved to be golden for Apple, with the company’s stock price increasing over ten times.


IX. Mobile devices and the demise of Steve Jobs


The iPod’s success had the rumor mill spinning with speculation over Apple producing a smartphone. The rumors indeed turned out to be true - in the year 2007, the company made a splash in the smartphone market with the launch of the iPhone, which came with a 3.5-inch display and metal rear casing.




The device was the first touchscreen smartphone that caught the public’s interest - its launch brought the most dramatic change to the mobile phone industry in its lifetime.


Earlier this year, the company entered the smartwatch market with the launch of Apple Watch, which included fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities. It is available in three versions: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition - the latter reaching to fight premium watches from luxury Swiss makers.



Just a few days ago, the company launched the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and the 5.5-inchiPhone 6s Plus. Both come with the A9 chip, 12MP main camera, and 3D Touch technology that allows the iOS operating system to differentiate the taps from the force presses and trigger different actions for each.




Fact File of Apple Today


Founded April 1, 1976 ; 44 years ago


Founders


Headquarters1 Apple Park Way

Cupertino,California,

United States

Number of locations : 500+ retail stores (2019)

Area served : Worldwide

Key people

Revenue : US$ 260.174 billion (2019)

Operating income : US$63.930 billion (2019)

Net income : US$55.256 billion (2019)

Total assets : US$338.516 billion (2019)

Total equity : US$90.488 billion  (2019)

Number of employees : 137,000 (2019)


Conclusion


The story of Apple’s rise from a garage startup to the world’s most valuable brand is a stunning and an inspiring one.


Apple Inc. has pioneered its way through the computer industry—not once, but multiple times throughout its existence. It believes in pushing the limits of creativity in order to produce interesting and valuable products for society. After more than 30 years, it is undeniable that Apple "has had a profound impact on technology, innovating and influencing not only how we use computers but the activities for which what we use them."


Steve Jobs and Apple have built and made both Innovation and Invention as a part of their DNA and That Legacy continues even today in the times of Tim Cook.


This one company has single handedly changed, how we communicate, market the products, influenced human relationships and lead to minimisation of Carbon Foot Print on the plant as world moved towards Paperless and Digital communication with Apple Products and with similiar other products .


Once Steve Jobs said , " Only Crazy Ones can create a New World " and they also created a new world order.


Please listen to his speech at

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4fcb8eu20SQ


Apple' s rise has stunned the corporate world , how two Amatuers have built the Most Valuable Company on the Planet.


Steve Jobs lead the Tech Revolution in 21st Century , and emergence of Apple on Corporate landscape of the world , has given the Complete Confidence and hope to future generations of Start Ups, Unicorns, Amateurs, CrazyOnes and Tech Mavericks to build Something Big from Nothing.....!!



MM Rao

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Sources :

https://www.gsmarena.com/a_brief_look_at_the_history_of_apple-blog-13986.php

https://www.loc.gov/rr/business/businesshistory/April/apple.html#:~:text=Company%20History,in%20their%20homes%20or%20offices.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Apple+history+photos&rlz=


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