TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: History of Apple Computer

History of Apple Computer

Patrick Townson (
Fri, 31 Mar 2006 13:34:30 -0600

Apple Computer is thirty years old this weekend. It was officially
founded on April 1, 1976. This report, taken in large part from
Wikipedia tells about much of the past thirty years. It will be
filed in the history section of our archives.


Before Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple, he was an electronics
hacker. By 1975, he was working at Hewlett-Packard and helping his
friend Steve Jobs design video games for Atari. Wozniak had been
buying computer time on a variety of minicomputers hosted by Call
Computer, a time-sharing firm run by Alex Kamradt. The computer
terminals available at that time were primarily paper-based; thermal
printers like the Texas Instruments Silent 700 were state of the
art. Wozniak had seen a 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine on
how to build your own computer terminal. Using off-the-shelf parts,
Wozniak designed the Computer Conversor, a 24-line by 40-column,
uppercase-only video teletype that he could use to log on to the
minicomputers at Call Computer. Alex Kamradt commissioned the design
and sold a small number of them through his firm.

Aside from their interest in up-to-date technology, the impetus for
"the two Steves'" seems to have had another source. In his essay From
Satori to Silicon Valley (published 1986), cultural historian Theodore
Roszak made the point that the Apple Computer emerged from within the
West Coast counterculture and the need to produce print-outs, letter
labels, and databases. Roszak offers a bit of background on the
development of the two Steves' prototype models. Recently (June 12,
2005 Commencement Address, Stanford University) Jobs said, "When I was
young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth
Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created
by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and
he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late
1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was
all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort
of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along:
it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions."
(in the June 14, 2005 edition of the online "Stanford Report" ).

In 1975, Wozniak started attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer
Club. New microcomputers such as the Altair 8800 and the IMSAI
inspired him to build a microprocessor into his video teletype and
have a complete computer.

At the time the only microcomputer CPUs generally available were the
$179 Intel 8080, and the $170 Motorola 6800. Wozniak preferred the
6800, but both were out of his price range. So he watched, and
learned, and designed computers on paper, waiting for the day he could
afford a CPU.

When MOS Technology released its $20 6502 chip in 1976, Wozniak wrote
a version of BASIC for it, then began to design a computer for it to
run on. The 6502 was designed by the same people who designed the
6800, as many in Silicon Valley left employers to form their own
companies. Wozniak's earlier 6800 paper-computer needed only minor
changes to run on the new chip.

Wozniak completed the machine and took it to Homebrew Computer Club
meetings to show it off. At the meeting, Wozniak met his old friend
Jobs, who was interested in the commercial potential of the small
hobby machines.

The Apple I

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak ("the two Steves") had been friends for some
time, having met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez,
introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. Jobs managed to interest
Wozniak in assembling a machine and selling it.

Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop, who said they
would be interested in the machine, but only if it came fully
assembled. The owner, Paul Terrell, went further, saying he would
order 50 of the machines and pay $500 each on delivery. Jobs then took
the purchase order that he had been given from the Byte Shop to Cramer
Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor, and ordered the
components he needed to assemble the Apple I Computer. The local
credit manager asked Jobs how he was going to pay for the parts and he
replied, " I have this purchase order from the Byte Shop chain of
computer stores for 50 of my computers and the payment terms are
COD. If you give me the parts on a net 30 day terms I can build the
computers in that time frame deliver and collect my money from Terrell
at the Byte Shop and pay you." With that, the credit manager called
Paul Terrell who was attending an IEEE computer conference at Asilomar
in Pacific Grove and verified the validity of the Purchase Order.
Amazed at the tenacity of Jobs, Terrell assured the credit manager if
the computers showed up in his stores Jobs would be paid and would
have more than enough money to pay for the parts order. The two Steves
and their small crew spent day and night building and testing the
computers and delivered to Terrell on time to pay his suppliers and
have a tidy profit left over for their celebration and next
order. Steve Jobs had found a way to finance his soon-to-be
multimillion-dollar company without giving away one share of stock or

The machine had only a few notable features. One was the use of a TV
as the display system, whereas many machines had no display at
all. This was not like the displays of later machines however, and
displayed text at a terribly slow 60 characters per second, however
this was faster then teletypes used on contemporary machines. The
Apple I also included bootstrap code on ROM, which made it easier to
start up. Finally, at the insistence of Paul Terrell, Wozniak also
designed a cassette interface for loading and saving programs, at the
then-rapid pace of 1200 bit/s. Although the machine was fairly simple,
it was nevertheless a masterpiece of design, using far fewer parts
than anything in its class, and quickly earning Wozniak a reputation
as a master designer.

Joined by another friend, Ronald Wayne, the three started to build the
machines. Using a variety of methods, including borrowing space from
friends and family, selling various prized items (like calculators and
a VW bus), scrounging, white lies (or petty fraud, depending on your
point of view), Jobs managed to secure the parts needed while Wozniak
and Wayne assembled them. They were delivered in June, and as
promised, they were paid on delivery. Eventually 200 of the Apple I's
were built.

The Apple II

But Wozniak had already moved on from the Apple I. Many of the design
features of the I were due to the limited amount of money they had to
construct the prototype, but with the income from the sales he was
able to start construction of a very much upgraded machine, the Apple
II; it was presented to the public at the first West Coast Computer
Faire on April 16 and 17, 1977. On the first day of exhibition, Jobs
introduced Apple II to a Japanese textile technician named Mizushima
Satoshi who became the first authorized Apple dealer in Japan.[1]

The main difference internally was a completely redesigned TV
interface, which held the display in memory. Now not only useful for
simple text display, the Apple II included graphics, and, eventually,
color. Jobs meanwhile pressed for a much improved case and keyboard,
with the idea that the machine should be complete and ready to run out
of the box. This was almost the case for the Apple I machines sold to
The Byte Shop, but one still needed to plug various parts together and
type in the code to run BASIC.

Building such a machine was going to cost a lot more money. Jobs
started looking for cash, but Wayne was somewhat gun shy due to a
failed venture four years earlier, and eventually dropped out of the
company. Banks were reluctant to loan Jobs money; the idea of a
computer for ordinary people seemed absurd at the time. Jobs
eventually met "Mike" Markkula who co-signed a bank loan for $250,000,
and the three formed Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. Why Apple? Jobs
had worked at an apple orchard for a while, and he considered it to be
the perfect fruit.

With both cash and a new case design in hand, the Apple II was
released in 1977 and became the computer generally credited with
creating the home computer market (though this is open to
debate). Millions were sold well into the 1980s. When Apple went
public in 1980, they generated more money than any IPO since Ford
Motor Company in 1956, and instantly created more millionaires than
any company in history.

A number of different models of the Apple II family were built,
including the Apple IIe and Apple IIgs, which can still be found in
many schools as late as 2005.

The Apple III

By the 1980s, Apple faced emerging competition in the personal
computing business. Chief among them was IBM, the first "big name" in
computing. IBM's PC model, running DOS (short for "disk operating
system", and licensed to IBM by Microsoft) was capturing a large share
of the emerging desktop computing market in large companies.

Apple III

Several smaller businesses were using the Apple II, but the company
felt it needed a newer, more advanced model to compete in the
corporate desktop computing market. Thus, the designers of the Apple
III were forced to comply with Jobs' lofty and sometimes impractical
goals (a continuing theme throughout Apple's history). Among these was
the omission of a cooling fan -- it is reported Jobs found them
"inelegant." Due to this design flaw and production flaws many of
these machines were dead on arrival or succumbed to
overheating. Thousands were recalled and replaced with no questions
asked. The Apple III was also expensive and, though the company
introduced an updated version in 1983, the initial bad press
discouraged buyers and left the III largely a failure.

Xerox PARC and The Lisa

Meanwhile, various groups within Apple were working on a completely
new kind of personal computer, with advanced technologies such as a
graphical user interface, computer mouse, object-oriented programming
and networking capabilities. These people, including Jef Raskin and
Bill Atkinson, agitated for Steve Jobs to put the company's focus
behind such computers.

It was only when they brought him to see the work being done at Xerox
PARC on the Alto in December 1979 that Jobs decided the future was in
such graphics-intensive, icon-friendly computers, and supported the
competing Apple Lisa (named after Steve Jobs' first daughter) and
Apple Macintosh teams. Over the objections of some PARC researchers,
many of whom (such as Larry Tesler) ended up working at Apple, Xerox
granted Apple engineers 3 days of access to the PARC facilities in
return for selling them one million dollars in pre-IPO Apple stock
(approximately $18mil. net). The Lisa debuted in January 1983 at
$10,000. Once again, Apple had introduced a product that was ahead of
its time, but far too expensive (the company would continue to follow
this pattern for the next few years), and Apple again failed to
capture the business market. The Lisa was discontinued with the
unceremonious burial of the remaining inventory at a landfill in
Logan, Utah in 1986.

The release of the Macintosh and the 1984 commercial

The Lisa project was removed from Jobs' control midway through
development to prevent another Apple III incident and Jobs soon turned
his attention to the Macintosh Project. The Macintosh was originally
envisioned by Jef Raskin as a truly personal computer with everything
the end-user would ever need built right in. It was a research project
at the time Jobs came along in the very early development stages.
Being somewhat upset about the exile from Lisa he set out to mold the
Macintosh into a device that would surpass Lisa. This was a time at
Apple where different projects like Lisa and Macintosh were discrete
departments which were somewhat self-contained in all aspects; a
serious flaw which created hostilities and unrest within the company.

The Apple Macintosh was launched in 1984 with a now famous Super Bowl
advertisement based on George Orwell's novel 1984 and directed by
Ridley Scott. Steve Jobs' intention with the ad was to equate Big
Brother with the IBM PC and a nameless female action hero, portrayed
by Anya Major, with the Apple Macintosh. The commercial ended with the
following: "On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce
Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'" - the
implication being that the Mac's new, "user friendly" GUI (with icons
designed by graphic designer Susan Kare) would liberate computing and
information from the IBM PC.

Macintosh also spawned the concept of Mac evangelism which was pioneered by
Apple employee, and later Apple Fellow, Guy Kawasaki.

Despite initial marketing difficulties, such as lack of software, the
monochrome-only display and the closed architecture, the Macintosh
brand was eventually a success for Apple. This was due to its
introduction of desktop publishing (and later computer animation)
through Apple's partnership with Adobe Systems which introduced the
laser printer and Adobe PageMaker. Indeed, the Macintosh would become
known as the de-facto platform for many industries including cinema,
music, publishing and the arts.

While it did briefly license some of its own designs, Apple did not
allow other computer makers to "clone" the Mac until the 1990s, long
after Microsoft dominated the marketplace with its broad licensing
program. By then, it was too late for Apple to reclaim its lost
marketshare and the Macintosh clones achieved limited success before
being axed after Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computer in 1997.

Beginning of Windows

In anticipation of the Macintosh launch, Bill Gates, co-founder,
chairman of Microsoft was given several Macintosh prototypes in 1983
for software development for the new computer. In 1985, Microsoft
launched Microsoft Windows, its own GUI for IBM PCs using many of the
elements of the Macintosh OS. This led to a long legal battle between
Apple Computer and Microsoft, ending with an out of court
settlement. In this settlement it was stated that Microsoft would be
granted access to and allowed unlimited use of the Macintosh GUI. By
that point the IBM PC system had been reverse engineered and many
companies were also making IBM PC Compatibles, cheaper copies of the
PC. Although the first version of Windows was technologically inferior
to the Mac, a Windows-equipped PC clone could be purchased for much

1985: Jobs leaves Apple

After an internal power struggle between Steve Jobs and the new CEO
John Sculley in 1985, Apple's board of directors sided with Sculley
and Jobs was asked to resign. Jobs bought the visual effects house,
Pixar. He also went on to found NeXT Inc., a computer company that
built machines with futuristic designs and ran the UNIX-derived
NeXTstep operating system. While not a commercial success due in part
to its high price, the NeXT computer would introduce important
concepts to the history of the personal computer (including serving as
the inital platform for Tim Berners-Lee as he was developing the World
Wide Web).

1985-1997: Sculley, Spindler, Amelio

Apple IIgs

Macintosh SE

The Apple II family of the 1980s

Apple now had two separate, incompatible platforms: the Apple II, an
affordable, expandable home computer, and the Apple Macintosh, the
closed platform for professionals. (John Gruber, among others, has
speculated that this platform incompatibility was the main reason the
Macintosh did not share the initial commercial success which was
experienced by the Apple II in the late 1970s. [2]. However, by the
mid - 1980s, the Apple II was now competing with the IBM PC and its
clones, and a new energy was focused upon marketing the Macintosh.

Thus, Apple continued to sell both lines promoting them to different
market segments: the Macintosh to colleges, college students, and
knowledge workers, and the Apple II to home users and public
schools. A few months after introducing the Mac, Apple released a
compact version of the Apple II called the Apple IIc. And in 1986
Apple introduced the Apple IIgs, an Apple II positioned as something
of a hybrid product with a mouse-driven, Mac-like operating
environment. Apple II computers remained an important part of Apple's
business until they were discontinued in the early 1990s.

The Mac family

At the same time, the Mac was becoming a product family of its
own. The original model evolved into the Mac Plus in 1986 and spawned
the Mac SE and the Mac II in 1987 and the Mac Classic and Mac LC in
1990. Meanwhile, Apple attempted its first portable Macs: the failed
Macintosh Portable in 1989 and then the more popular PowerBook in
1991, a landmark product that established the modern form and
ergonomic layout of the laptop. Popular products and increasing
revenues made this a good time for Apple. MacAddict magazine has
called 1989 to 1991 the "first golden age" of the Macintosh.

The early-mid 1990s

In the late 1980s, Apple's fiercest technological rivals were the
Amiga and Atari ST platforms. But by the 1990s, computers based on the
IBM PC had become more popular than all three; they finally had a
comparable GUI thanks to Windows 3.0, and were out-competing Apple.

Apple's response to the PC threat was a profusion of new Macintosh
lines including Quadra, Centris, and Performa. Unfortunately, these
new lines were marketed poorly. For one, there were too many models,
differentiated by very minor graduations in their tech specs. The
excess of arbitrary model numbers confused many consumers and hurt
Apple's reputation for simplicity. Apple's retail resellers like Sears
and CompUSA often failed to sell or even competently display these
Macs. And the cost of the machines remained higher than a comparable

In 1994, Apple surprised its loyalists by allying with its long-time
competitor IBM in the AIM alliance. This was a high-profile bid to
create a revolutionary new computing platform, known as PReP, which
would use IBM and Motorola hardware and Apple software. PReP's
(projected) outstanding performance and software would leave the PC
far behind, and would upset Microsoft, which Apple had identified as
its real enemy.

As the first step toward the PReP platform, Apple started the Power
Macintosh line in 1994, using IBM's PowerPC processor. These
processors utilized a RISC architecture, which differed substantially
from the Motorola 680X0 series that were used by all previous
Macs. Parts of Apple's operating system software were rewritten so
that most software written for older Macs could run in emulation on
the PowerPC series.

In addition to computers, Apple has also produced consumer devices. In
the 1990s, Apple released the Newton, an early PDA. Though it failed
commercially, it defined and launched the category and was a
forerunner and inspiration of devices such as Palm Pilot and its

1997: The return of Jobs

In 1996, the struggling company beat out Microsoft and Be, Inc.'s BeOS
in its bid to sell its operating system. Apple purchased Steve Jobs'
company, NeXTon December 20, 1996, and its NeXTstep operating
system. This would not only bring Steve Jobs back to Apple's
management, but NeXT technology would become the foundation of the Mac
OS X operating system.

On July 9, 1997, Gil Amelio was ousted as CEO of Apple by the board of
directors after overseeing a 12 year record low stock price and
crippling financial losses. Jobs stepped in as the interim CEO to
began a critical restructuring of the company's product line. He would
eventually become CEO and is serving in that position to the present

1998- 2001: Apple's Renaissance

The original iMac

Company headquarters on Infinite Loop in Cupertino

The iMac, iBook, and PowerMac G4

After discontinuing Apple's licensing of its operating system to
third-party computer manufacturers, one of Jobs's first moves as new
acting CEO was to develop the iMac, which bought Apple time to
restructure. The original iMac integrated a CRT display and CPU into a
streamlined, translucent plastic body. The line became a sales smash,
moving about one million units a year. It also helped re-introduce
Apple to the media and public, and announced the company's new
emphasis on the design and aesthetics of its products.

More recent products include the iBook, the Power Mac G4, and the
AirPort product series, which helped popularize the use of Wireless
LAN technology to connect computers to networks.

In 1999, Apple introduced the Power Mac G4, which utilized the
Motorola-made PowerPC 7400 containing a 128-bit instruction unit known
as AltiVec as its flagship processor line. Also that year, Apple
unveiled the iBook, its first consumer-oriented laptop that was also
the first Macintosh to support the use of Wireless LAN via the
optional AirPort card that was based on the 802.11b standard.

Mac OS X

In 2001, Apple introduced Mac OS X, an operating system based on
NeXT's NeXTstep. Aimed at consumers and professionals alike, OS X
married the stability, reliability and security of Unix with the ease
of a completely overhauled user interface. To aid users in
transitioning their applications from OS 9, the new operating system
did allow the use of Mac OS 9 applications through OS X's Classic
Environment. Apple's Carbon API also allowed developers to adapt their
OS 9 software to use Mac OS X's features.

Apple chain stores

In May 2001, after much speculation, Apple announced the opening of a
line of Apple retail stores, to be located throughout the major
U.S. computer buying markets. The stores were designed for two primary
purposes: to stem the tide of Apple's declining share of the computer
market, as well as a response to poor marketing of Apple products at
third-party retail outlets.

The iPod

In late 2001, Apple introduced its first iPod portable digital audio player.

2002 to present

In early 2002, Apple unveiled a redesigned iMac, using the G4
processor. The new design had a hemispherical base and a flat panel
all-digital display supported by a swiveling neck. This model was
discontinued in the summer of 2004.

In 2002, Apple also released the Xserve 1U rack mounted server.
Originally featuring two G4 chips, the Xserve was unusual for Apple in
two ways. It represented an earnest effort to enter the enterprise
computer market and it was also relatively cheaper than similar
machines released by its competitors. This was due, in no small part,
to Apple's use of Fast ATA drives as opposed to the SCSI hard drives
used in traditional rack-mounted servers. Apple later released the
Xserve RAID, a 14 drive RAID which was, again, cheaper than competing

In mid-2003, Apple launched the Power Mac G5, based on IBM's G5
processor. Apple claims this the first 64-bit computer sold to the
general public, but in fact that title actually goes to the AMD
Opteron line (Opteron processors were however marketed more directly
to the enterprise for use in rackmount servers and in
workstations). Both 64-bit CPU's were pre-dated by the 64-bit DEC
Alpha architecture, although the Alpha was aimed more at servers and
workstations and not at the "general public." The Power Mac G5 was
also used by Virginia Tech to build its prototype System X
supercomputing cluster, which at the time garnered the prestigious
recognition of 3rd fastest supercomputer in the world. It cost only
$5.2 Mil (USD) to build, far less than the previous #3 and other
ranking supercomputers. Apple's Xserves were soon updated to use the
G5 as well. They replaced the Power Mac G5 machines as the main
building block of Virginia Tech's System X, which was ranked in
November 2004 as the world's 7th fastest supercomputer. [3]

A new iMac based on the G5 processor was unveiled August 31, 2004 and
was made available in mid-September. This model dispensed with the
base altogether, placing the CPU and the rest of the computing
hardware behind the flat-panel screen, which is suspended from a
streamlined aluminium foot. This new iMac, dubbed the iMac G5, is the
world's thinnest desktop computer, measuring in at around two inches
(around 5.1 centimeters).

Apple computers such as the PowerBook, the iBook, and the iMac are
frequently featured as props in films and television
series. Occasionally the heroes use Apple computers while the villains
are relegated to PC compatibles. In 1996, Apple ran an advertising
campaign for the PowerBook tying in with the film Mission: Impossible
and in the film Independence Day a Macintosh laptop is used to infect
the alien mothership and save the human race.

Through the 1990s, personal computers based on Microsoft's Windows
operating system began to gain a much larger percentage of new
computer users than Apple. As a result, Apple fell from controlling
20% of the total personal computer market to 5% by the end of the
decade. The company was struggling financially under then-CEO Gil
Amelio when on August 6, 1997 Microsoft bought a $150 million
non-voting share of the company as a result of a court settlement with
Apple . Perhaps more significantly, Microsoft simultaneously announced
its continued support for Mac versions of its office suite, Microsoft
Office, and soon created a Macintosh Business Unit. This reversed the
earlier trend within Microsoft that resulted in poor Mac versions of
their software and has resulted in several award-winning
releases. However, Apple's market share continued to decline, reaching
3% by 2004.

Initially, the Apple Stores were opened in the U.S. only, but in late
2003, Apple opened its first Apple Store outside the USA, in Tokyo's
Ginza district. Ginza was followed by a store in Osaka, Japan in
August of 2004. More shops for Japan are supposedly in the
works. Apple's first European store opened in London in November 2004,
and is currently the largest store. A store in the Bullring shopping
centre in Birmingham opened in early 2005, and the Bluewater shopping
centre in Kent opened in July 2005. Apple opened its first store in
Canada in the middle of 2005 at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in North
York, a suburb of Toronto. Apple will open two more stores in the UK
by the end of 2005; one in Meadowhall, Sheffield and the other in the
Trafford Centre, Manchester.

Also, in an effort to court a broader market, Apple opened several
"mini" stores in October 2004 in attempt to capture markets where
demand does not necessarily dictate a full scale store. The first of
these stores was opened at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto,
California. These stores follow in the footsteps of the successful
Apple products: iPod mini and Mac mini. These stores are only one
half the square footage of the smallest "normal" store and thus can be
placed in several smaller markets.

On April 29, 2005, Apple released Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" to the
general public.

Presently Apple's wildly successful PowerBook and iBook products rely
on Apple's previous generation G4 architecture which were produced by
Freescale Semiconductor, a spin off from Motorola. Engineers at IBM
have had some success in making their PowerPC G5 processor consume
less power and run cooler but not yet enough to run in iBook or
PowerBook formats. As of the week of October 24, 2005. Apple released
the PowerMac G5 Dual that features a Dual-Core processor. This
processor contains two cores in one rather than have two separate
processors. Apple has also developed the PowerMac G5 Quad that uses
two of the Dual-Core processors for enhanced workstation power and
performance. The new PowerMac G5 Dual's cores run individually at
2.0ghz or 2.3ghz. The PowerMac G5 Quad's cores run individually at
2.5ghz and all variations have a graphics processor the has 256 bit
power or can be expanded to 512 bit for ultimate performance. [4]

In a keynote address on June 6, 2005, Steve Jobs officially announced
that Apple will begin producing Intel-based Macintosh computers
beginning in 2006. Jobs confirmed rumors that the company had secretly
been producing versions of its current operating system Mac OS X for
both PowerPC and Intel processors over the past 5 years, and that the
transition to Intel processor systems will last until the end of
2007. Rumors of cross-platform compatibility had been spurred by the
fact that Mac OS X is based on OPENSTEP, an operating system that was
available for many platforms. In fact, Apple's own Darwin, the open
source underpinnings of OS X, was also available for Intel's x86
architecture. [5] [6] [7]

On January 10, 2006, the first Intel-based machines, the iMac and
MacBook Pro, were introduced. They were based on the Intel Core Duo
platform. This introduction came with the news that Apple will
complete the transition to Intel processors on all hardware by the end
of 2006, a year ahead of the originally quoted schedule.

As well as the transition to Intel microprocessors, the release of
Apple's next version of Mac OS X, Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard", is
expected at the end of 2006. Leopard will run natively on both Intel
and present day PowerPC processors. During his keynote address at the
Worldwide Developers Conference 2005, Apple CEO Steve Jobs also
projected that the Mac OS X architecture will be the basis of Apple's
operating systems for the next two decades.

Apple and "i" Web services

In 2000, Apple introduced its iTools service, a collection of free
web-based tools that included an email account, internet greeting
cards called iCards, a service called iReview that gave internet users
a place to read and write reviews of Web sites, and a tool called
KidSafe which promised to prevent children from browsing inappropriate
portions of the web. The latter two services were eventually cancelled
because of lack of success, while iCards and email became integrated
into Apple's .Mac subscription based service introduced in 2002. The
.Mac service currently costs $99.95 annually in the United States (the
iCards service, however, remains free for all).

iPod and iTunes Music Store
iPod mini

A fourth-generation iPod

In October 2001, Apple introduced the iPod , a portable digital music
player. Its signature features included; an LCD, easy to use
interface, and a large capacity drive (initially 5 GB) which was
enough to hold approximately 1,000 songs. It was quite large when
compared to the 20-30 songs of Flash-based players of the time. Apple
has since revised its iPod line several times, introducing a slimmer,
more compact design, Windows compatibility (previous iPods only
interacted with Macintosh computers), AAC compatibility, storage sizes
of up to 60 GB, and easier connectivity with car or home stereo
systems. On October 26, 2004, Apple released a color version of their
award winning iPod which can not only play music but also show
photos. In early 2005, Apple unveiled its smallest iPod yet: the iPod
shuffle, which is about the size of a pack of gum. Speaking to
software developers on June 6, 2005, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the
company's share of the entire portable music device market stood at

Apple has revolutionized the computer and music industry by signing
the five major record companies to join its new music download
service, the successful iTunes Music Store. Unlike other fee-based
music services, the iTunes Music Store charges a flat $0.99 per song
(or $9.99 per album). Users have more flexibility than on previous
on-line music services. For example, they can burn CDs including the
purchased songs (although a particular playlist containing purchased
music may only be burned seven times), share and play the songs on up
to five computers, and, of course, download songs onto an iPod.

The iTunes Music Store commercial model is one-time purchase, which
contrasts with other commercial subscription music services where
users are required to pay a regular fee to be able to access musical
content (but are able to access a larger volume of music during the
subscription). If these services begin to gain traction in the
marketplace, it is arguable if Apple will not reshape the iTunes Music
Store in some way to stay competitive.

The iTunes Music Store was launched in 2003 with 2 million downloads
in only 16 days; all of which were purchased only on Macintosh
computers. Apple has since released a version of iTunes for Windows,
allowing Windows users the ability to access the store as
well. Initially, the music store was only available in the United
States due to licensing restrictions, but there were plans to release
the store to many other countries in the future.

In January 2004 Apple released a more compact version of their iPod
player, the 4-GB iPod Mini. Although the Mini held fewer songs than
the other iPod models at that time, its smaller size and multiple
colours made it popular with consumers on debut with many stores
having "sold out" their initial inventories of the devices.

In June 2004 Apple opened their iTunes Music Store in the United
Kingdom, France, and Germany. A European Union version opened October
2004 (actually, a Eurozone version; not initially available in the
Republic of Ireland due to the intransigence of the Irish Recorded
Music Association (IRMA) but eventually opened Thursday January 6,
2005.) A version for Canada opened in December 2004. On May 10, 2005,
the iTunes Music Store was expanded to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and

On December 16, 2004, Apple sold its 200 millionth song on the iTunes
Music Store to Ryan Alekman from Belchertown, Massachusetts. The
download was The Complete U2, by U2. Just under three months later
Apple sold its 300 millionth song on March 2, 2005. On July 17, 2005,
the iTunes Music Store sold its 500 millionth song. At that point,
songs were selling at an annualized rate of more than 500 million --
and that rate was growing.

On January 11, 2005, an even smaller version of the iPod was
announced, this one based on flash memory instead of using a
miniaturized hard drive. The iPod shuffle, like its predecessors,
proved so popular that it sold out almost immediately, causing delays
of up to four weeks in obtaining one within a single week of its
debut. This is despite the fact that critics had gawked at the lack of
LCD screen in the Shuffle, a norm in almost all current flash memory
based mp3 players.

The iPod is giving an enormous lift to Apple's financial results. In
the quarter that ended March 26, 2005, Apple earned $290 million, or
34 cents a share, on sales of $3.24 billion. The year before in the
same quarter, Apple earned just $46 million, or 6 cents a share, on
revenue of $1.91 billion.

In July 2005, the iPod was given a color screen, merging the iPod and
iPod Photo.

On September 7, 2005, Apple replaced the iPod mini line with the new
iPod nano. While some consumers were put off by the high pricetag
($199 for 2 gigabytes), and others put off by the easily scratchable
surface, the Nano had sold 1 million units in the first 17 days.

A month later, on October 12, 2005 Apple introduced the new
fifth-generation iPod with video playback capabilities. The device is
also 40% thinner than a fourth-generation iPod and has a larger

Annual Revenue: $13.93 billion USD (68% FY 2005) | Employees: 14,800
(2005) | Stock Symbol: NASDAQ: AAPL | Website:


Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: So, happy 30th birthday to Apple!
Although my _first_ computer was an OSI (Ohio Scientific, Inc) C-1-P
which I purchased from a neighbor of mine in 1977 -- it had all of 4-K
memory, mind you, no disc drive -- you loaded the DOS and any other
programs from a tape player. I got into Apple shortly after that.

Shortly after getting the OSI C-1-P I got a Zenith model Z-1 terminal
in a kit from the Heathkit Company, along with a Hayes 300 baud
modem. And all my earliest online communication stuff was done with
the Zenith Z-1 terminal. My first one had a green screen; later on I
traded it for one with an amber screen. I also 'traded up' the modem
to one that ran at 1200 baud.

The Apple ][+ I bought was actually a Bell and Howell 'Black Apple'
which was an overstock the Bell and Howell people no longer needed,
and I got it for a couple hundred dollars. There were a few things
which made the ][+ superior to just the 'original ][' but I do not
remember what they were. There were also a few things about the
Bell and Howell 'Black Apple' which made it different than the
regular cream-colored Apple, but I do not remember that either.

About the time I purchased the Bell & Howell Black Apple, I had
also accepted a volunteer position as 'sysop' or system operator
for the Chicago Public Library BBS (Bulletin Board System). They
had the first BBS anywhere run by a public library for its patrons
and it used the software developed by Bill Blue called "People's
Message System" which was developed for Apple. There were various
BBS's written for Apple, including one called ABBS. Of course, the
concept of BBS had been started by Randy Seuess and Ward Christianson
a year before that (which I religiously called each day using my
Zenith Z-1 terminal and 300 baud modem).

I decided to operate the ABBS program on _my_ Apple while having the
library BBS operating on the _library_ machine. (Different concepts;
the library BBS was intended for book and movie reviews; my machine
was called 'Lakeshore Modem Magazine', it was more into news of the
day and discussion, etc. I had a friend who ran a multi-party chat
line on his Apple; if you recall, there were 8 slots in the back of
the box; you had to have one for the DOS bootstrap thing; and
(assuming you wanted a live clock inside) one for the clock, the other
five or six slots in his instance were all modems, so he had a big
party line, the original Compuserve or AOL-style 'chat room' thing,
except he had one of the modems 'tied across' to me which allowed one
of his callers to dial his number, but connect to the 'port' which
got them onto me. His phone numbers were all in a 'hunt group' for
ease in allowing his callers to get on his system.

I kept my BBS running for about five years, through the end of 1985.
By 1983 or so, I was personally more interested in Usenet and
had pretty much quit doing any personal BBS'ing.

Which reminds me! Would any of you regular readers be interested in
taking over _full time (without any help from me)_ the job of
maintaining the site? The skeleton is
there, and a few items; but it needs a lot of work and someone to
give it lots of love ... I will be glad to walk you through what I
have done thus far, but I really need to get some of this off my back.

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