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Apple Inc.
  • Apple Computer Company (1976–1977)
  • Apple Computer, Inc. (1977–2007)
TypePublic company
  • Nasdaq-100 component
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • DJIA component
  • S&P 100 component
  • S&P 500 component
  • Consumer electronics
  • Software service
  • Online services
FoundedApril 1, 1976; 48 years ago (1976-04-01) in Los Altos, California, U.S.
  • Steve Jobs
  • Steve Wozniak
  • Ronald Wayne
Headquarters1 Apple Park Way,
Cupertino, California
Number of locations
520 Retail stores (2022)
Area served
Key people
  • Arthur D. Levinson (Chairman)
  • Tim Cook (CEO)
  • Jeff Williams (Apple)
  • (COO)
  • AirPods
  • Apple TV
  • Apple Watch
  • HomePod
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • MacBook Air
  • MacBook Pro
  • iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • Mac Pro
  • Mac Studio
  • App Store (iOS)
  • AppleCare
  • Apple Card
  • Apple Fitness+
  • Apple Music
  • Apple News+
  • Apple TV+
  • Apple Pay
  • Apple Arcade
RevenueIncrease US$365.82 billion (2021)
Increase US$108.95 billion (2021)
Increase US$94.68 billion (2021)
Total assetsIncrease US$351.02 billion (2021)
Total equityDecrease US$63.09 billion (2021)
Number of employees
154,000 (2021)
  • Beats Electronics
  • Beddit
  • Braeburn Capital
  • Claris
  • InVisage Technologies

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, software and online services headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States. Apple is the largest technology company by revenue (totaling US$365.8 billion in 2021) and as of June 2022, is the world's biggest company by market capitalization, the fourth-largest personal computer vendor by unit sales and second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. It is one of the Big Five American information technology companies, alongside Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft.

Apple was founded as Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. It was incorporated by Jobs and Wozniak as Apple Computer, Inc. in 1977 and the company's next computer, the Apple II, became a best seller and one of the first mass-produced microcomputers. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. The company developed computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, including the 1984 original Macintosh, announced that year in a critically acclaimed advertisement. By 1985, the high cost of its products and power struggles between executives caused problems. Wozniak stepped back from Apple amicably and pursued other ventures, while Jobs resigned bitterly and founded NeXT, taking some Apple employees with him.

As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved throughout the 1990s, Apple lost considerable market share to the lower-priced duopoly of the Microsoft Windows operating system on Intel-powered PC clones (also known as "Wintel"). In 1997, weeks away from bankruptcy, the company bought NeXT to resolve Apple's unsuccessful operating system strategy and entice Jobs back to the company. Over the next decade, Jobs guided Apple back to profitability through a number of tactics including introducing the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad to critical acclaim, launching "Think different" and other memorable advertising campaigns, opening the Apple Store retail chain, and acquiring numerous companies to broaden the company's product portfolio. When Jobs resigned in 2011 for health reasons, and died two months later, he was succeeded as CEO by Tim Cook.

Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion in August 2018, then $2 trillion in August 2020, and most recently $3 trillion in January 2022. The company receives criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices, and its business ethics, including anti-competitive practices and materials sourcing. Nevertheless, the company has a large following and enjoys a high level of brand loyalty. It is ranked as one of the world's most valuable brands.


1976–1980: Founding and incorporation

In 1976, Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in his parents' home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California.[1] Although it is widely believed that the company was founded in the house's garage, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called it "a bit of a myth".[2] Jobs and Wozniak did, however, move some operations to the garage when the bedroom became too crowded.[3]
Apple's first product, the Apple I, designed by Steve Wozniak, was sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard, monitor, and case. The owner of this unit added a keyboard and wooden case.
The Apple II Plus, introduced in 1979, designed primarily by Wozniak

Apple Computer Company was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne as a business partnership.[1][4] The company's first product was the Apple I, a computer designed and hand-built entirely by Wozniak.[5][6] To finance its creation, Jobs sold his only motorized means of transportation, a VW Bus, for a few hundred dollars, and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for .[7] Wozniak debuted the first prototype Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club in July 1976.[8][9] The Apple I was sold as a motherboard with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips—a base kit concept which would not yet be marketed as a complete personal computer.[10] It went on sale soon after debut for .[11][12][13][14][15]: 180  Wozniak later said he was unaware of the coincidental mark of the beast in the number 666, and that he came up with the price because he liked "repeating digits".[16]

Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated on January 3, 1977,[17][18] without Wayne, who had left and sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 only twelve days after having co-founded Apple.[19][20] Multimillionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of to Jobs and Wozniak during the incorporation of Apple.[21][22] During the first five years of operations, revenues grew exponentially, doubling about every four months. Between September 1977 and September 1980, yearly sales grew from $775,000 to $118 million, an average annual growth rate of 533%.[23][24]

The Apple II, also invented by Wozniak, was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the first West Coast Computer Faire.[25] It differed from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, because of its character cell-based color graphics and open architecture. While the Apple I and early Apple II models used ordinary audio cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a -inch floppy disk drive and interface called the Disk II in 1978.[26][27]

The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer application" of the business world: VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program released in 1979.[26] VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II and gave home users an additional reason to buy an Apple II: compatibility with the office.[26] Before VisiCalc, Apple had been a distant third place competitor to Commodore and Tandy.[28][29] By the end of the 1970s, Apple had become the leading computer manufacturer in the United States.[30]

On December 12, 1980, Apple (ticker symbol "AAPL") went public selling 4.6 million shares at $22 per share ($.10 per share when adjusting for stock splits as of September 3, 2022),[18] generating over $100 million, which was more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956.[31] By the end of the day, 300 millionaires were created, from a stock price of $29 per share[32] and a market cap of $1.778 billion.[31][32]

1980–1990: Success with Macintosh

The Macintosh, released in 1984, is the first mass-market personal computer to feature an integral graphical user interface and mouse.

A critical moment in the company's history came in December 1979 when Jobs and several Apple employees, including human–computer interface expert Jef Raskin, visited Xerox PARC in to see a demonstration of the Xerox Alto, a computer using a graphical user interface. Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000[33] shares (22.4 million split-adjusted shares as of September 3, 2022)[18] of Apple at the pre-IPO price of $10 a share.[34] After the demonstration, Jobs was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a graphical user interface, and development of a GUI began for the Apple Lisa, named after Jobs's daughter.[35][36]

The Lisa division would be plagued by infighting, and in 1982 Jobs was pushed off the project. The Lisa launched in 1983 and became the first personal computer sold to the public with a GUI, but was a commercial failure due to its high price and limited software titles.[37]

Jobs, angered by being pushed off the Lisa team, took over the company's Macintosh division. Wozniak and Raskin had envisioned the Macintosh as low-cost-computer with a text-based interface like the Apple II, but a plane crash in 1981 forced Wozniak to step back from the project. Jobs quickly redefined the Macintosh as a graphical system that would be cheaper than the Lisa, undercutting his former division.[38] Jobs was also hostile to the Apple II division, which at the time, generated most of the company's revenue.[39]

In 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh, the first personal computer to be sold without a programming language.[40] Its debut was signified by "1984", a $1.5 million television advertisement directed by Ridley Scott that aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984.[41] This is now hailed as a watershed event for Apple's success[42] and was called a "masterpiece" by CNN[43] and one of the greatest TV advertisements of all time by TV Guide.[44][45]

The advertisement created great interest in the original Macintosh, and sales were initially good, but began to taper off dramatically after the first three months as reviews started to come in. Jobs had made the decision to equip the original Macintosh with 128 kilobytes of RAM, attempting to reach a price point, which limited its speed and the software that could be used. The Macintosh would eventually ship for , a price panned by critics in light of its slow performance.[46][47][48][49]: 195  In early 1985, this sales slump triggered a power struggle between Steve Jobs and CEO John Sculley, who had been hired away from Pepsi two years earlier by Jobs[50][51] using the famous line, "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?"[52] Sculley decided to remove Jobs as the head of the Macintosh division, with unanimous support from the Apple board of directors.[53][50]

The board of directors instructed Sculley to contain Jobs and his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products. Rather than submit to Sculley's direction, Jobs attempted to oust him from his leadership role at Apple.[54] Informed by Jean-Louis Gassée, Sculley found out that Jobs had been attempting to organize a boardroom coup and called an emergency meeting at which Apple's executive staff sided with Sculley and stripped Jobs of all operational duties.[54] Jobs resigned from Apple in September 1985 and took a number of Apple employees with him to found NeXT.[55] Wozniak had also quit his active employment at Apple earlier in 1985 to pursue other ventures, expressing his frustration with Apple's treatment of the Apple II division and stating that the company had "been going in the wrong direction for the last five years".[39][56][57] Despite Wozniak's grievances, he officially remained employed by Apple, and to this day continues to work for the company as a representative,[56] receiving a stipend estimated to be $120,000 per year for this role.[15] Both Jobs and Wozniak remained Apple shareholders after their departures.[58]

After the departures of Jobs and Wozniak, Sculley worked to improve the Macintosh in 1985 by quadrupling the RAM and introducing the LaserWriter, the first reasonably priced PostScript laser printer. PageMaker, an early desktop publishing application taking advantage of the PostScript language, was also released by Aldus Corporation in July 1985.[59] It has been suggested that the combination of Macintosh, LaserWriter and PageMaker was responsible for the creation of the desktop publishing market.[60]

This dominant position in the desktop publishing market[61] allowed the company to focus on higher price points, the so-called "high-right policy" named for the position on a chart of price vs. profits. Newer models selling at higher price points offered higher profit margin, and appeared to have no effect on total sales as power users snapped up every increase in speed. Although some worried about pricing themselves out of the market, the high-right policy was in full force by the mid-1980s, notably due to Jean-Louis Gassée's mantra of "fifty-five or die", referring to the 55% profit margins of the Macintosh II.[62]: 79–80 

This policy began to backfire in the last years of the decade as desktop publishing programs appeared on PC clones that offered some or much of the same functionality of the Macintosh, but at far lower price points. The company lost its dominant position in the desktop publishing market and estranged many of its original consumer customer base who could no longer afford their high-priced products. The Christmas season of 1989 was the first in the company's history to have declining sales, which led to a 20% drop in Apple's stock price.[62]: 117–129  During this period, the relationship between Sculley and Gassée deteriorated, leading Sculley to effectively demote Gassée in January 1990 by appointing Michael Spindler as the chief operating officer.[63] Gassée left the company later that year.[64]

1990–1997: Decline and restructuring

The company pivoted strategy and in October 1990 introduced three lower-cost models, the Macintosh Classic, the Macintosh LC, and the Macintosh IIsi, all of which saw significant sales due to pent-up demand.[65] In 1991, Apple introduced the hugely successful PowerBook with a design that set the current shape for almost all modern laptops. The same year, Apple introduced System 7, a major upgrade to the Macintosh operating system, adding color to the interface and introducing new networking capabilities.

The success of the lower-cost Macs and PowerBook brought increasing revenue.[66] For some time, Apple was doing incredibly well, introducing fresh new products and generating increasing profits in the process. The magazine MacAddict named the period between 1989 and 1991 as the "first golden age" of the Macintosh.[67]

The PenLite is Apple's first prototype of a tablet computer. Created in 1992, the project was designed to bring the Mac OS to a tablet – but was canceled in favor of the Newton.[68]

The success of Apple's lower-cost consumer models, especially the LC, also led to the cannibalization of their higher-priced machines. To address this, management introduced several new brands, selling largely identical machines at different price points, aimed at different markets: the high-end Quadra models, the mid-range Centris line, and the consumer-marketed Performa series. This led to significant market confusion, as customers did not understand the difference between models.[69]

The early 1990s also saw the discontinuation of the Apple II series, which was expensive to produce, and the company felt was still taking sales away from lower-cost Macintosh models. After the launch of the LC, Apple began encouraging developers to create applications for Macintosh rather than Apple II, and authorized salespersons to direct consumers towards Macintosh and away from Apple II.[70] The Apple IIe was discontinued in 1993.[71]

Throughout this period, Microsoft continued to gain market share with its Windows graphical user interface that it sold to manufacturers of generally less expensive PC clones. While the Macintosh was more expensive, it offered a more tightly integrated user experience, but the company struggled to make the case to consumers.

Apple also experimented with a number of other unsuccessful consumer targeted products during the 1990s, including digital cameras, portable CD audio players, speakers, video game consoles, the eWorld online service, and TV appliances. Most notably, enormous resources were invested in the problem-plagued Newton tablet division, based on John Sculley's unrealistic market forecasts.[72]

Throughout this period, Microsoft continued to gain market share with Windows by focusing on delivering software to inexpensive personal computers, while Apple was delivering a richly engineered but expensive experience.[73] Apple relied on high profit margins and never developed a clear response; instead, they sued Microsoft for using a GUI similar to the Apple Lisa in Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.[74] The lawsuit dragged on for years before it was finally dismissed.

The major product flops and the rapid loss of market share to Windows sullied Apple's reputation, and in 1993 Sculley was replaced as CEO by Michael Spindler.[75]

With Spindler at the helm Apple, IBM, and Motorola formed the AIM alliance in 1994 with the goal of creating a new computing platform (the PowerPC Reference Platform; PReP), which would use IBM and Motorola hardware coupled with Apple software. The AIM alliance hoped that PReP's performance and Apple's software would leave the PC far behind and thus counter the dominance of Windows. The same year, Apple introduced the Power Macintosh, the first of many Apple computers to use Motorola's PowerPC processor.[76]

In the wake of the alliance, Apple opened up to the idea of allowing Motorola and other companies to build Macintosh clones. Over the next two years, 75 distinct Macintosh clone models were introduced. However, by 1996 Apple executives were worried that the clones were cannibalizing sales of their own high-end computers, where profit margins were highest.[77]

In 1996, Spindler was replaced by Gil Amelio as CEO. Hired for his reputation as a corporate rehabilitator, Amelio made deep changes, including extensive layoffs and cost-cutting.[78]

This period was also marked by numerous failed attempts to modernize the Macintosh operating system (MacOS). The original Macintosh operating system (System 1) was not built for multitasking (running several applications at once). The company attempted to correct this with by introducing cooperative multitasking in System 5, but the company still felt it needed a more modern approach.[79] This led to the Pink project in 1988, A/UX that same year, Copland in 1994, and the attempted purchase of BeOS in 1996. Talks with Be stalled when the CEO, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, demanded $300 million instead of the $125 million Apple wanted to pay.[80]

Only weeks away from bankruptcy,[81] Apple's board decided NeXTSTEP was a better choice for its next operating system and purchased NeXT in late 1996 for $429 million, bringing back Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.[82]

1997–2007: Return to profitability

The NeXT acquisition was finalized on February 9, 1997,[83] and the board brought Jobs back to Apple as an advisor. On July 9, 1997, Jobs staged a boardroom coup that resulted in Amelio's resignation after overseeing a three-year record-low stock price and crippling financial losses.

The board named Jobs as interim CEO and he immediately began a review of the company's products. Jobs would order 70% of the company's products to be cancelled, resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs, and taking Apple back to the core of its computer offerings.[84] The next month, in August 1997, Steve Jobs convinced Microsoft to make a $150 million investment in Apple and a commitment to continue developing software for the Mac.[85] The investment was seen as an "antitrust insurance policy" for Microsoft who had recently settled with the Department of Justice over anti-competitive practices.[86] Jobs also ended the Mac clone deals and in September 1997, purchased the largest clone maker, Power Computing.[87] On November 10, 1997, Apple introduced the Apple Store website, which was tied to a new build-to-order manufacturing that had been successfully used by PC manufacturer Dell.[88][89]

The moves paid off for Jobs, at the end of his first year as CEO, the company turned a $309 million profit.[84]

On May 6, 1998, Apple introduced a new all-in-one computer reminiscent of the original Macintosh: the iMac. The iMac was a huge success for Apple selling 800,000 units in its first five months[90] and ushered in major shifts in the industry by abandoning legacy technologies like the [[Floppy disk|-inch diskette]], being an early adopter of the USB connector, and coming pre-installed with internet connectivity (the "i" in iMac)[91] via Ethernet and a dial-up modem. The device also had a striking eardrop shape and translucent materials, designed by Jonathan Ive, who although hired by Amelio, would go on to work collaboratively with Jobs for the next decade to chart a new course the design of Apple's products.[92][93][94]

A little more than a year later on July 21, 1999, Apple introduced the iBook, a laptop for consumers. It was the culmination of a strategy established by Jobs to produce only four products: refined versions of the Power Macintosh G3 desktop and PowerBook G3 laptop for professionals, along with the iMac desktop and iBook laptop for consumers. Jobs felt the small product line allowed for a greater focus on quality and innovation.[95]

At around the same time, Apple also completed numerous acquisitions to create a portfolio of digital media production software for both professionals and consumers. Apple acquired of Macromedia's Key Grip digital video editing software project which was renamed Final Cut Pro when it was launched on the retail market in April 1999.[96][97] The development of Key Grip also led to Apple's release of the consumer video-editing product iMovie in October 1999.[98] Next, Apple successfully acquired the German company Astarte in April 2000, which had developed the DVD authoring software DVDirector, which Apple would sell as the professional-oriented DVD Studio Pro software product, and used the same technology to create iDVD for the consumer market.[98] In 2000, Apple purchased the SoundJam MP audio player software from Casady & Greene. Apple renamed the program iTunes, while simplifying the user interface and adding the ability to burn CDs.[99]

2001 would be a pivotal year for the Apple with the company making three announcements that would change the course of the company.

The first announcement came on March 24, 2001, that Apple was nearly ready to release a new modern operating system, Mac OS X. The announcement came after numerous failed attempts in the early 1990s, and several years of development. Mac OS X was based on NeXTSTEP, OPENSTEP, and BSD Unix, with Apple aiming to combine the stability, reliability, and security of Unix with the ease of use afforded by an overhauled user interface, heavily influenced by NeXTSTEP. To aid users in migrating from Mac OS 9, the new operating system allowed the use of OS 9 applications within Mac OS X via the Classic Environment.[100]

In May 2001, the company opened its first two Apple Store retail locations in Virginia and California,[101][102] offering an improved presentation of the company's products.[103] At the time, many speculated that the stores would fail,[104] but they went on to become highly successful, and the first of more than 500 stores around the world.[105]

On October 23, 2001, Apple debuted the iPod portable digital audio player. The product, which was first sold on November 10, 2001, was phenomenally successful with over 100 million units sold within six years.[106][107]

In 2003, Apple's iTunes Store was introduced. The service offered music downloads for 99¢ a song and integration with the iPod. The iTunes Store quickly became the market leader in online music services, with over five billion downloads by June 19, 2008.[108][109] Two years later, the iTunes Store was the world's largest music retailer.[110][111]

In 2002, Apple purchased Nothing Real for their advanced digital compositing application Shake,[112] as well as Emagic for the music productivity application Logic. The purchase of Emagic made Apple the first computer manufacturer to own a music software company. The acquisition was followed by the development of Apple's consumer-level GarageBand application.[113] The release of iPhoto in the same year completed the iLife suite.[114]

The MacBook Pro, Apple's first laptop with an Intel microprocessor, introduced in 2006

At the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address on June 6, 2005, Jobs announced that Apple would move away from PowerPC processors, and the Mac would transition to Intel processors in 2006.[115] On January 10, 2006, the new MacBook Pro and iMac became the first Apple computers to use Intel's Core Duo CPU. By August 7, 2006, Apple made the transition to Intel chips for the entire Mac product line—over one year sooner than announced.[115] The Power Mac, iBook, and PowerBook brands were retired during the transition; the Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro became their respective successors.[116][117] On April 29, 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was building its own team of engineers to design microchips.[118] Apple also introduced Boot Camp in 2006 to help users install Windows XP or Windows Vista on their Intel Macs alongside Mac OS X.[119]

Apple's success during this period was evident in its stock price. Between early 2003 and 2006, the price of Apple's stock increased more than tenfold, from around $6 per share (split-adjusted) to over $80.[120] When Apple surpassed Dell's market cap in January 2006,[121] Jobs sent an email to Apple employees saying Dell's CEO Michael Dell should eat his words.[122] Nine years prior, Dell had said that if he ran Apple he would "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders".[123]

2007–2011: Success with mobile devices

Newly announced iPhone on display at the 2007 MacWorld Expo

During his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo on January 9, 2007, Jobs announced that Apple Computer, Inc. would thereafter be known as "Apple Inc.", because the company had shifted its emphasis from computers to consumer electronics.[124][125] This event also saw the announcement of the iPhone[126][127] and the Apple TV.[128][129] The company sold 270,000 iPhone units during the first 30 hours of sales,[130] and the device was called "a game changer for the industry".[131]

In an article posted on Apple's website on February 6, 2007, Jobs wrote that Apple would be willing to sell music on the iTunes Store without digital rights management (DRM), thereby allowing tracks to be played on third-party players, if record labels would agree to drop the technology.[132] 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 2007.[133] Other record labels eventually followed suit and Apple published a press release in January 2009 to announce that all songs on the iTunes Store are available without their FairPlay DRM.[134]

In July 2008, Apple launched the App Store to sell third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.[135] Within a month, the store sold 60 million applications and registered an average daily revenue of $1 million, with Jobs speculating in August 2008 that the App Store could become a billion-dollar business for Apple.[136] By October 2008, Apple was the third-largest mobile handset supplier in the world due to the popularity of the iPhone.[137]

On January 14, 2009, Jobs announced in an internal memo that he would be taking a six-month medical leave of absence from Apple until the end of June 2009 and would spend the time focusing on his health. In the email, Jobs stated that "the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well", and explained that the break would allow the company "to focus on delivering extraordinary products".[138] Though Jobs was absent, Apple recorded its best non-holiday quarter (Q1 FY 2009) during the recession with revenue of $8.16 billion and profit of $1.21 billion.[139][140]

After years of speculation and multiple rumored "leaks", Apple unveiled a large screen, tablet-like media device known as the iPad on January 27, 2010. The iPad ran the same touch-based operating system as the iPhone, and all iPhone apps were compatible with the iPad. This gave the iPad a large app catalog on launch, though having very little development time before the release. Later that year on April 3, 2010, the iPad was launched in the US. It sold more than 300,000 units on its first day, and 500,000 by the end of the first week.[141] In May of the same year, Apple's market cap exceeded that of competitor Microsoft for the first time since 1989.[142]

In June 2010, Apple released the iPhone 4,[143][144] which introduced video calling using FaceTime, multitasking, and a new uninsulated stainless steel design that acted as the phone's antenna. Later that year, Apple again refreshed its iPod line of MP3 players by introducing a multi-touch iPod Nano, an iPod Touch with FaceTime, and an iPod Shuffle that brought back the clickwheel buttons of earlier generations.[145][146][147] It also introduced the smaller, cheaper second generation Apple TV which allowed renting of movies and shows.[148]

On January 17, 2011, Jobs announced in an internal Apple memo that he would take another medical leave of absence for an indefinite period to allow him to focus on his health. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook assumed Jobs's day-to-day operations at Apple, although Jobs would still remain "involved in major strategic decisions".[149] Apple became the most valuable consumer-facing brand in the world.[150] In June 2011, Jobs surprisingly took the stage and unveiled iCloud, an online storage and syncing service for music, photos, files, and software which replaced MobileMe, Apple's previous attempt at content syncing.[151] This would be the last product launch Jobs would attend before his death.

On August 24, 2011, Jobs resigned his position as CEO of Apple.[152] He was replaced by Cook and Jobs became Apple's chairman. Apple did not have a chairman at the time[153] and instead had two co-lead directors, Andrea Jung and Arthur D. Levinson,[154] who continued with those titles until Levinson replaced Jobs as chairman of the board in November after Jobs' death.[155]

2011–present: Post-Jobs era, Cook's leadership

On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs died, marking the end of an era for Apple.[156][157] The first major product announcement by Apple following Jobs's passing occurred on January 19, 2012, when Apple's Phil Schiller introduced iBook's Textbooks for iOS and iBook Author for Mac OS X in New York City.[158] Jobs stated in the biography "Jobs" that he wanted to reinvent the textbook industry and education.[159]

From 2011 to 2012, Apple released the iPhone 4S[160][161] and iPhone 5,[162][163] which featured improved cameras, an intelligent software assistant named Siri, and cloud-synced data with iCloud; the third and fourth generation iPads, which featured Retina displays;[164][165][166] and the iPad Mini, which featured a 7.9-inch screen in contrast to the iPad's 9.7-inch screen.[167] These launches were successful, with the iPhone 5 (released September 21, 2012) becoming Apple's biggest iPhone launch with over two million pre-orders[168] and sales of three million iPads in three days following the launch of the iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad (released November 3, 2012).[169] Apple also released a third-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display and new iMac and Mac Mini computers.[166][167][170]

On August 20, 2012, Apple's rising stock price increased the company's market capitalization to a then-record $624 billion. This beat the non-inflation-adjusted record for market capitalization previously set by Microsoft in 1999.[171] On August 24, 2012, a US jury ruled that Samsung should pay Apple $1.05 billion (£665m) in damages in an intellectual property lawsuit.[172] Samsung appealed the damages award, which was reduced by $450 million[173] and further granted Samsung's request for a new trial.[173] On November 10, 2012, Apple confirmed a global settlement that dismissed all existing lawsuits between Apple and HTC up to that date, in favor of a ten-year license agreement for current and future patents between the two companies.[174] It is predicted that Apple will make $280 million a year from this deal with HTC.[175]

In May 2014, the company confirmed its intent to acquire Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine's audio company Beats Electronics—producer of the "Beats by Dr. Dre" line of headphones and speaker products, and operator of the music streaming service Beats Music—for $3 billion, and to sell their products through Apple's retail outlets and resellers. Iovine believed that Beats had always "belonged" with Apple, as the company modeled itself after Apple's "unmatched ability to marry culture and technology." The acquisition was the largest purchase in Apple's history.[176][177]

During a press event on September 9, 2014, Apple introduced a smartwatch, the Apple Watch.[178][179] Initially, Apple marketed the device as a fashion accessory[180] and a complement to the iPhone, that would allow people to look at their smartphones less.[181] Over time, the company has focused on developing health and fitness-oriented features on the watch, in an effort to compete with dedicated activity trackers.

In January 2016, it was announced that one billion Apple devices were in active use worldwide.[182][183]

On June 6, 2016, Fortune released Fortune 500, their list of companies ranked on revenue generation. In the trailing fiscal year (2015), Apple appeared on the list as the top tech company.[184] It ranked third, overall, with $233 billion in revenue.[184] This represents a movement upward of two spots from the previous year's list.[184]

In June 2017, Apple announced the HomePod, its smart speaker aimed to compete against Sonos, Google Home, and Amazon Echo.[185] Towards the end of the year, TechCrunch reported that Apple was acquiring Shazam, a company that introduced its products at WWDC and specializing in music, TV, film and advertising recognition.[186] The acquisition was confirmed a few days later, reportedly costing Apple $400 million, with media reports noting that the purchase looked like a move to acquire data and tools bolstering the Apple Music streaming service.[187] The purchase was approved by the European Union in September 2018.[188][189]

Also in June 2017, Apple appointed Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to head the newly formed worldwide video unit. In November 2017, Apple announced it was branching out into original scripted programming: a drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and a reboot of the anthology series Amazing Stories with Steven Spielberg.[190] In June 2018, Apple signed the Writers Guild of America's minimum basic agreement and Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year content partnership.[191][192] Additional partnerships for original series include Sesame Workshop and DHX Media and its subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide, as well as a partnership with A24 to create original films.[193][194][195]

During the Apple Special Event in September 2017, the AirPower wireless charger was announced along side the iPhone X, 8 and Watch Series 3. The AirPower was intended to wirelessly charge multiple devices, simultaneously. Though initially set to release in early 2018, the AirPower would be canceled in March 2019, marking the first cancellation of a device under Cook's leadership.[196][197][198]

On August 19, 2020, Apple's share price briefly topped $467.77, making Apple the first US company with a market capitalization of $2 trillion.[199]

During its annual WWDC keynote speech on June 22, 2020, Apple announced it would move away from Intel processors, and the Mac would transition to processors developed in-house.[200] The announcement was expected by industry analysts, and it has been noted that Macs featuring Apple's processors would allow for big increases in performance over current Intel-based models.[201] On November 10, 2020, the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini became the first Mac devices powered by an Apple-designed processor, the Apple M1.[202]

In April 2022, it was reported that Samsung Electro-Mechanics would be collaborating with Apple on its M2 chip instead of LG Innotek.[203] Developer logs showed that at least nine Mac models with four different M2 chips were being tested.[204][205]

The Wall Street Journal reported that an effort to develop its own chips left Apple better prepared to deal with the semiconductor shortage that emerged during the pandemic era and led to increased profitability, with sales of Mac computers that included M1 chips rising sharply in 2020 and 2021. It also inspired other companies like Tesla, Amazon, and Meta Platforms to pursue a similar path.[206]

In April 2022, Apple opened an online store that allowed anyone in the US to view repair manuals and order replacement parts for specific recent iPhones, although the difference in cost between this method and official repair is anticipated to be minimal.[207][208][209][210][211][212][213]

In May 2022, a trademark was filed for RealityOS, an operating system reportedly intended for virtual and augmented reality headsets, first mentioned in 2017. According to Bloomberg, the headset may come out in 2023.[214][215]

On June 18, 2022, the Apple Store in Towson, Maryland became the first to unionize in the U.S., with the employees voting to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.[216]

On July 7, 2022, Apple announced launching a new security feature called the Lockdown Mode. Lockdown Mode will be available in fall along with the new operating system, and it will serve as protection for high-risk users against spyware cyber attacks.[217]



Macintosh, commonly known as Mac, is Apple's line of personal computers that use the company's proprietary macOS operating system. Personal computers were Apple's original business line, but as of the end of 2021 they account for only about 10 percent of the company's revenue.[218]

The company is in the process of switching Mac computers from Intel processors to Apple silicon, a custom-designed system on a chip platform.

As of March 2022, there are six Macintosh computer families in production:

  • iMac: Consumer all-in-one desktop computer, introduced in 1998.
  • Mac Mini: Consumer sub-desktop computer, introduced in 2005.
  • MacBook Pro: Professional notebook, introduced in 2006.
  • Mac Pro: Professional workstation, introduced in 2006.
  • MacBook Air: Consumer ultra-thin notebook, introduced in 2008.
  • Mac Studio: Professional small form-factor workstation, introduced in 2022.

Apple also sells a variety of accessories for Macs, including the Pro Display XDR, Apple Studio Display, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard.

The company also develops several pieces of software that are included in the purchase price of a Mac, including the Safari web browser, the iMovie video editor, the GarageBand audio editor and the iWork productivity suite.

Additionally, the company sells several professional software applications including the Final Cut Pro video editor, Motion for video animations, the Logic Pro audio editor, MainStage for live audio production, and Compressor for media compression and encoding.


iPhone is Apple's line of smartphones that use the company's proprietary iOS operating system, derived from macOS's kernel. The first-generation iPhone was announced by then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007. Since then, Apple has annually released new iPhone models and iOS updates.

The iPhone has a user interface built around a multi-touch screen, which at the time of its introduction was described as "revolutionary" and a "game-changer" for the mobile phone industry. The device has been credited with popularizing the smartphone and slate form factor, and with creating a large market for smartphone apps, or "app economy".

iOS is one of the two largest smartphone platforms in the world alongside Android. The iPhone has generated large profits for the company, and is credited with helping to make Apple one of the world's most valuable publicly traded companies.[219] As of the end of 2021, the iPhone accounts for more than half of the company's revenue.[218]

As of July 2022, 33 iPhone models have been produced, with five smartphone families in current production:

  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 12


iPad is Apple's line of tablet computers that use the company's proprietary iPadOS operating system, derived from macOS and iOS. The first-generation iPad was announced on January 27, 2010.

The iPad took the multi-touch user interface first introduced in the iPhone, and adapted it to a larger screen, it was marketed for interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, books, photos, videos, music, documents, video games, and most existing iPhone apps. Earlier generations of the iPad used the same iOS operating system as the company's smartphones before being split off to iPadOS in September 2019.

As of September 2020, Apple has sold more than 500 million iPads, though sales peaked in 2013.[220][221][222] The iPad still remains the most popular tablet computer by sales as of the second quarter of 2020,[223] and accounted for nine percent of the company's revenue as of the end of 2021.[218]

In recent years, Apple has started offering more powerful versions of the device, with the current iPad Pro using the same M1 Apple silicon as the company's high-end Macs and Laptops, along with a smaller version of the device called the iPad Mini, and an upgraded version called iPad Air.

As of July 2022, there are four iPad families in production:

  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad Mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Pro (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (5th generation)

Wearables, Home and Accessories

Apple also makes several other products that it categorizes as "Wearables, Home and Accessories." These products include the AirPods line of wireless headphones, Apple TV digital media players, Apple Watch smartwatches, Beats headphones and HomePod Mini smart speakers.

As of the end of 2021, this broad line of products comprises about 11% of the company's revenues.[218]


Apple offers a range of software for its hardware products some of which are bundled with its products while others are available for purchase. These include MacOS, iOS, iBooks, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Xcode, Safari, Time Machine and many more.


Apple also offers a broad line of services that it earns revenue on, including advertising in the App Store and Apple News app, the AppleCare+ extended warranty plan, the iCloud+ cloud-based data storage service, payment services through the Apple Card credit card and the Apple Pay processing platform, a digital content services including Apple Books, Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+, and the iTunes Store.

As of the end of 2021, services comprise about 19% of the company's revenue.[218] Many of the services have been launched since 2019 when Apple announced it would be making a concerted effort to expand its service revenues.[224]


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