|Founded||California, USA (April 1 1976, as Apple Computer Inc.)|
|Key people|| Steve Jobs, CEO & Co-founder|
Steve Wozniak, Co-founder
Timothy D. Cook, COO
Peter Oppenheimer, CFO
Philip W. Schiller, SVP Marketing
Jonathan Ive, SVP Industrial Design
Tony Fadell, SVP iPod Division
Ron Johnson, SVP Retail
Sina Tamaddon, SVP Applications
Bertrand Serlet, SVP Software Engineering
Scott Forstall, VP Platform Experience
|Industry|| Computer hardware|
|Products||Mac (personal computer series), Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, iPod, QuickTime, iLife, iWork, Safari, Apple Remote Desktop, Xsan, Final Cut Studio, Aperture, Logic Studio, Cinema Display, AirPort, Apple Mighty Mouse, Xserve, Xserve RAID, iPhone, Apple TV|
|Employees||17,787 full-time; 2,399 temporary (September 30 2006)|
Apple Inc. (Template:Nasdaq, Template:Lse, Template:FWB), formerly Apple Computer Inc., is an American multinational corporation with a focus on designing and manufacturing consumer electronics and closely related software products. Established in Cupertino, California on April 1 1976, Apple develops, sells, and supports a series of personal computers, portable media players, mobile phones, computer software, and computer hardware and hardware accessories. As of September 2007, the company operates about 200 retail stores in five countries and an online store where hardware and software products are sold. The iTunes Store provides music, audiobooks, iPod games, music videos, episodes of television programs, and movies which can be downloaded using iTunes on Mac or Windows, and also on the iPod touch and the iPhone. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of personal computers, the iPod line of portable media players, and the iPhone. Apple's software products include the Mac OS X operating system, the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software, and Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio- and film-industry software products.
The company, incorporated January 3 1977, was known as "Apple Computer, Inc." for its first 30 years. On January 9 2007, the company dropped "Computer" from its corporate name, reflecting the company's ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers.
For a variety of reasons, ranging from its philosophy of comprehensive aesthetic design to their advertising campaigns, Apple has engendered a distinct reputation in the consumer electronics industry and has cultivated a customer base that is unusually devoted to the company and its brand, particularly in the United States.
The company introduced the Apple II microcomputer in March 1977. A few years later, in 1983, it introduced the Lisa, the first commercial personal computer to employ a graphical user interface (GUI), which was influenced in part by the Xerox Alto. Lisa was also the first personal computer to have the mouse. In 1984, the Macintosh was introduced, which arguably advanced the concept of a new user-friendly graphical user interface. Apple's success with the Macintosh became a major influence in the development of graphical interfaces elsewhere, with major computer operating systems, such as the Commodore Amiga, and Atari ST, appearing on the market within two years of the introduction of the Macintosh.
In 1991, Apple introduced the PowerBook line of portable computers. The 1990s also saw Apple's market share fall as competition from Microsoft Windows and the comparatively inexpensive IBM PC compatible computers that would eventually dominate the market. In the 2000s, Apple expanded its focus on software to include professional and prosumer video, music, and photo production solutions, with a view to promoting their products as a "digital hub". It also introduced the iPod, the most popular digital music player in the world.
1976 to 1980: The early yearsApple was founded on April 1 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne (and later incorporated January 3 1977 without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak) to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. They were hand-built by Steve Wozniak in the living room of Jobs' parents' home, and the Apple I was first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. Eventually 200 computers were built. The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips) — not what is today considered a complete personal computer. The user was required to provide two different AC input voltages (the manual recommended specific transformers), wire an ASCII keyboard (not provided with the computer) to a DIP connector (providing logic inverter and alpha lock chips in some cases), and to wire the video output pins to a monitor or to an RF modulator if a TV set was used. The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66.
Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop, which ordered fifty units and paid US$500 for each unit after much persuasion. He then ordered components from Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor. Using a variety of methods, including borrowing space from friends and family and selling various items including a Volkswagen Type 2 bus, Jobs managed to secure the parts needed while Wozniak and Ronald Wayne assembled the Apple I.
The Apple II was introduced on April 16 1977 at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It differed from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, because it came with color graphics and an open architecture. While early models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, this was quickly superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface, the Disk II.
Another key to business for Apple was software. The Apple II was chosen by programmers Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston to be the desktop platform for the first "killer app" of the business world—the VisiCalc spreadsheet program. VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II, and the corporate market attracted many more software and hardware developers to the machine, as well as giving home users an additional reason to buy one—compatibility with the office. (See the timeline for dates of Apple II family model releases—the 1977 Apple II and its younger siblings the II+, IIe, IIc, and IIGS.)
According to Brian Bagnall's book, "On the Edge" (pp. 109-112), Apple exaggerated its sales figures, and Apple was a distant third place until VisiCalc came along. VisiCalc was first released on Apple II because Commodore and Tandy computers were tied up in VisiCalc's software development office due to their popularity. VisiCalc's association with Apple was thus pure happenstance, not a technical decision. Even after VisiCalc, Apple II did not surpass the Tandy TRS-80, whose sales were helped by the large number of Radio Shack stores. However, VisiCalc did put Apple ahead of Commodore's PET, at least in the US. (Commodore later regained the lead for a while with the Commodore 64 in the mid 80s, the best selling specific model of computer to date.)
By the end of the 1970s, Jobs and his partners had a staff of computer designers and a production line. The Apple II was succeeded by the Apple III in May 1980 as the company struggled to compete against IBM and Microsoft in the lucrative business and corporate computing market. The designers of the Apple III were forced to comply with Jobs' request to omit the cooling fan, and this ultimately resulted in thousands of recalled units due to overheating. An updated version, the Apple III+, was introduced in 1983, but it was also a failure due to bad press and wary buyers.
Apple's sustained growth during the early 1980s was partly due to its leadership in the education sector, attributed to their adaptation of the programming language LOGO, used in many schools with the Apple II. The drive into education was accentuated in California with the donation of one Apple II and one Apple LOGO software package to each public school in the state. The deal concluded between Steve Jobs and Jim Baroux of LCSI, and having required the support of Sacramento, established a strong and pervasive presence for Apple in all schools throughout California. The initial conquest of education environments was critical to Apple's acceptance in the home where the earliest purchases of computers by parents was in support of children's continued learning experience.
1981 to 1989: Lisa and MacintoshJobs and several other Apple employees including Jef Raskin visited Xerox PARC in December 1979 to see the Alto computer. Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for selling them US$1 million in pre-IPO Apple stock (approximately US$18 million net).
It is said that Jobs was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a GUI, and decided to turn over design of Apple's next project, the Apple Lisa, to produce such a device. The Lisa was named after Jobs' daughter (however, a bacronym, Local Integrated Software Architecture, was coined). He was eventually pushed from the group due to infighting, and instead took over Jef Raskin's low-cost computer project, the Macintosh. Branding the new effort as the product that would "save Apple", an intense turf war broke out between the Lisa's "corporate shirts" and Jobs' Macintosh "pirates", both teams claiming they would ship first and be more successful. In 1983 the Lisa team won the race and Apple introduced the first personal computer to be sold to the public with a GUI. However, the Lisa was a commercial failure as a result of its high price tag (US$9,995) and limited software titles.
In 1984, drawing upon its experience with the Lisa, Apple next launched the Macintosh. Its debut was announced by a single national broadcast of the now famous US$1.5 million television commercial, "1984", based on George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The commercial was directed by Ridley Scott and aired during Super Bowl XVIII on January 22 1984. Jobs' intention with the ad was to represent the IBM PC as Big Brother, and the Macintosh as a nameless female action hero portrayed by Anya Major. While the Macintosh initially sold well, follow-up sales were not particularly strong. The machine's fortunes changed with the introduction of the LaserWriter, the first laser printer to be offered at a reasonable price point, and PageMaker, an early desktop publishing (DTP) package. The Mac was particularly powerful in this market due to its advanced graphics capabilities, which were already necessarily built-in to create the intuitive Macintosh GUI. It has been suggested that the combination of these three products was responsible for the creation of the DTP market. As DTP became widespread, Apple's sales reached a series of new highs, and the company had its initial public offering on September 7, 1984.
An internal power struggle developed between Jobs and new CEO John Sculley in 1985. Apple's board of directors sided with Sculley and Jobs was removed from his managerial duties. Jobs later resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc., a computer company that built machines with futuristic designs and ran the UNIX-derived NeXTStep operating system. Although powerful, NeXT computers never caught on with buyers, due in part to their high purchase price.
1989 to 1991: The Golden Age
Having learned several painful lessons after introducing the bulky Macintosh Portable in 1989, Apple introduced the PowerBook in 1991, which established the modern form and ergonomic layout of the laptop computer. The same year, Apple introduced System 7, a major upgrade to the operating system which added color to the interface, and introduced a number of new networking capabilities. It would remain the architectural basis for Mac OS until 2001.
The success of the PowerBook and several other Apple products during this period led to increasing revenue. For some time, it appeared that Apple could do no wrong, introducing fresh new products and generating increasing profits in the process. The magazine MacAddict named the period between 1989 to 1991 the "first golden age" of the Macintosh. However, the continuing development of Microsoft Windows had given birth to an interface that was competitive with Apple's. Combined with a huge base of low-cost computers and peripherals and an improving software suite, an increasing number of potential customers turned to the "Wintel" standard.
Apple, relying on high profit margins to maintain their massive R&D budget, never developed a clear response. Instead they sued Microsoft for theft of intellectual property, in Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation. The lawsuit dragged on for years before finally being thrown out of court. A series of major product flops and missed deadlines destroyed Apple's reputation of invincibility, and consequently their market share dropped, particularly after the release of Windows 95.
During this time, Apple branched out into consumer electronics. One example of this product diversification was the Apple QuickTake digital camera, one of the first digital cameras brought to the consumer market. A more famous example was the Newton, termed a "Personal digital assistant" or "PDA" by Sculley, that was introduced in 1993. Though it failed commercially, it defined and launched a new category of computing and was a forerunner of devices such as Palm Pilot, PocketPC, and eventually the iPhone.
1994 to 1997: Attempts at reinventionBy the mid-90s, Apple realized that it had to reinvent the Macintosh in order to stay competitive in the market. The needs of both computer users and computer programs were becoming, for a variety of technical reasons, harder for the existing hardware and operating system to address.
In 1994 Apple allied with long-time competitor IBM and CPU maker Motorola in the so-called AIM alliance. This was a bid to create a new computing platform (the PowerPC Reference Platform or PReP), which would use IBM and Motorola hardware coupled with Apple's software. The AIM alliance hoped that PReP's performance and Apple's software would leave the PC far behind, thus countering Microsoft, which had become Apple's chief competitor. That year, Apple introduced the Power Macintosh using IBM's PowerPC processor. This processor utilized a RISC architecture, which differed substantially from the Motorola 68k series that had been used by all previous Macs.
Throughout the mid to late 1990s, Apple tried to improve its operating system's multitasking and memory management. After multiple failed attempts to improve the existing Mac OS, first with the Taligent project, then later with Copland and Gershwin, the company chose to purchase NeXT and its NeXTSTEP operating system, bringing Steve Jobs back to Apple in the process. On July 9 1997, Gil Amelio was ousted as CEO of Apple by the board of directors after overseeing a 3-year record-low stock price and crippling financial losses. Jobs stepped in as the interim CEO and began a restructuring of the company's product line.
At the 1997 Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be entering into a partnership with Microsoft to release new versions of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh as well as a US$150 million investment in non-voting Apple stock.
On November 10 1997, Apple introduced the Apple Store, an online retail store based upon the WebObjects application server the company had acquired in its purchase of NeXT. The new direct sales outlet was also tied to a new build-to-order manufacturing strategy and announced at the same time as new machines using the PowerPC processor.
1998 to 2005: New beginnings
On August 15 1998, Apple introduced a new all-in-one Mac computer reminiscent of the original Macintosh 128K: the iMac. The iMac design team was led by Jonathan Ive, who would later design the iPod and the iPhone. While not groundbreaking from a technological standpoint, the iMac featured an innovative new translucent plastic exterior, originally in Bondi Blue, but later many other colors. The iMac sold close to 800,000 units in its first five months and helped return the company to sustained profitability for the first time since 1993.
Through this time period, Apple purchased several companies in a move to create a portfolio of professional and consumer-oriented digital production software. In 1998, Apple announced the purchase of Macromedia's Final Cut software, signalling its expansion into the digital video editing market. The following year, Apple released two video editing products: iMovie for consumers, and Final Cut Pro for professionals, the latter of which has gone on to be a significant video-editing program, with 800,000 registered users in early 2007. In 2002 Apple purchased Nothing Real for their advanced digital compositing application Shake, as well as Emagic for their music productivity application Logic. which led to the development of their consumer-level GarageBand application. With iPhoto's release in 2002, this completed Apple's collection of consumer and professional level creativity software, with the consumer-level applications being collected together into the iLife suite.
Mac OS X, the operating system based on NeXT's OPENSTEP and BSD Unix was released on March 24 2001 after several years of development. Aimed at consumers and professionals alike, Mac OS X aimed to marry the stability, reliability and security of the Unix operating system with the ease of use afforded by a completely overhauled user interface. To aid users in moving their applications from Mac OS 9, the new operating system allowed the use of OS 9 applications through Mac OS X's Classic environment.
Later the same year, Apple introduced its first iPod portable digital audio player. The product has proven phenomenally successful; over 100 million units have been sold in the six years since its introduction. In 2003, Apple's iTunes Store was introduced, offering online music downloads for US 99¢ a song and integration with the iPod. The service quickly became the market leader in online music services, with over 3 billion downloads by August 2007. Steve Jobs announced that iTunes had reached 4 billion downloads during his keynote address at the 2008 Macworld Conference & Expo.
As for the Macintosh, Apple's design team progressively abandoned the flashy colors of the iMac G3 era in favor of white polycarbonate for consumer lines such as the iMac and iBook, as well as the educational eMac, and metal enclosures for the professional lines. This began with the 2001 release of the titanium PowerBook and was followed by the 2001 white iBook, the 2002 flat-panel iMac, the 2003 Power Mac G5, and the 2004 Apple Cinema Displays.
2005 to present: The Intel partnershipJanuary 10 2006, Apple released its first Intel chip computers, a new notebook computer known as the MacBook Pro (with a 15.4" screen) and a new (though cosmetically identical) iMac with purportedly two to three times faster performance compared with its predecessor. Both used Intel's Core Duo chip technology. Through 2006, Apple transitioned the entire Mac product line to Intel chips, retaining the enclosure design while replacing its internal components. The Power Mac brand was retired, with Mac Pro being its successor. Apple also introduced a new piece of software called Boot Camp that helps users install Windows XP on their Intel Mac alongside Mac OS X.
Apple's success during this period, beginning in 1997 (the first year the company turned a profit after losses through 1995 and 1996), but accelerating between 2003 to 2005, was evident in its skyrocketing stock. Between early 2003 and January 2006, the price of a share of Apple's stock increased more than tenfold, from a little more than US$6 per share (split-adjusted) to more than US$80 per share. On January 13 2006, Apple's market cap surpassed that of Dell. Nearly ten years prior, in 1997, Dell's CEO, Michael Dell, had asserted that if he ran Apple he would "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."
Delivering his keynote at Macworld 2007 (January 9 2007), Steve Jobs announced a change of name: Apple Computer Inc. would from that point be known as Apple Inc. The event also saw the announcement of the iPhone, and the Apple TV. The following day, Apple shares hit US$97.80, then an all-time high. In May 2007, Apple's share price passed the US$100 mark.
On February 7 2007, Apple indicated that it would be willing to sell music on the iTunes store without digital rights management protection (allowing tracks to be played on any compatible player) if major record labels would agree to drop that anti-piracy technology. On April 2 2007, Apple and record label EMI jointly announced the removal of anti-piracy technology from EMI's catalog in the iTunes Store, effective in May.
Apple introduced the Apple Macintosh family in 1984 and today makes consumer, professional, and educational computers. The Mac mini is the company's consumer sub-desktop computer, introduced in January 2005 and designed to motivate Windows users to switch to the Mac computer platform. The iMac is a consumer desktop computer that was first introduced by Apple in 1998, and its popularity helped revive the company's fortunes. The iMac is similar in concept to the original Macintosh in that the monitor and computer are housed in a single unit. It is now in its third major design iteration, and has been upgraded many times (including a switch to Intel processors) using the same design. Apple sells three lines of portable computers: the MacBook which includes a 13 inch widescreen, and is available in white and black variants, the MacBook Air, an ultra-thin, ultra-portable notebook with a 13.3 inch LED backlit widescreen and the MacBook Pro, a professional portable computer alternative to the MacBook. The MacBook Pro is marketed as being intended for professional and creative users, and offers configurations with 15 and&17 inch displays. The Mac Pro is Apple's workstation-class desktop computer offering, which is housed in an aluminum enclosure that matches the design aesthetic of the Apple Cinema Display. Apple's rack mount offerings include the Xserve, a dual core, dual processor 1U server, and the Xserve RAID for large-scale storage options.
Apple sells a variety of computer accessories for Mac computers including the AirPort wireless networking products, Apple Cinema Display, Mighty Mouse, the Apple Wireless Keyboard computer keyboard, and the Apple USB Modem.
On October 23 2001, Apple introduced the iPod digital music player. Initially equipped with a 5 GB hard drive and a monochrome screen, models today can store up to 160 GB and display video, play games, and support a wide range of third-party add-on devices. As of September 2007, Apple sells four variants of the iPod: the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod classic and iPod touch. The iPod is the market leader in portable music players by a significant margin, with more than 100 million units shipped as of April 9 2007. Apple has partnered with Nike to introduce the Nike+iPod Sports Kit enabling runners to sync and monitor their runs with iTunes and the Nike+ website.
At the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the long anticipated iPhone, a convergence of an Internet-enabled smartphone and video iPod. The iPhone combines a 2.5G quad band GSM and EDGE cellular phone with features found in hand held devices, running a scaled-down versions of Apple's Mac OS X, with various applications such as Safari web browser, e-mail, and navigation. The iPhone features a 3.5 inch touch screen display, 8 GB of memory, Bluetooth, and WiFi (both "b" and "g"). The iPhone first became available on June 29 2007.
Additionally at the conference, Jobs demonstrated the Apple TV, (previously known as the iTV), a set-top video device intended to bridge the sale of content from iTunes with high-definition televisions. The device links up to a user's TV and syncs, either via WiFi or a wired network, with one computer's iTunes library and streams from an additional four. The Apple TV incorporates a 40 GB hard drive for storage, includes outputs for HDMI and component video, and plays video at a maximum resolution of 720p. It was later updated to include a 160 GB drive for even more space for media.
In 2008 Apple presented trackpad, which is based on the multi-touch technology. The latter was being designed exclusively for the new series of Apple laptops. For the first time this technology was applied in the iPhone. The trackpad can interpret a variety of combinations of three-finger manipulations.
The highest functionality of the new trackpad is achieved by combining the motions of three fingers. Users can apply different combinations for such functions as: scrolling, zooming pictures in and out and rotating objects. Applications including Finder, iPhoto and Safari possess their personal sets of combinations.
Since 2004, Greenpeace has attacked Apple for not setting a timeline to remove PVC and BFRs, which still exist in recent products such as the iPod nano and MacBook; and for not promoting a global end-of-life take back plan for Apple hardware (although it does within Europe and Japan where this is required by law); as well as for not having reusable components. As of December 2006, Greenpeace ranked Apple last out of ten electronics companies in dealing with toxic substances in their products, mostly due to a lack of relevant documentation and timelines. On May 2 2007, Steve Jobs released an open letter named A Greener Apple, responding to some of the allegations. In his letter, Jobs stated:
In one environmental group’s recent scorecard, Dell, HP and Lenovo all scored higher than Apple because of their plans (or “plans for releasing plans” in the case of HP). In reality, Apple is ahead of all of these companies in eliminating toxic chemicals from its products.
On June 5 2007, Apple updated their MacBook Pro product line. This hardware update is environmentally notable because LEDs fully replaced cold cathode lamps in the 15 inch MacBook Pro's display backlighting, a first for Apple laptops (the iPod has had LED backlighting since its creation in 2001). This ameliorates Apple's environmental stance, as cold cathode lamps contain mercury, whereas LEDs do not.
Apple develops its own operating system to run on Macs, Mac OS X, the latest version being Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. Apple also independently develops computer software titles for its Mac OS X operating system. Much of the software Apple develops is bundled with its computers. An example of this is the consumer-oriented iLife software package which bundles iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, GarageBand, and iWeb. For presentation, page layout and word processing, iWork is available, which includes Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. iTunes, QuickTime media player, and Safari web browser are available as free downloads for both Mac OS X and Windows.
Apple also offers a range of professional software titles. Their range of server software includes the operating system Mac OS X Server; Apple Remote Desktop, a remote systems management application; WebObjects, Java Web application server; and Xsan, a Storage Area Network file system. For the professional creative market, there is Aperture for professional RAW-format photo processing; Final Cut Studio, a video production suite; Logic, a comprehensive music toolkit and Shake, an advanced effects composition program.
Critics of Apple commonly point to their vertically integrated business model, where all the hardware and operating system software comes from one company. Although the Apple II was very open, the Macintosh was originally closed and proprietary, and during the Mac's early history Apple generally refused to adopt prevailing industry standards for hardware, instead creating and implementing their own (for example, The Lisa's FileWare drive, and the ADB).
This trend was largely reversed in the late 1990s beginning with Apple's adoption of the PCI bus in the 7500/8500/9500 Power Macs. Apple has since adopted USB, AGP, HyperTransport, Wi-Fi, and other industry standards in its computers and was in some cases a leader in the adoption of such standards. FireWire is an Apple-originated standard which has seen widespread industry adoption after it was standardized as IEEE 1394.
However, the iPod remains a mostly closed and vertically integrated platform. Although Apple provides documented interfaces for hardware accessories, developers have no supported way to add features to the software (such as decoding of additional formats). Although the iPod supports the mainstream MP3 and AAC formats, there is not support for other proprietary formats, like Windows Media (this can be converted to AAC with iTunes on Windows), RealAudio and the open Ogg Vorbis format. Apple has refused to license its FairPlay DRM system to other online music vendors. The company added Windows PC support with their second generation iPod series.
Ever since the first Apple store opened, Apple has wanted third parties to sell their products and software inside their stores. This allows, for instance, Nikon and Canon to sell their Mac-compatible digital cameras and camcorders inside the store. Adobe, the largest Apple software partner, also sells its Mac-compatible software, as does Microsoft, who sells Microsoft Office for the Mac. A notable exception are books published by John Wiley & Sons, who publishes the For Dummies series of instructional books. The publisher's line of books were banned from Apple Stores in 2005 because Steve Jobs disagreed with their editorial policy.
HeadquartersApple Inc.'s world corporate headquarters are located in the middle of Silicon Valley, at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California. This Apple campus has six buildings which total 850,000 sq ft (79,000 m²). and was built in 1993 by Sobrato Development Cos.
In 2006, Apple announced its intention to build a second campus on 50 acres assembled from various contiguous plots. The new campus, also in Cupertino, will be about one mile east of the current campus.Template:Dead link
- 1977–1981: Michael "Scotty" Scott
- 1981–1983: A. C. "Mike" Markkula
- 1983–1993: John Sculley
- 1993–1996: Michael Spindler
- 1996–1997: Gil Amelio
- 1997–present: Steve Jobs (interim CEO 1997-2000)
Current board of directors
- Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit Inc.
- Millard Drexler, chairman and CEO of J.Crew
- Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States
- Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple; also a director of The Walt Disney Company
- Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO of Avon Products
- Arthur D. Levinson, chairman and CEO of Genentech
- Eric E. Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google
- Jerry York, chairman, president and CEO of Harwinton Capital
- Steve Jobs, chief executive officer
- Timothy D. Cook, chief operating officer
- Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer
- Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing
- Tony Fadell, senior vice president of the iPod division
- Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design
- Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of software engineering
- Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail
- Sina Tamaddon, senior vice president of applications
- Scott Forstall, vice president of platform experience
- Donald Rosenberg, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary
Since the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 with the 1984 Super Bowl commercial to the more modern 'Get a Mac' adverts, Apple has been recognized for its efforts towards effective advertising and marketing for its products, though it has been criticized for the content of more recent campaigns.
Apple’s first logo, designed by Jobs and Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Almost immediately, though, this was replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow Apple,” the now-familiar rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it, possibly as a tribute to Isaac Newton's discoveries of the gravity (the apple), and the separation of light by prisms (the colors). This was one of several designs Janoff presented to Jobs in 1976.
While it is generally accepted to have been in reference to Isaac Newton, a curious urban legend exists that the bitten apple is a homage to the mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide by eating an apple he had laced with cyanide. Turing is regarded as one of the fathers of the computer.
In 1999, Apple began enforcing the use of a strictly monochrome logo—supposedly at the insistence of a newly re-inaugurated Jobs—nearly identical in shape to its previous rainbow incarnation. However, no specific color is prescribed; for example, it is grey on the Power Mac G5, Mac Mini, and iMac, black on the Aluminum iMac, blue in the iPod's "legal" menu and (by default) in Mac OS X until 10.5 when it was changed to chrome on the 'About this Mac' panel and the boot screen in Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4, red on many software packages, and white on the iBook, PowerBook G4, PowerBook G3 (late models), MacBook, and MacBook Pro. The logo's shape is one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world, identifies all Apple products and retail stores (the name "Apple" is usually not even present), and notably included as stickers in nearly all Macintosh and iPod packages through the years.
Apple's first slogan, "Byte into an Apple", was coined in the late 1970s. Once Apple started selling more than just computers, slogans were created for each individual product, rather than for the company itself. For example, the slogan "iThink, therefore iMac", was used in 1998 to promote the iMac. Several company-directed slogans are marketed today; however Apple tends to focus mainly on marketing its products individually.
Apple's earliest court action dates to 1978 when Apple Records, The Beatles-founded record label, filed suit against Apple Computer for trademark infringement. The suit settled in 1981 with an amount of US$80,000 being paid to Apple Corps. As a condition of the settlement, Apple Computer agreed to stay out of the music business. The case arose in 1989 again when Apple Corps sued over the Apple IIGS, which included a professional synthesizer chip, claiming violation of the 1981 settlement agreement. In 1991 another settlement of around US$26.5 million was reached. In September 2003 Apple Computer was sued by Apple Corps again, this time for introducing the iTunes Music Store and the iPod, which Apple Corps believed was a violation of the previous agreement by Apple Computer not to distribute music. The trial in the UK ended on May 8 2006 with victory for Apple Computer. The judge ruled the company's iTunes Music Store did not infringe on the trademark of Apple Corps and ordered Apple Corps to pay the legal costs. A new settlement was announced on February 5 2007 giving Apple, Inc. control over the Apple mark with Apple Corps licensed to use it. Portions of the settlement are confidential, but each side will pay its own legal costs. As the Beatles' songs are not available for download from any legal music download sites, including the iTunes Music Store, Jobs' highly public nod to the Beatles (playing "Lovely Rita" on the iPhone) during his January 9 2007 Macworld keynote fueled widespread speculation about a deal to sell Beatles songs on iTunes. A spokewoman for Apple Corps said the settlement had no bearing on any such matter.
Of the matter, Steve Jobs said "We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks. It feels great to resolve this in a positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future."
In July 1998, Abdul Traya registered the domain name appleimac.com, shortly after Apple announced the iMac, in an attempt to draw attention to the web-hosting business he was running out of his parents' basement. After a legal dispute that lasted until April 1999, Traya and Apple settled out of court with Apple paying legal fees and giving Traya a "token payment" in exchange for the domain name.
In a more recent previously unrelated lawsuit, Apple entered into a class action settlement, upheld on December 20 2005 following an appeal, regarding the battery life of iPod music players sold prior to May 2004. Eligible members of the class are entitled to extended warranties, store credit, cash compensation, or battery replacement.
Creative also recently filed a patent dispute alleging that Apple infringed on one of Creative's patents for their Zen player with the iPod and iPod nano. On August 23 2006, Apple and Creative settled their patent disputes by paying Creative US$100 million.
On January 10 2007, Cisco sued Apple for the iPhone, since Cisco has held the trademark on the name "iPhone" since 2000. Cisco had refused rights to use the name "iPhone" on multiple occasions. Apple and Cisco had been in talks for a while about use of the name, though Apple had been denied the use of the name on several occasions leading up through January 9. Cisco alleged that Apple created a front company to attempt to acquire the name through other means, but failed also. During the 2007 Macworld Expo, Apple used Cisco's "iPhone" name anyway. On February 22 2007 Cisco and Apple announced an agreement under which both companies would be allowed to use the iPhone name worldwide.
In July 2007, Colorado-based photographer Louis Psihoyos filed suit against Apple for allegedly ripping his "wall of videos" imagery to advertise for Apple TV. According to Psihoyos, Apple had been negotiating with Psihoyos for rights to the imagery, but backed out and promptly used the imagery anyway.
Stock option backdating investigation
On June 29 2006, Apple announced that an internal investigation "discovered irregularities related to the issuance of certain stock option grants made between 1997 and 2001." A Special Committee reported the findings of the stock backdating investigation three months later on October 4 2006, stating "the investigation found no misconduct by any member of Apple's current management team", ... "the most recent evidence of irregularities relates to a January 2002 grant", and "stock option grants made on 15 dates between 1997 and 2002 appear to have grant dates that precede the approval of those grants". The Special Committee also reported that "in a few instances, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was aware that favorable grant dates had been selected, but he did not receive or otherwise benefit from these grants and was unaware of the accounting implications." Documents were subsequently faked to indicate a special board meeting had occurred and that the options had been granted on that day. The backdating gave Jobs a potential net gain of more than US$20 million had he exercised his options.
On April 24 2007, the SEC announced it had filed charges against former Apple chief financial officer Fred D. Anderson and former Apple general counsel Nancy R. Heinen for their alleged roles in backdating Apple options. Anderson immediately settled the charges for a payment of a civil penalty of US$150,000 and disgorgement of "ill-gotten gains" of approximately US$3.49 million. Heinen was charged with, among other things, violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, lying to Apple's auditors, and violating prohibitions on circumventing internal controls, based on the options awarded to Steve Jobs (dated October 19 2001 but allegedly granted in December 2001) and also option grants awarded to top company executives, including Heinen (dated January 17 2001, but allegedly granted in February 2001.) The SEC is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement, and money penalties against Heinen, in addition to an order barring her from serving as an officer or director of a public company. The charges against Heinen remain pending.
In late April 2007, the SEC announced that it would not bring action against Apple due to its "swift, extensive, and extraordinary cooperation in the Commission's investigation." Most analysts took this statement to mean that Apple was in the clear, and Steve Jobs personally read the statement to concerned shareholders at a meeting.
Apple was one of several highly successful companies founded in the 1970s that bucked the traditional notions of what a corporate culture should look like in terms of organizational hierarchy (flat versus tall, casual versus formal attire, etc). Other highly successful firms with similar cultural aspects from the same time period include Southwest Airlines and Microsoft. Originally, the company stood in opposition to staid competitors like IBM more or less by default, thanks to the influence of its founders; Steve Jobs often walked around the office barefoot even after Apple was a Fortune 500 company. By the time of the "1984" TV ad, this trait had become a key way the company differentiated itself from its competitors.
As the company has grown and been led by a series of chief executives, each with his own idea of what Apple should be, some of its original character has arguably been lost, but Apple still has a reputation for fostering individuality and excellence that reliably draws talented people into its employ, especially after Jobs' return. To recognize the best of its employees, Apple created the Apple Fellows program. Apple Fellows are those who have made extraordinary technical or leadership contributions to personal computing while at the company. The Apple Fellowship has so far been awarded to a few individuals including Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, Rod Holt, Alan Kay, Guy Kawasaki, Don Norman, Rich Page, and Steve Wozniak.
According to surveys by J. D. Power, Apple has the highest brand and repurchase loyalty of any computer manufacturer. While this brand loyalty is considered unusual for any product, Apple appears not to have gone out of its way to create it. At one time, Apple evangelists were actively engaged by the company, but this was after the phenomenon was already firmly established. Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki has called the brand fanaticism "something that was stumbled upon". Apple has, however, supported the continuing existence of a network of Mac User Groups in most major and many minor centers of population where Mac computers are available.
Mac users meet at the European Apple Expo and the San Francisco Macworld Conference & Expo trade shows where Apple introduces new products each year to the industry and public. Mac developers in turn gather at the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.
Apple Store openings can draw crowds of thousands, with some waiting in line as much as a day before the opening or flying in from other countries for the event. The New York City Fifth Avenue "Cube" store had a line as long as half a mile; a few Mac fans took the opportunity of the setting to propose marriage. The Ginza opening in Tokyo was estimated in the thousands with a line exceeding eight city blocks.
Market research indicates that Apple draws its customer base from an unusually artistic, creative, and well-educated population, which may explain the platform’s visibility within certain youthful, avant-garde subcultures.
Apple has received criticism for not notifying users of system vulnerabilities until a fix is released, meaning users are vulnerable to known security flaws until the fix is released and unable to take steps to prevent falling fowl of them. Some argue this is security through obscurity and that Apple should practice full disclosure.
Apple has been accused of pressuring journalists to release their sources, with regards to leaked information about new Apple products, going as far as filing lawsuits against "John Does". In particular, Apple fought a protracted battle against the Think Secret web site, eventually ending in a settlement that closed the web site but maintained the anonymity of its sources.
Apple also has received criticism for its iPhone and iPod integration with iTunes for not facilitating creation of software to run and maintain those devices using different applications tools besides iTunes.
Similarly, Apple has not licensed its Fairplay DRM system to any other company, preventing users to listening to DRM protected music bought from sources other than the iTunes store. By not allowing other companies or individuals to interoperate with its DRM system, Apple prevents competition and divides the market. For that reason most other online music stores which use DRM use the Windows Media format, which incompatible with Apple products.
Apple also has received criticism and two class-action lawsuits at both state and federal level about its iPhone product only being allowed service through a single mobile service provider in each country it has been released in (AT&T in the US, O2 in the UK), citing monopolistic and antitrust allegations between the two companies. Software updates (maliciously or not) initially made unlocked iPhones unusable ("bricked"), however the most recent update revives the phone. Currently there is no official way to unlock an iPhone, and it cannot be bought unlocked for use on any network.
Another common criticism of Apple is that it's products are often not user serviceable, instead requiring they be returned to Apple for repairs and upgrades. Typical examples include the batteries in the iPod, iPhone and MacBook Air which are non-user replaceable, and the difficulty of installing simple upgrades (HDD, RAM etc) in older MacBooks.
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