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From Humble Beginnings
The early history of Apple is a fascinating one, full of innovation, competition, and controversy.
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, three young men with a passion for technology and a desire to create something new. They started out in Jobs’s garage, where they built and sold the first Apple computer, the Apple I. The Apple 1 was a personal computer kit that was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips). This led to the formation of Apple Computer Inc., which was listed as a computer hardware and software manufacturer.
From this early success, they quickly designed and released the Apple II on June 10th, 1977, which the device was a more powerful and sophisticated computer that became wildly popular in homes and schools. However, this success was short-lived…
In the 1980s, Apple faced some tough competition from companies such as IBM and Microsoft, but it was able to stay afloat thanks to the success of its Macintosh computer in 1984. However, just after its release in 1985, Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985, after a power struggle with the board of directors. He went on to start a new company, NeXT, which focused on developing computers for the education market.
In The Absence of Steve Jobs
Jobs remained involved with Apple as a member of the board of directors, but he was no longer actively involved in the company’s day-to-day operations. Throughout the 1990s, Apple struggled financially, even with the release of the Power Macintosh in 1994. However, in 1996, Apple acquired NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to the company as an advisor. He eventually became CEO of Apple again in 1997.
Back with regained power and vision, Steve Jobs played a key role in the company’s resurgence and transformation into the technology giant it is today. Especially, with its release of the iMac in 1998 (see full iMac history) and closely thereafter, the iPod in October, 2001. Over the years, Apple has released numerous innovative products, including variations of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac Computers, iWatch, and various software tools like Apple iCloud and AI services like Siri.
Apple's Stock Surges
Apple’s stock price continued to rise in the early 2000s, fueled by the success of the iPod and the launch of the iTunes Store. Between 2001 and 2003, the stock price more than tripled, and the company’s market capitalization rose to over $20 billion. Apple’s stock experienced significant growth between 2003 and 2011. In 2003, the stock price was around $8 per share, and the company had a market capitalization of around $20 billion.
Over the next several years, Apple’s stock price continued to rise, fueled by the success of a number of innovative products, such as the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. The company’s market capitalization also continued to grow, reaching over $100 billion by the end of 2007.
Apple’s stock price reached an all-time high in 2011, when it reached over $400 per share and the company’s market capitalization reached over $300 billion. This was a significant increase from 2003, when the stock price was less than $10 per share and the market capitalization was around $20 billion.
Overall, Apple’s stock experienced strong growth between 2003 and 2011, thanks to the company’s ability to consistently deliver innovative and high-quality products and services to consumers.
The Unfortunate Transition
Tim Cook became CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011, after the resignation of Steve Jobs due to his illness. Cook had been serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Apple since 2005 and had been with the company since 1998.
Ultimately, on October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs passed away from a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His death was a significant loss to the technology industry and to Apple, as he was widely regarded as a visionary and a driving force behind the company’s success.
Where is Apple Headed?
Rumors and hints from Apple indicate they are releasing VR headsets between 2023 and 2024 and an Apple autonomous car between 2024 and 2026. Although there is plenty of skepticism, the innovative track record, and endless capital, once again, positions Apple to change the world entirely. Sure there was been tremendous complaints that Apple has been riding on the same designs with little improvement. However, let’s not forget, just recently, Apple was the first company to reach a 3 Trillion net worth, which was greater than the GDP of the UK, according to Forbes.