From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the technology company. For other companies named "Apple", see Apple (disambiguation).Coordinates:
|Founded||Cupertino, California, U.S.
(April 1, 1976 )
|Headquarters||Apple Campus, Cupertino, California, U.S.|
Number of locations
|453 Apple retail stores in 16 countries (March 2015)|
|Revenue||US$ 182.795 billion (2014)|
|US$ 52.503 billion (2014)|
|US$ 39.510 billion (2014)|
|Total assets||US$ 231.839 billion (2014)|
|Total equity||US$ 111.547 billion (2014)|
Number of employees
Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976, to develop and sell personal computers. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977, and was renamed as Apple Inc. on January 9, 2007, to reflect its shifted focus towards consumer electronics. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average on March 19, 2015.
Apple is the world's second-largest information technology company by revenue after Samsung Electronics, world's largest technology company by Total Assets and the world's third-largest mobile phone maker. On November 25, 2014, in addition to being the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $700 billion. As of March 2015, Apple employs 98,000 permanent full-time employees, maintains 453 retail stores in sixteen countries, and operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world's largest music retailer.
Apple's worldwide annual revenue in 2014 totaled US$182 billion (FY end October 2014). Apple enjoys a high level of brand loyalty and, according to the 2014 edition of the Interbrand Best Global Brands report, is the world's most valuable brand with a valuation of $118.9 billion. By the end of 2014, the corporation continued to manage significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, as well as for its environmental and business practices, including the origins of source materials.
Main article: History of Apple Inc.
1976–84: Founding and incorporation
Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977, without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800. Multimillionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of $250,000 during the incorporation of Apple. During the first five years of operations, revenues doubled every four months, an average growth rate of 700%.
The Apple II, also invented by Wozniak, 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 of its character cell-based color graphics and open architecture. While early Apple II models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface called the Disk II. The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer app" of the business world: VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program. 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. Before VisiCalc, Apple had been a distant third place competitor to Commodore and Tandy.
By the end of the 1970s, Apple had a staff of computer designers and a production line. The company introduced the Apple III in May 1980 in an attempt to compete with IBM and Microsoft in the business and corporate computing market. Jobs and several Apple employees, including Jef Raskin, visited Xerox PARC in December 1979 to see the Xerox Alto. Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000 shares (800,000 split-adjusted shares) of Apple at the pre-IPO price of $10 a share.
Jobs was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a graphical user interface (GUI), and development of a GUI began for the Apple Lisa. In 1982, however, he was pushed from the Lisa team due to infighting. Jobs took over Jef Raskin's low-cost-computer project, the Macintosh. A race broke out between the Lisa team and the Macintosh team over which product would ship first. Lisa won the race 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 tag and limited software titles.
On December 12, 1980, Apple went public at $22 per share, generating more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and instantly creating more millionaires (about 300) than any company in history.
1984–91: Success with Macintosh
See also: Timeline of Macintosh models
The Macintosh initially sold well, but follow-up sales were not strong due to its high price and limited range of software titles. The machine's fortunes changed with the introduction of the LaserWriter, the first PostScript laser printer to be sold at a reasonable price, and PageMaker, an early desktop publishing package. It has been suggested that the combination of these three products were responsible for the creation of the desktop publishing market. The Macintosh was particularly powerful in the desktop publishing market due to its advanced graphics capabilities, which had necessarily been built in to create the intuitive Macintosh GUI.
In 1985, a power struggle developed between Jobs and CEO John Sculley, who had been hired two years earlier. The Apple board of directors instructed Sculley to "contain" Jobs and limit 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. Sculley found out that Jobs had been attempting to organize a coup and called a board meeting at which Apple's board of directors sided with Sculley and removed Jobs from his managerial duties. Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc. the same year.
After Jobs' departure, the Macintosh product line underwent a steady change of focus to higher price points, the so-called "high-right policy" named for the position on a chart of price vs. profits. Jobs had argued the company should produce products aimed at the consumer market and aimed for a $1000 price for the Macintosh, which they were unable to meet. 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 power. 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.
This policy began to backfire in the last years of the decade as new DTP 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 monopoly in this market, and had already 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 that saw declining sales, and led to a 20% drop in Apple's stock price. Gassée's objections were overruled, and he was forced from the company in 1990. Later that year, Apple introduced three lower cost models, the Macintosh Classic, Macintosh LC and Macintosh IIsi, all of which saw significant sales due to pent up demand.
In 1991 Apple introduced the PowerBook, replacing the "luggable" Macintosh Portable 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 operating system which added color to the interface and introduced new networking capabilities. It remained the architectural basis for Mac OS until 2001. The success of the PowerBook and other products brought increasing revenue. 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.
Apple believed the Apple II series was too expensive to produce and took away sales from the low-end Macintosh. In 1990, Apple released the Macintosh LC, which featured a single expansion slot for the Apple IIe Card to help migrate Apple II users to the Macintosh platform; the Apple IIe was discontinued in 1993.