From setting out in life on April 1, 1976 from a garage in Los Altos, California, to a new disc-shaped headquarters in Cupertino city amid growing users’ security concern with a recent battle with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US-based technology giant Apple can count on numerous milestones in the last four decades.
As the company celebrated its 40th birthday on Friday, the aim is increasingly getting clear — to make further inroads into the Indian smartphone market with a huge base of 160 million plus users that is likely to surpass the US smartphone user base in a couple of years.
In March, Apple stunned its rivals by launching a cheaper, smaller yet powerful iPhone SE and a game changer 9.7-inch iPad Pro. As powerful as iPhone 6S, the device has a 64-bit A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor.
But what made headlines was Apple’s legal battle with the FBI over unlocking the iPhone 5C used by terrorist Syed Farook, who died in a shootout after carrying out a deadly attack in San Bernardino, California, with his wife last year.
The company got backing from many tech giants, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft over encryption to unlock the iPhone. The company also reiterated several times its commitment to protect its users’ data and privacy while fighting with the FBI.
“We have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We will not shrink from this responsibility,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said, adding, “We built the iPhone for you, our customers, and for many of us it is a deeply personal device.”
However, a third party helped the FBI crack the security function without erasing contents of the terrorists’s iPhone. As the news spread of the FBI hacking into the encrypted Apple iPhone, experts expressed fears of backdoor approach to put users’ security at hackers’ mercy.
With the FBI hacking, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) scrapped its request for Apple Inc’s assistance to hack into the iphone. The two-page court filing said that the FBI had accessed data stored on the iPhone 5c.
Apple was founded by the late Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. In the early days, they sold computer kits — each of which Wozniak hand-built.
According to RTE News, Wozniak was the one who created the company’s first computer – Apple I – that went on sale in July 1976. This was a heads for the trio, which went on to form its first entity – Apple Computer Company.
The next year was even better with the launch of Apple II – the first personal computer for the mass market. In 1981, Jobs became the chairman.
The company hit a low when Jobs left the firm in 1984 after his pet project — the first Macintosh computer — struggled. However, after a long sabbatical, he returned in 1997 when the company was in a financial crisis and launched the iMac in 1998.
Meanwhile, the company released Macintosh II, the first colour Mac in 1987.
After 14 years, Apple released iTunes, OS X and the first-generation iPod in 2001. The first iPod MP3 music player was a huge hit and was released on October 23, 2001 at an event in Cupertino. The device was able to hold up to 1,000 songs and sold over 100 million units sold in the first six years.
“The first Apple Store was opened in May 2001 in the state of Virginia, US – the richest county in the country at that time. Apple now has more than 460 stores worldwide,” the Daily Mail reported.
The market was soon flooded by Apple’s products — the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. It released the ultralight MacBook Air and the iPhone, which went on sale in 2007 while the first iPad was unveiled in 2010.
In 2011, Jobs resigned due to illness and handed over command to Tim Cook – the current CEO. Jobs died that October of pancreatic cancer.
The consecutive years saw evolution in iPhones – the device that brings in almost half of company’s revenue.
In 2014, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch and first larger and slimmer iPhones — the 6 and 6 Plus. A year later, Apple purchased Beats from Dr Dre and launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify and other music streaming services.
By Sourabh Kulesh