November 10, 2001
Apple ships the first iPod, the device that changed the course of both the music and technology industries. Of course, at the time, most “experts” could only focus on the fact that other devices cost less and may have had more impressive technical specs. Sort of like they do today. I guess when it comes to “experts” and Apple devices, they haven’t learned their lesson yet!
Using the slogan, “1000 Songs in Your Pocket,” Steve Jobs introduces the original iPod, featuring a 5 GB hard drive, Firewire connectivity, and synchronization to iTunes. By using a 1.8″ drive, the iPod was significantly smaller than competing MP3 players of the time. The Firewire port allowed simultaneous charging and high-speed music synchronization, innovative for its time. At the time, the original iPod only worked with Macintosh computers. However, the popularity of the iPod among Windows users – who had to hack together a solution to use it with their computers – prompted Apple to release a Windows compatible version in the second generation of iPods. With the introduction of the iTunes Music Store in June of 2003, the runaway success of the iPod completely changed the landscape of the music and computer industry.
At the COMDEX computer expo in Las Vegas, Apple introduces the first line of PowerBook notebook computers, the PowerBook 100, PowerBook 140, and PowerBook 170. The first truly portable Macintosh, the PowerBook line redefined portable computing and set the bar for future laptop designs. For example, the PowerBooks were the first laptop to have a trackball positioned in front of the keyboard. Most existing PC laptops of the time ran DOS and were therefore keyboard-oriented, requiring the use of external mice.
After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, technology visionary and founder of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs passes away. Jobs’ contributions to the technology industry are undeniable. Together with Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs started the personal computer revolution with their Apple II computer. After being forced out of Apple, Jobs went on to found NeXT, Inc. and then purchase Pixar, the company that would redefine the animated motion picture industry. In 1997, Apple purchased NeXT which brought Jobs back to Apple and the technology developed at NeXT was used as the foundation for Apple’s future operating systems, Mac OS X and iOS. By introducing the iPhone and iPad, he ended the PC era he created, kickstarted The New World of Technology and led Apple from the brink of collapse to the most valuable company in the world.
Just a little over two weeks after naming Steve Jobs interim CEO, Apple launches their “Think Different” ad campaign. Designed to reintroduce the Apple brand, the campaign was nearly universally praised by the press, general public, and advertising industry, winning several awards along the way. Looking back in context, Think Different was the symbolic start of Apple’s resurgence from near-collapse in the 1990’s into the most valuable company in the world.
The campaign was anchored on the now-famous prose commonly called, “Crazy Ones“, which was narrated by Richard Dreyfus in the commercial most people are familiar with. It is commonly thought that Steve Jobs wrote Crazy Ones, but in fact it was written by Rob Siltanen and Ken Segall who worked at Apple’s advertising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day. Read more about the history of the Think Different campaign.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
September 16, 1997
Twelve years to the day after resigning from Apple, Steve Jobs is named Interim CEO of Apple. Only seven months earlier, Jobs’ company NeXT was purchased by Apple and just two months earlier Gil Amelio resigned as Apple CEO. Much of the technology acquired with the purchase of NeXT was used to build the Mac OS X operating system, which became the core of the iOS operating system that runs the iPhone and iPad.
September 16, 1985
Five months after losing control of the company in a boardroom battle with John Sculley, Steve Jobs resigns from Apple. Jobs goes on to found NeXT and purchase Pixar before eventually returning to Apple.
September 15, 1986
Apple introduces the Apple IIgs, the last major product release in the Apple II series of personal computers. Blending the older Apple II series computers with aspects from the Macintosh computer, the advanced “graphics and sound” capabilities of the IIgs (hence the name) was ahead of other contemporary computers such as the Macintosh and IBM PC. However, as Apple chose to focus on the Macintosh line of computers, Apple eventually ceased development of the Apple II series. The last IIgs was produced in December of 1992.
September 7, 2005
Apple introduces the iPod Nano, effectively replacing the iPod Mini. The move surprised many in the industry, as the iPod Mini was extremely popular. However, the use of flash storage instead of a hard drive allowed for a much smaller form factor, increased reliability, and better battery life. These improvements proved extremely popular with consumers as one million units were sold in the first 17 days. The pioneering use of flash storage in a consumer electronic device paved the way for its use in many future Apple product designs, such as the iPhone, iPad, and flash storage-based MacBooks.
August 28, 2009
Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6, “Snow Leopard” for their Macintosh computers. Snow Leopard was an important release as it was the first to drop support for PowerPC-based Macs and focus optimization for the Intel processor-based Macs. The networking protocol that Apple had used since the 1980’s, AppleTalk, was also discontinued in Snow Leopard. AppleTalk was the first true plug-and-play networking protocol and during its heyday in the late 80’s, AppleTalk was the most widely used networking protocol in the world.