February 2, 1996
Gil Amelio is named CEO of Apple Computer, replacing Michael Spindler. He orchestrated the purchase of NeXT, the company which Steve Jobs founded after leaving Apple in 1985. Steve Jobs was brought on as a consultant to Apple and after a series of events, Gil Amelio was fired after 499 days on the job. Steve Jobs soon replaced him and has led Apple back into profitability with its iMac and G3 machines.
January 27, 2010
Apple introduces the iPad. While still only a few years old, the introduction of the iPad triggered the close of the PC era and will certainly go down in history as one of the pivotal points in computing history.
January 24, 1984
Apple Computer, Inc. launches the Macintosh computer with a demonstration of the computer in front of 3,000 people. While the Apple Lisa was the first commercial computer with a graphical interface, the Macintosh would bring graphical computing, and computing in general, to “the rest of us”, as Apple’s early slogan for the Macintosh claimed. While not as commercially successful as Microsoft’s DOS and later Windows, there is no doubt that the innovations of the Macintosh pushed the entire computing industry ahead and continue to do so to this day.
January 22, 1984
Apple Computer broadcasts their now-famous “1984” commercial introducing the Macintosh, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. It was the first and last time the ad was truly broadcast. However, it is a little-known piece of trivia that the ad was aired one other time at 1 AM on December 15, 1983 in Twin Falls, Idaho, but only so that the advertisement could be submitted to award ceremonies for that year. A 30-second version also ran in theaters starting January 17, but it was the broadcast during the Super Bowl that people really took notice of.
I was 9 years old then and I vaguely remember seeing the commercial, but I also remember being more interested in watching the Raiders beat the Redskins at that time. It wasn’t until many years later that I actually recalled the commercial. Yet when I recalled it, it was as if I remembered that commercial all along. I guess even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I somehow knew that moment truly was changing the world.
January 20, 1985
Apple airs their infamous Lemmings commercial during Super Bowl XIX to launch their ill-fated “Macintosh Office” software. The ad was widely considered a failure because the commercial seemingly insulted its intended audience. Perhaps Microsoft should study their tech history before airing any more Windows Phone commercials?
An internal Apple memo from Steve Jobs announced that he would be taking a six-month leave of absence, until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health and to allow the company to better focus on its products without having the rampant media speculating about his health. It was later revealed that he required a liver transplant.
Apple Computer announces that it will post a US$68 million first quarter loss. It also announces a restructuring plan to reduce the company by a thousand employees. This event leads to the resignation of Apple CEO Michael Spindler, who is replaced by Gil Amelio. Gil Amelio eventually purchases Steve Jobs’ company, NeXT, which leads to the development of Mac OS X as well as the return of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO.
January 11, 2005
Apple introduces the iPod Shuffle, the first iPod to use flash memory and the smallest iPod made to date. The small size and low cost of the iPod Shuffle proved popular, as Apple sold 10 million iPod Shuffles by September 2006. It also paved the way for future flash-based iPods, which have now become more common than hard drive based units.
January 10, 2006
Seven months after announcing that Macintosh computers will transition from PowerPC to Intel, the first Apple computers to ship with Intel processors are released. The Intel-based iMac and MacBook Pro models will soon be followed by the rest of Apple’s Macintosh line in 2006. The importance of this transition can not be overlooked, as it enabled a level of compatibility with Windows computers never before possible. Through virtual machine software or Apple’s later introduced Boot Camp technology, people could run Windows software directly on their Macs at the same speed as a Windows based computer. This effectively removed a huge roadblock many people had to owning a Macintosh computer, even if it was more of a psychological security-blanket for many.
After introducing the iPhone, Steve Jobs announces that Apple Computer, Inc. has dropped the “Computer” from its official name and will now be known simply as Apple, Inc. This move is to signify that Apple has expanded their scope of products from what have been traditionally defined as computers. Still, old habits die hard and many people continue to add the “computer” part when talking about Apple.