January 19, 1983
The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced. At a cost of $9,995, the Lisa ended up being a commercial failure for Apple, but many of the technologies developed for the Lisa made its way into the Macintosh computer.
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.
Apple introduces the iPhone at Macworld. The phone wasn’t available for sale until June 29th, prompting one of the most heavily anticipated sales launches in the history of technology. Apple sold 1.4 million iPhones in 2007, steadily increasing each year to sell over 230 million in 2015 alone.
Steve Jobs introduces iTunes at Macworld. At the time, it only ran on Macintosh computers and there was no such thing as an iPod or an iTunes Store. I don’t think anyone at the time knew what a big deal iTunes was about to become. The graphic shows the evolution of the iTunes icon from top left to bottom right.
January 6, 2004
Apple Computer introduces the first variation of the iPod line, the iPod Mini. The iPod Mini began the trend for Apple to introduce smaller iPods that were (often) cheaper but could hold just as many (or more) songs than the previous generation larger iPods. As the underlying technology improved, such as the availability of the smaller hard drive in the iPod mini and eventually affordable flash storage in the future iPod Nano, Apple continued to push iPod technology forward ensuring that they remained the dominant force in the digital audio player market.
Steve Jobs unveils Mac OS X for the first time, declaring another computing revolution was on its way. It was certainly a revolution for Mac users at the time, and has lead the way for a resurgence of Apple in the marketplace. As Mac OS X is the basis for the iOS that runs the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, it certainly seems that Mac OS X has revolutionized computing even in ways Steve Jobs may have not fathomed at the time … or did he?