March 1, 1976
Steve Wozniak completes the basic design for the circuit board of a (relatively) easy-to-use personal computer. The next day he shows it to the Homebrew Computer Club, which Steve Jobs attends. Jobs realizes the potential and convinces Wozniak not to give away the schematics but instead produce printed circuit boards to sell. The two Steves form a company, which they name Apple, and Wozniak’s design becomes the basis of the Apple I computer. The rest, as they say, is history.
February 28, 2002
Disney CEO Michael Eisner testifies at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on the protection of digital content from piracy. Eisner lobbies for sterner enforcement of copyright laws, claiming that Apple Computer advertisements for the iPod encourage copyright violations. “Rip. Mix. Burn. … they can create a theft if they buy this computer.”
A little over 3 years later, Eisner was later replaced as CEO by Robert Iger, who quickly arranged the buyout of Pixar Animation Studios, of which Steve Jobs was CEO. This move made Steve Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder and a member of Disney’s board. I guess it’s a small world after all!
February 27, 1998
Apple Computer announces that it will discontinue development of the five year-old Newton Operating System and all of its Newton OS-based products, including the MessagePad series and EMate 300. Apple will focus on developing the Macintosh, which is once again left as Apple’s only computing platform … at least until the iPod, iPhone, and iPad come along.
February 25, 2010
Apple announces that its has sold its ten billionth song through its iTunes Store. The ten billionth song, “Guess Things Happen That Way” by Johnny Cash, was purchased by Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia, whom Apple awarded a US$10,000 iTunes Gift Card. It took Apple over five years to sell its first five billion songs but only a year and a half to sell its second five billion songs.
February 17, 1994
Apple launches their QuickTake 100 digital camera, one of the very first digital cameras aimed at the consumer market. Unfortunately for Apple, as was endemic for them at the time, they didn’t execute the marketing for this device very well, allowing other companies to take the lead in the digital camera market. Apple was out of the digital camera market by 1997.
February 6, 1986
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computer, decides to leave to pursue other interests. Reportedly he was unhappy that the company was devoting most of its resources to the Macintosh at the expense of the Apple II. He remained a shareholder on the board and eventually come back as an advisor when Gil Amelio became CEO. He makes sporadic appearances at Apple events but still does not perform in any official capacity at Apple.
February 4, 1997
Apple Computer completes the purchase of Steve Jobs’ company NeXT for $427 million. Apple plans to use NeXT’s OpenStep OS to build the core of the next Mac operating system, eventually resulting in Mac OS X. Gil Amelio – with Steve Jobs as his advisor – makes plans to restructure Apple. Steve Jobs eventually advises Apple’s board of directors to replace Gil Amelio and hire him as interim CEO. Eventually the “interim” title is dropped and the rest is recent history.
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.