Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman is born

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Kate Winslet (left) plays Joanna Hoffman (right) in Steve Jobs.
Kate Winslet (left) played Joanna Hoffman (right) in last year's Steve Jobs movie.
Photo: Kate Winslet/Apple

27July 27, 1955: Joanna Hoffman, a marketing executive who was part of the original Macintosh and NeXT team — as well as Steve Jobs’ first right-hand woman — is born in Poland.

Six months younger than Jobs, Hoffman (who was played by Kate Winslet in last year’s Steve Jobs movie) is one of the few people willing and able to stand up to the oftentimes-fierce Apple co-founder during the first part of his career.

Apple puts Bob Mansfield in driving seat for secret car project

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This is what he looks like when he's driving it.
Photo: Apple

Bob Mansfield has been chosen to head up Apple’s “secret” electric car project three years after stepping down from his executive role, according to a new report.

Mansfield was previously in charge of Mac hardware at Apple and led development of products like the MacBook Air, iMac and iPad.

Should Apple streamline its product lineup? [Friday Night Fights]

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streamlining Apple product lineup
Maybe it's time for Tim Cook to take out the knife.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s product portfolio has expanded quickly since Tim Cook replaced Steve Jobs as CEO, what with the launch of larger iPhones, Apple Watch and the 12-inch Retina MacBook. But are things getting out of hand?

Friday Night Fights bug Some fans might argue Apple has too much on its plate, and that other products — particularly its software — are suffering as a result. Others might argue that Apple needs everything in its current lineup — and more! — to keep up with the competition.

So, who’s right? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we exchange insults and virtual blows over whether Apple desperately needs to streamline its product lineup.

Apple I charity auction could top $1 million

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This Apple 1 board is one of a kind.
This Apple 1 board is one of a kind.
Photo: CharityBuzz

An incredibly rare and unique Apple I computer is set to hit the auction block next week, and it could break the record for the most money ever paid for one of Jobs and Woz’s first computers.

CharityBuzz revealed today that it will auction off an original Apple 1, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Because the circuit board on the item up for auction is rare even among the 60 or so surviving Apple 1 computers left in existence, it could pull in more than $1 million.

Today in Apple history: iTunes sells its 100 millionth song

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This was a massive milestone for paid music downloads at the time.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 12 July 12, 2004: Apple boasts that the iTunes Music Store has sold its 100,000,000th song, and marks the occasion with a generous gift for the lucky downloader.

The song in question is Zero 7’s “Somersault (Dangermouse remix),” purchased by Kevin Britten from Hays, Kansas. The 20-year-old receives a personal phone call from Steve Jobs congratulating him. Britten also gets a 17-inch PowerBook, a 40GB iPod and a gift certificate for a massive 10,000 (!) iTunes songs.