Today in Apple history: iTunes tops 50 million songs downloaded

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That's worth a quick dance!
Photo: Apple

March15March 15, 2004: The iTunes Music Store hits a musical milestone, having sold an astonishing 50 million songs. The achievement cements Apple’s place at the center of the rapidly changing music business — at least for the moment.

“Crossing 50 million songs is a major milestone for iTunes and the emerging digital music era,” Steve Jobs said in a statement. “With over 50 million songs already downloaded and an additional 2.5 million songs being downloaded every week, it’s increasingly difficult to imagine others ever catching up with iTunes.”

Today in Apple history: Apple reconsiders the Newton?

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The Newton MessagePad was a product ahead of its time.
Photo: Moparx

Mar10March 10, 2004: Apple sends out a survey to select Apple customers, claiming that it is considering relaunching the Newton MessagePad.

In hindsight, it seems pretty clear that this apparent “interest” in launching another personal data assistant (PDA) was a way of doing some undercover market research for the still-in-development iPhone.

Today in Apple history: Devs get the key to unlock iPhone’s awesome power

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Do you remember the arrival of the App Store?
Photo: Apple

Mar6March 6, 2008: Apple releases the iPhone software development kit, finally allowing devs to start developing native mobile apps for the iPhone.

When the App Store eventually opens a few months later, a new industry springs up overnight as third-party devs rush to take advantage of Apple’s distribution network.

Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over ‘iPhone’ name

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The first iPhone was definitely a bit... different to the current models.
Photo: Bob Ackerman/Wikipedia CC

Feb21February 21, 2007: Apple comes to an agreement with Cisco over the iPhone trademark, which Cisco legally owns but Apple wants to use.

Under the agreement, both companies get to use the iPhone trademark on products throughout the world, dismiss outstanding lawsuits against one another, and agree to “explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.”

It’s a classic bit of Steve Jobs steamrolling over the opposition.

Today in Apple history: iPod mini is ‘world’s smallest music player’

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Do you remember the iPod mini?
Photo: Apple

Feb20February 20, 2004: Apple goes small as the iPod mini arrives in Apple stores.

Released with 4GB of storage and in five colors, the diminutive iPod mini features a new “click wheel” that combines the control buttons integrated into a solid-state, touch-sensitive scroll wheel. If it’s size is small, however, its market potential certainly isn’t — as the iPod mini becomes the fastest-selling iPod up until that point.

Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse

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Do you remember the Pismo PowerBook?
Photo: CG Hughes/Flickr CC

Feb16February 16, 2000: Apple introduces the “Pismo” PowerBook, the best of its G3 laptops and, in the view of many, one of Apple’s best ever laptops.

The Pismo PowerBook is the first not to include the SCSI or Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) connector, and instead to opt for USB and Apple’s Emmy award-winning FireWire. Optional AirPort wireless support, tremendous battery life, and a gorgeous curvy design just makes it better.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates quits as Microsoft CEO

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Bill Gates before and after that first dollar.
Gates' rivalry with Steve Jobs was legendary.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

Jan13January 13, 2000: Steve Jobs’ longtime frenemy Bill Gates steps down from his role as Microsoft CEO, one month after his company hit its all-time share price high.

The news coincides with a turning point in the Microsoft vs. Apple wars, as Microsoft starts a decline from its previous dominance, while Apple continues its rise to power.

Today in Apple history: iPod drives profits to new heights

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPod was kind of a big deal in 2005.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Jan12January 12, 2005: Apple reports record earnings for the preceding three months — with holiday sales of the iPod and demand for the latest iBook giving Apple a four-fold increase in profits.

Apple brags that it has sold a total of 10 million iPods, and that the massive popularity of its portable music player has driven Apple to the highest earnings in its history.