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.

Today in Apple history: iPod Shuffle randomizes our music

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Do you remember the first-gen iPod Shuffle?
Photo: Apple

Jan11January 11, 2005: Steve Jobs introduces the world to iPod Shuffle.

Positioned as Apple’s entry-level iPod, the Shuffle lacks a display, but instead randomly shuffles its music, while giving the user the chance to skip any songs they don’t like.

It’s the first iPod to use flash memory, plugs directly into a computer using an onboard USB 2.0, and comes in 512MB and 1GB configurations. Oh, and it’s smaller than a pack of gum, and weighs less than an ounce!

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces the MacBook Pro

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Do you remember the first MacBook Pro?
Photo: Apple

Jan10January 10, 2006: Steve Jobs unveils the original 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s thinnest, fastest and lightest laptop yet.

Building on the previous PowerBook G4 laptop, but adding dual Intel processors for the first time, the laptop immediately makes waves in the tech community. And did we mention its awesome MagSafe connector?

Today in Apple history: Relive 10 years of iPhone innovation

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10 Years iPhone
Has it really been that long?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Jan9January 9, 2007: Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone to an unsuspecting world. It’s immediately clear: Apple’s highly anticipated smartphone is like nothing we’ve seen before.

Standing on the Macworld stage in San Francisco, Jobs describes the new gadget as a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device.

10 years and more than a billion iPhones later, Apple’s smartphone has become a lot more commonplace — but no less revolutionary! Here’s our guide to 10 years of iPhone history.

Today in Apple history: Stock ‘backdating’ scandal hits Steve Jobs

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There was even some speculation Jobs could lose his, err, job.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Dec28December 28, 2006: As the rest of the country enjoys a much-deserved holiday, Apple gets embroiled in a stock “backdating” scandal.

The news, centered on the dubious awarding of stock options to Steve Jobs, prompts Apple share prices to fall. Some people even suggest Jobs might have to step down as Apple CEO. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen.

Today in Apple history: Apple invents ‘slide to unlock’

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Apple didn't invent the Slide to Unlock gesture.
"Slide to unlock" drew audible gasps from the audience when Steve Jobs first showed it off.
Photo: Jared Earle/Flickr

Dec23 December 23, 2005: Apple files a patent application for its iconic “slide to unlock” gesture for the iPhone.

Although the iPhone is still a secret research project at the time, the ability to unlock the device by sliding your finger across it signifies everything Apple wants the iPhone to be: easy to use, intuitive and technologically miles ahead of the competition.

Today in Apple history: Apple crushes Think Secret rumors site

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ThinkSecret
Do you remember Think Secret?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Dec19December 19, 2007: Apple settles a lawsuit with reporter Nick Ciarelli, resulting in the shuttering of Think Secret, his masssively popular Apple rumor site.

Writing under the screen name Nick de Plume, Harvard student Ciarelli had broken a number of Apple stories on the website, which he launched in the late 1990s.

The terms of Ciarelli’s settlement with Apple don’t get revealed. In a statement, he says he will “be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

Today in Apple history: ‘Let It Snow!’ is iTunes’ 25 millionth download

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It's a Christmas miracle for Apple! (Or just good marketing.)
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Dec15December 15, 2003: Almost eight months after launching the iTunes Music Store, Apple celebrates its 25 millionth download.

The song in question? Appropriately enough for this time of year, a Frank Sinatra cover* of the Christmas classic “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Today in Apple history: Apple opens its first three-story retail store

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Apple's trendiest store yet?
Photo: Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr CC

Dec7 December 7, 2007: Apple opens its magisterial store on West 14th Street in New York City. It’s the first three-story Apple retail outlet — and the first to offer free “Pro Labs” classes to customers.

Apple’s biggest store in Manhattan, it is also the second largest in the United States (after the one on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue) — with an entire floor dedicated to services.