Today in Apple history: HP’s iPod comes out of the blue

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The Apple iPod + HP flopped, but it was still a savvy business move for Apple
Do you remember the HP-branded iPod?
Photo: Keegan/Wikipedia CC

January 8: Today in Apple history: Apple iPod + HP debuts January 8, 2004: The clumsily named Apple iPod + HP, a Hewlett-Packard-branded iPod, makes it debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Shown off by Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the prototype device is colored blue, the color used for HP’s branding. By the time it arrives on the market later that year, however, the device is the same shade of white as the regular iPod. It doesn’t hang around for long.

Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to the world’s biggest carrier

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china-defends-its-new-anti-encryption-law-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201512Screen-Shot-2015-12-23-at-164347-png
China is a massive market for Apple.
Photo: Weibo/Tim Cook

December 22: Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to China Mobile, the world's biggest carrier December 22, 2013: After months of false starts, Apple finally secures a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest telecom company.

With 760 million potential iPhone customers in the offing, the deal shapes up as Apple’s most important yet for growing its brand in China. It’s a market that Apple CEO Tim Cooks says will soon be the company’s biggest.

Apple nets major tax break for new $1 billion Texas campus

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Austin campus
A look at Apple's forthcoming Austin, Texas campus.
Photo: Apple

Update: Williamson County elected to award Apple tax breaks worth $16 million over 15 years. The Williamson County commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the deal. Another $25 million will come from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

Apple apparently netted itself a good deal for its newly announced $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas. According to a new report, Williamson County could pay back 65 percent of property taxes to Apple in exchange for a long-term commitment to creating jobs.

The money would be paid in yearly installments. It would start when Apple hires 700 people, then continue for the next 15 years. In return, Apple would invest $400 million and hire 4,000 people for the new site.

Today in Apple history: Apple signs ‘clone Mac’ deal

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
This was the start of the clone Mac era.
Photo: Antnik

December 16: Today in Apple history: Apple signs clone Mac deal with Power Computing December 16, 1994: Apple Computer inks a licensing deal with Power Computing, allowing the company to produce Macintosh-compatible computers.

With falling market share, and longtime rival Microsoft steaming ahead thanks to its software-licensing strategy, Apple executives think the only way to compete is for Apple to hand over its operating system for third-party Macs.

Of course, it doesn’t turn out exactly like that…

Today in Apple history: Apple strikes deal with toymaking giant to produce Pippin

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How quickly we forget Apple's biggest flops.
The Pippin wasn't the savior Apple was hoping for.
Photo: All About Apple

December 13: Today in Apple history: Apple licenses Mac tech to Bandai, Japan's largest toymaker, for new Pippin videogame console December 13, 1994: Apple strikes a deal with Bandai, Japan’s largest toymaker, to license Mac technology for the creation of a new videogame console.

Based on the PowerPC 603 CPU and running a stripped-down CD-ROM-based version of Mac OS, the resulting games machine is called the Pippin. Unfortunately, it’s a sales disaster.

Today in Apple history: Apple signs damaging deal with Microsoft

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
One of the most damaging deals in Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

November 21: Today in Apple history: Apple signs Microsoft deal licensing Mac look and feel November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by licensing the Macintosh’s look and feel to Microsoft.

The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the heels of the Windows operating system’s release. The pact gives Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.”

Oh, boy!

Today in Apple history: Apple begins retail venture inside CompUSA

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Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Photo: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia CC

November 4: Today in Apple history: Apple CompUSA November 4, 1997: Apple unveils its plan to open small “store within a store” sections inside CompUSA outlets around the United States.

In a step toward the flagship Apple stores that would launch four years later, Cupertino-trained employees staff these mini-stores. The move gives Apple a bit more control over the way its products get displayed and demoed to consumers.

Today in Apple history: IBM and Apple shake and make up

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A lot has changed since Steve Jobs flipped off IBM 30 years ago.
At one time, an Apple and IBM deal sounded impossible.
Photo: Andy Hertzfield

October 2: Today in Apple history: IBM and Apple shake and make up October 2, 1991: As the Cold War comes to an end, hell freezes over a second time as Apple and IBM agree to put aside their differences.

Having been bitter rivals for the past decade, the two tech giants host a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco to unveil their new partnership. “We want to be a major player in the computer industry,” Apple CEO John Sculley says. “The only way to do that is to work with another major player.”

Today in Apple history: Microsoft throws Apple a $150 million lifeline

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates looking like the cat that got the cream.
Photo: Apple

August 6: Today in Apple history: Microsoft investment helps save Apple from doom August 6, 1997: In one of the most famous moments in Apple history, Steve Jobs reveals that Microsoft has invested $150 million.

Although often presented as an inexplicable gesture of good faith on the part of Microsoft boss Bill Gates, the cash infusion actually benefits both companies.

Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod brings fitness tracking to your pocket

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The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
Photo: Apple

July 13 Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod Sport Kit brings fitness tracking to your pocket July 13, 2006: Apple releases its first activity tracker, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which combines a portable music player and a smart pedometer.

The product marks Apple’s first step toward the kind of mobile health-tracking initiatives the company will investigate in the following decade — most notably through its iOS Health app and the Apple Watch.