Do you remember the world of software distribution before the App Store? It was a fragmented nightmare that made it very difficult for many companies, particularly smaller ones, to get their products out. The App Store changed all that, while also showing the world that the iPhone could have a different “killer app” depending on the user.
With today marking the App Store’s birthday, here are 10 factoids you (probably) didn’t know about Apple’s mobile app marketplace.
July 6, 1997: Following a massive quarterly loss for Apple, board member Edgar S. Woolard Jr. calls CEO Gil Amelio and informs him that he needs to step down. “You’ve done a lot to help the company, but the sales haven’t rebounded,” Woolard says.
Steve Jobs denies being responsible for Amelio’s ouster. However, the move results in him becoming Apple CEO for the first time. Now it’s time for a real turnaround!
The iPhone 12 reportedly will ship without packaged earbuds, but according to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it might also lack another standard piece of kit in its box: a charger.
In a new note to clients sent over the weekend, TF International Securities analyst Kuo confirms as legitimate a recent photo of a 20-watt power charger for the new iPhone. However, he says it won’t come with the next-generation iPhone 12.
June 25, 1985: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sends a memo to Apple execs suggesting that Cupertino should license its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies
Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée ignore the advice of the 30-year-old Gates, who at the time is best known as a Mac developer. Five months later, Microsoft releases Windows 1.0.
June 9, 2002: Apple launches its “Switch” advertising campaign, featuring real people talking about their reasons for switching from PCs to Macs. Apple’s biggest marketing effort since the “Think Different” ad campaign a few years earlier, it turns 15-year-old high school student Ellen Feiss into an unlikely star.
She becomes a viral sensation after viewers suggest she was stoned during filming of her sleepy-eyed “Switch” spot about a homework-devouring PC.
May 15, 2001: Steve Jobs flips the script on the dreadful experience of computer shopping, unveiling an ambitious plan to open 25 innovative Apple stores across the United States.
The first two Apple stores, located at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, are set to open later that week. But this new Apple initiative is about much more than just a couple of retail outlets. It’s a radical reinvention of tech retail that will change the way computers get sold.
May 9, 2005: Apple quietly begins selling music videos in the iTunes Music Store.
The feature arrives with iTunes 4.8, initially offering bonus content for people purchasing albums through the store. It will take several months for Apple to start selling individual music videos, along with Pixar short films and a selection of TV shows, for $1.99 a pop.
May 5, 2003: Just a week after launching the iTunes Music Store, Apple reaches an incredible milestone with more than 1 million songs sold.
Particularly notable is the fact that more than half the songs purchased are albums. This quickly dispels fears that selling tracks individually will kill the record industry’s dominant format. In addition, more than half of the 200,000 songs initially available on iTunes get downloaded at least once.
It’s a roaring success for Apple’s newest venture!