Today in Apple history: iTunes cracks top 10 on list of U.S. music retailers

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iTunespic
What was your first ever iTunes music download?
Photo: Apple

November 22: Today in Apple history: iTunes becomes one of top 10 U.S. music retailers November 22, 2005: Two-and-a-half years after opening its virtual doors, the iTunes Music Store enters the list of top 10 U.S. music retailers.

While iTunes sales numbers can’t yet match the selling power of established retail giants like Walmart, Best Buy and Circuit City (or fellow tech company Amazon), this milestone nonetheless represents big news for Apple — and digital music sales as a whole.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from distributors, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Today in Apple history: Cupertino salivates over the restaurant biz

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Apple Cafes were set to sweep the world. They didn't.
Photo: Apple/Mega Bytes International

November 12: Today in Apple history: Apple wants to get into the restaurant business with Apple Cafes November 12, 1996: Apple lays out a wild plan to get into the restaurant business, saying it will open a chain of Apple Cafes with a touchscreen point-of-sale system.

A bit like future Apple retail stores — but without the computers and iPhones for sale — the restaurants would open in cities around the world. The first, Apple says, will be a 15,000-square-foot restaurant in Los Angeles, opening in late 1997.

Spoiler alert: None of this happens.

Today in Apple history: iTunes sales hit astonishing new heights

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iTunespic
iTunes coming to Windows proved a smart move for Apple.
Photo: Apple

November 6: Today in Apple history: After porting iTunes to Windows, iTunes sales hit 1.5 million downloads in one week November 6, 2003: After porting iTunes to Windows, Apple sets a new record for digital music sales: a massive 1.5 million downloads in one week.

Bringing iTunes to PC users opens up a new, lucrative market for Apple. The record-breaking sales clock in at five times more than the 300,000 downloads Napster (remember it?) achieved in its debut week. And 1.5 million is double the 600,000 iTunes downloads per week Apple reported selling to Mac users prior to the Windows release.

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.

iPhone 5c may be officially ‘vintage,’ but its mission is still very much alive

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The 'flop' that really wasn't.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 5c is officially considered “vintage” by Apple. While that term might summon images of hipster retro chic, it means that iPhone 5c owners can still get support from Apple, but only “subject to availability of inventory.”

That puts the divisive device one step closer to joining Apple’s “obsolete” list, at which point the company will no longer service it. But while the 2013-era iPhone 5c may be reaching the end of the line, its mission remains very present at Apple.

In fact, it’s much more significant than many remember. A budget device that packed many top-of-the-line features — and introduced the concept of launching multiple iPhones in a year — the humble iPhone 5c changed the course of Apple smartphones.

Today in Apple history: iPad mini arrives

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The iPad mini made a big splash for such a tiny device.
The iPad mini made a big splash for such a tiny device.
Photo: Apple

November 2: Today in Apple history: iPad mini launch brings smaller size and price tag November 2, 2012: The first-generation iPad mini goes on sale, shrinking both the size and the price tag of Apple’s groundbreaking tablet computer.

With a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches — instead of the then-standard 9.7 inches — the iPad mini is the fifth iPad to be released by Apple. Critics hail Apple’s most affordable iPad ever, although some people complain about its lack of a Retina display.

Today in Apple history: iPhone goes on sale in China for first time

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iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS arrives in China, without Wi-Fi.
Photo: Apple

October 30: Today in Apple history: iPhone goes on sale in China for first time October 30, 2009: Two years after launching in the United States, the iPhone finally goes on sale in China, giving Apple a chance to reach the world’s largest market.

A number of regulatory hurdles previously blocked Apple’s access to China, including restrictions on Wi-Fi functionality. With those problems solved, Apple offers the iPhone 3GS to the country’s 1.3 billion people, most of whom do not yet own smartphones.

Today in Apple history: Dell PCs overtake Macs in education market

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eMac
Some observers accused Steve Jobs of failing one of Apple's most popular markets.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 27: Today in Apple history: Dell PCs overtake Macs in education market October 27, 1999: Dell Computer overtakes Apple in the educational market, stealing Cupertino’s crown as the top company selling computers to U.S. schools.

Steve Jobs, who is still in the process of rebuilding Apple after its near-collapse in the 1990s, faces heavy criticism for ignoring one of the company’s strongest markets.

Apple TV+ might save James Bond film No Time to Die [Updated]

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Does Apple TV+ have James Bond film 'No Time to Die' in its sights?
Does Apple TV+ have James Bond in its sights?
Photo: MGM Studios

Rumors are swirling that Apple TV+ might scoop up No Time to Die, the James Bond film currently languishing in box office limbo. The movie — the 25th 007 flick, and the last to star Daniel Craig as the British spy — has seen its release date slip repeatedly as many cinemas remain closed due to COVID-19.

Now, MGM Studios reportedly might pull the trigger on a streaming debut rather than waiting out the pandemic. If Apple TV+ added No Time to Die to its growing library, it would be the streaming service’s biggest coup yet.