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Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store

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Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Photo: Apple

May 15: Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store, with plans to open 25 Apple Stores in the U.S. 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.

Today in Apple history: iTunes experiments with video downloads

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Morcheeba's
Morcheeba's "The Antidote" was one of the first music videos available on iTunes.
Photo: Morcheeba

May 9: Today in Apple history: iTunes experiments with video downloads 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.

Today in Apple history: iTunes hits 1 million downloads in first week

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iTunespic
iTunes becomes an instant hit.
Photo: Apple

May 5: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store hits 1 million downloads in first week 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.

“In less than one week we’ve broken every record and become the largest online music company in the world,” said Steve Jobs in a statement. “Apple has created the first complete solution for the digital music age — you can purchase your favorite music online at the iTunes Music Store, mix your favorite tracks into playlists with iTunes, and take your entire music collection with you everywhere with the super-slim new iPods.”

It’s a roaring success for Apple’s newest venture!

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first watch is a freebie for upgraders

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The first Apple watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Apple's first watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Photo: Jonathan Morrison

May 2: Today in Apple history: First Apple watch is a freebie for upgraders May 2, 1995: Apple enters the wearables space with its first watch, a timepiece with no fitness-tracking tech, no on-screen notifications and a whole lot of 1990s styling.

The first Apple watch comes two decades before wearables will become a thing. A regular wristwatch, the freebie gadget is available as a special mail-in offer to Mac OS upgraders.

Today in Apple history: iTunes puts the hurt on DVDs

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iTunes movie
iTunes getting day-and-date releases for new movies was a big deal.
Photo: Apple

May 1: Today in Apple history: iTunes begins selling digital movies on same day as DVD release May 1, 2008: The iTunes Store takes a gigantic step toward cinematic relevancy, selling new movies on the day of their DVD releases for the very first time.

“We’re thrilled to bring iTunes Store customers new films for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release,” says Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, in a press release. “We think movie fans will love being able to buy their favorites from major and independent studios.”

Movies out that week include Cloverfield, Juno, Alvin and the Chipmunks and American Gangster.

Today in Apple history: Apple teams with Volkswagen for iBeetle car

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The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
Photo: Volkswagen

April 22: Today in Apple history: Apple teams with VW for the iBeetle. It's the first Apple car! April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.

In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German automaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.

Apple admits its iPhone apps don’t always win popularity contests

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Read Epic Games' reasonable idea for opening up the App Store
A study commissioned by Apple indicates that third-party iPhone apps are often more popular than Apple’s own.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Plenty of third-party iPhone applications outperform Apple’s own on the App Store. That’s the conclusion of a report commissioned by Apple itself. The iPhone-maker’s offerings don’t even come in second place in categories like music streaming, navigation and instant messaging.

This might sound embarrassing for Apple, but the company has a reason to tout the strength of rival software.

Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update

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Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update: Mac OS 7.6.1 was the beginning of the end for Mac OS System 7.
This was the beginning of the end for System 7.
Photo: Apple

April 7: Today in Apple history: System 7 gets its final update with Mac OS 7.6.1 April 7, 1997: Apple’s System 7 operating system receives its last update with the shipping of Mac OS 7.6.1.

The update brings a few bug fixes and support for Apple’s new PCI Power Macs and the PowerBook 3400. Most importantly, it marks the end of the System 7 era, which dawned way back in 1991.

AirPods Pro 2 may replace current model to avoid Apple’s AirPods 3 problem

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When AirPods Pro 2 come out later in 2022, they might be the only 'Pro' model.
When AirPods Pro 2 come out later in 2022, they might be the only 'Pro' model.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple will release AirPods Pro 2 in the second half of 2022, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. And when it does, the new buds will replace the current AirPods Pro rather than joining them in the lineup. That would signal a strategy change, Kuo said.

Why? After Apple added AirPods 3 alongside AirPods 2 in its earbuds lineup, it noticed a lot of people stuck with the less-expensive product rather than going with the upgrade. Apple wouldn’t want that to happen again.

Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
In 1996, Apple's worst quarter yet sees the company lose $700 million.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 28: Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss March 28, 1996: In a dire message to Wall Street, Apple warns that it will report a $700 million after-tax loss for its most recent quarter.

Apple’s biggest quarterly loss in history, the shocking news reveals a company in far more financial trouble than previously thought. More than half the loss comes from $1 billion of unsold products.