Ten years after Steve Jobs’ death on this day in 2011, Apple is thriving when many predicted it wouldn’t.
Go back and look at articles published in the wake of his death, and it’s all gloom, gloom, gloom. But a decade on, the company is worth more than $2 trillion, revenues have nearly tripled, the stock is up more than 1,000%, and there’s no end in sight.
Apple’s success has many fathers of course, but one big one is that Jobs’ personality has been deeply embedded into the company and how it does things. It’s called “the routinization of charisma,” and it helps explains why Apple continues to prosper.
October 3, 1994: Apple CEO Michael Spindler reassures the world that Apple “is not a lame-duck company.”
Why would anyone suspect that it is? The answer lies in Apple’s collapsing Mac sales, massive layoffs and a $188 million quarterly loss. At 15 months into his stint as CEO, Spindler wants to reassure everyone that the worst is over.
Sadly, things will decline further before they start to turn around.
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.”
September 30, 2002: Apple introduces iSync, a tool that lets Mac users synchronize their address books and calendars with their cellphones, iPods and Palm OS-compatible handheld organizers via Bluetooth.
It represents a big leap forward in the ability of computers and mobile devices to talk with one another. And it hints at some of Apple’s later advances.
September 29, 2004: Apple debuts Logic Pro 7, its pro-grade music creation and audio production software. The update brings new tools and a streamlined interface in line with other Apple software.
Coming off the success of the iPod and iTunes Music Store, the Logic Pro 7 launch — alongside its stripped-down sibling, Logic Express 7 — serves as a reminder of Apple’s dominance in music tech, for consumers and professionals alike.
September 23, 1981: Years before Steve Jobs would tell us to “think different” and Tim Cook would say Apple should act as a “force for good,” Cupertino lays out what it calls its “Apple Values.”
Despite being written almost 40 years ago, the values Apple viewed as crucial to its brand remain relevant today. They demonstrate that Apple always has been a company that’s about more than just selling computers.
September 22, 2014: Apple notches a new sales record with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, selling an astonishing 10 million units in the first weekend the handsets go on sale.
The eagerly anticipated phones bring a redesigned form factor that will persist for years. The most obvious change? Larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays that lure phablet fans. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also boast an A8 chip, improved iSight and FaceTime cameras, and — significantly — Apple Pay.
September 19, 2014: The iPhone undergoes its biggest upgrade — both figuratively and literally — since the original, with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.
The iPhone 6 brings a new 4.7-inch form factor, while the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a massive 5.5-inch design. The previous-generation iPhone 5 measured only slightly taller than its 3.5-inch predecessors. But with the iPhone 6, Apple abandons that strategy for the first time to take on big-screen Android “phablets.”