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 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 another several months before Apple starts 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
Were you a first week user of iTunes?
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 dispells fears that selling tracks individually will kill the record industry’s dominant format. In addition, more than half the 200,000 songs initially available on iTunes get downloaded at least once.

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 (real) 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 System 7.5 upgraders.

Why everyone was so wrong about iPhone X sales

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iPhone X standing
Everything you heard about iPhone X sales was wrong. In fact, it's Apple's most popular model.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Analysts have been extremely pessimistic about the iPhone X, with almost daily predictions that Apple’s top-of-the-line model was a flop. And they were all dead wrong. Tim Cook just said the iPhone X has been Apple’s best-selling model for every week since it launched, and that sales of all the company’s phones grew last quarter.

How did the analysts get it so wrong? Here’s what probably happened.

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 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.

Is this the year Apple fixes its broken iPhone naming strategy?

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iphone glitch
iPhone naming is all kinds of broken these days.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple could be about to change the way it names successive generations of iPhone. The aim would be to simplify a naming pattern that has become increasingly unwieldy in the past few years.

It’s about time — although that doesn’t mean a new iPhone naming system will necessarily make things any less confusing. Here’s why.

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

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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 April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.

In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German carmaker 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.

Doom is not on Apple’s audacious agenda

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iPhone X Product Red Wallpaper
Believe it or not, Apple has a plan.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With smartphone sales plateauing, the iPhone can no longer propel Apple to the sort of stratospheric success the company (and its shareholders) enjoyed over the past decade.

Is Apple CEO Tim Cook clueless? Will Apple be caught flat-footed, unable to pivot and move to the next big thing? The latest prediction of Apple’s impending doom sounds particularly dire.

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

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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.