| Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: Apple licenses Mac OS to Radius

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In early 1995, the Mac clone era was about to arrive!
In early 1995, the Mac clone era was about to arrive!
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/Macworld

January 4: Today in Apple history: Apple licenses Mac OS to Radius January 4, 1995: Apple signs a deal with third-party Mac accessory-maker Radius, allowing the company to build Macintosh clones.

Radius is the second company to license the Macintosh operating system. (Power Computing did the same thing a month earlier.) However, Radius will become the first licensee to bring a clone to market when its System 100 ships in March 1995.

Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to the world’s biggest carrier

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china-defends-its-new-anti-encryption-law-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201512Screen-Shot-2015-12-23-at-164347-png
China is a massive market for Apple.
Photo: Weibo/Tim Cook

December 22: Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to China Mobile, the world's biggest carrier December 22, 2013: After months of false starts, Apple finally secures a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest telecom company.

With 760 million potential iPhone customers in the offing, the deal shapes up as Apple’s most important yet for growing its brand in China. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the country soon will become the company’s biggest market.

“China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network,” Cook said in a statement when the news broke. “iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can’t think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one.”

Today in Apple history: iPhone may have to seek new name

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Cisco
Here's what an "iPhone" looked like in 2006.
Photo: Cisco

December 18: Today in Apple history: iPhone may have to seek new name December 18, 2006: Apple fans mourn the death of the iPhone before it even launches.

After Linksys begins selling new handsets, Cupertino watchers must come to grips with the fact that Apple’s rumored smartphone probably won’t be called the iPhone after all. Why? Because Linksys’ parent company, Cisco Systems, owns the iPhone trademark, despite Apple previously having made the iMac, iBook, iPod and iTunes.

Today in Apple history: Apple signs ‘clone Mac’ deal

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
This was the start of the clone Mac era.
Photo: Antnik

December 16: Today in Apple history: Apple signs clone Mac deal with Power Computing December 16, 1994: Apple Computer inks a licensing deal with Power Computing, allowing the company to produce Macintosh-compatible computers.

With falling market share, and longtime rival Microsoft steaming ahead thanks to its software-licensing strategy, Apple executives think the only way to compete is for the company to hand over its operating system for third-party Macs. Of course, it doesn’t turn out exactly like that…

Today in Apple history: Apple Store celebrates its millionth online customer

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The Apple Store proves that tech fans like buying things online!
Turns out that tech fans like buying things online!
Photo: Ste Smith/Maxime Raphael/Flickr CC

December 5: Today in Apple history: Apple Store celebrates millionth online sale December 5, 2002: Cupertino says it served its millionth unique customer in the Apple Store online, marking a significant milestone for the company. It is a benchmark worth celebrating for Apple, which launched its online store just five years earlier.

Reaching our 1 millionth customer is a major milestone, and is proof positive that our online shopping experience is second to none,” Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations at the time, said in a statement. “The Apple Store is a popular way for a growing number of consumers and businesses to buy Apple products, and with extensive build-to-order capabilities, easy 1-Click shopping and free shipping on orders, it’s never been easier to buy a Mac online.”

Today in Apple history: iTunes cracks top 10 on list of US 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 Hollywood’s traditional players, 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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cafe2
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.