Steve Jobs

Today in Apple history: Happy birthday, Steve Jobs!

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Steve Jobs-inspired art
Steve Jobs was born on this day in 1955.
Photo: Jason Mercier

February 24: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs birthday February 24, 1955: Steve Jobs is born in San Francisco. He will go on to co-found Apple and become one of the most important figures in the history of consumer technology. He’s also probably a big part of why you’re reading this website right now.

Happy birthday, Steve! Let’s take a moment to reflect on your innovation, artistry and overall brilliance.

Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback

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The Flower Power iMac G3 and Blue Dalmatian iMac G3 were two of the wackier Macs in history.
These were two of the wackier Macs ever.
Photo: Apple

February 22: Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback February 22, 2001: The iMac Special Edition, sporting wild designs that would make a hippie happy, puts a wacky face on the computer that saved Apple’s bacon at the turn of the century. The Flower Power iMac and Blue Dalmatian iMac evoke tie-dye shirts or other unconventional ’60s-era imagery.

A far cry from the super-serious, aluminum-heavy industrial design that will come to define Apple in coming years, these colorfully patterned iMacs stand out as some of the most irreverent computers Cupertino ever dreamed up. (C’mon, when was a real Dalmatian blue?)

Under the consciously tacky exteriors, a pretty darn great iMac G3 hums along.

Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over ‘iPhone’ name

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The InfoGear iPhone was definitely a bit ... different from current models.
The first iPhone was definitely a bit ... different from current models.
Photo: Bob Ackerman/Wikipedia CC

February 21: Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over 'iPhone' name February 21, 2007: Apple comes to an agreement with Cisco over the iPhone trademark, which Cisco legally owns but Apple wants to use.

Under the agreement, both companies get to use the iPhone trademark on products throughout the world. The two businesses also dismiss outstanding lawsuits against one another, and agree to “explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.”

It’s a classic bit of Steve Jobs steamrolling the opposition.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is finally debt-free

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
This was a significant moment in Apple's turnaround.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 18: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is finally debt-free February 18, 2004: Steve Jobs sends an internal memo to Apple employees revealing that the company is, for the first time in years, totally debt-free.

“Today is a historic day of sorts for our company,” he writes. This marks a big turnaround from the bad old days of the 1990s, when Apple carried more than $1 billion in debt — and faced the danger of bankruptcy.

Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse

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Apple Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
The "Pismo" PowerBook was a brilliant early Steve Jobs-era laptop.
Photo: CG Hughes/Flickr CC

February 16: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the February 16, 2000: Apple introduces the “Pismo” PowerBook, the finest of its G3 laptops. In the view of many, it’s one of the best Apple laptops ever.

The Pismo PowerBook is the first not to include SCSI or an Apple Desktop Bus connector. Instead, it utilizes USB and Apple’s Emmy Award-winning FireWire. Optional AirPort wireless support, tremendous battery life and a gorgeous, curvy design just make it better.

Today in Apple history: A young Steve Jobs appears on Time cover

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With Steve Jobs first Time magazine cover, he becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Steve Jobs becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 15: Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time magazine cover February 15, 1982: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time. The lengthy cover story makes Jobs the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.

The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the burgeoning personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs wins posthumous Grammy

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Cue
Steve Jobs' death caused an outpouring of support.
Photo: Grammys

February 12: Today in Apple history February 12, 2012: Months after his untimely death, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is honored with a Special Merit Grammy Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of music with the iPod and iTunes Music Store.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, collects the Grammy on behalf of Jobs’ family and “everyone at Apple.”

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs’ NeXT quits making computers

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NeXT Cube
The NeXT Computer was great but it didn't sell.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

February 9: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs' NeXT quits making computers February 9, 1993: NeXT Inc., the company Steve Jobs founded after being pushed out of Apple, quits making computers. The company changes its name to NeXT Software and focuses its efforts entirely on producing code for other platforms.

In a mass layoff, 330 of NeXT’s 500 employees are made redundant in an event known internally as “Black Tuesday.” Cruelly, many people hear of their fate on the radio.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs flips out over iPad tweet

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The first-gen iPad in all its glory.
Steve Jobs did not like losing control of the iPad narrative.
Photo: Apple

February 8: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs flips out over iPad tweet February 8, 2010: Steve Jobs reportedly flips out over a tweet sent from an iPad by an editor at The Wall Street Journal.

The reason? Apple showed the iPad to top staffers at the news outlet months ahead of its official release. While Jobs already had unveiled the device to the public a couple of weeks before, the suggestion that people outside Apple gained early access to the tablet was apparently enough to upset the CEO.

The tweet quickly disappeared.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs considers buying Yahoo

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Yahoo
Apple could have teamed up with Disney to make an offer.
Photo: Yahoo

February 4 Today in Apple historyFebruary 4, 2008: Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly considers buying the search engine Yahoo. Apple is one of several interested companies, following reports that Microsoft offered $44.6 billion for the web portal the previous week.

Nothing ultimately comes of it, but Apple’s interest is later confirmed in an authorized biography of Jobs.

Today in Apple history: Apple moves into Bandley 1, its first custom HQ

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Bandley 1 was Apple's first purpose-built HQ.
Bandley 1 was Apple's first purpose-built HQ.
Photo: Dvorak

Jan 28: Today in Apple history: Apple moves into Bandley 1, its first custom HQ January 28, 1978: Apple Computer occupies “Bandley 1,” its first custom-built office, giving the company a bespoke business center to house its growing operations.

A full 15 years before 1 Infinite Loop, and almost four decades before Apple Park’s stunning “spaceship” HQ  landed, 10260 Bandley Drive in Cupertino, California, becomes the first purpose-built, permanent headquarters for the newly founded company.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad

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The iPad launch shook up the tech world, with the tablet computer becoming Apple's fastest-selling device.
Did you own an original iPad?
Photo: Apple

January 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad January 27, 2010: After months of rumors and speculation, Steve Jobs publicly shows off the iPad for the first time.

Aside from the name, which some people joke sounds like a female sanitary product, the iPad immediately earns critical acclaim. “The last time there was this much excitement over a tablet, it had some commandments written on it,” The Wall Street Journal quips.

When it goes on sale, the iPad quickly becomes Apple’s fastest-selling new product ever.

Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac

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Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K in an original Mac ad.
Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K.
Photo: Apple

January 24: Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac January 24, 1984: Apple ships its first Mac, the mighty Macintosh 128K.

Bringing a mouse and graphical user interface to the masses, and heralded by an acclaimed Super Bowl commercial that’s still talked about today, the first-gen Mac will quickly become one of the most important personal computers ever released.

Today in Apple history: Super Bowl Mac ad airs against the odds

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1984
Apple's greatest commercial in history.
Photo: Apple

January 22: Today in Apple history: Super Bowl Mac ad airs against the odds January 22, 1984: Apple’s stunning “1984” commercial for the Macintosh 128K airs on CBS during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII.

Probably the most famous TV ad for a computer in history, the commercial is directed by Alien and Blade Runner helmer Ridley Scott. It very nearly didn’t air, though.

Today in Apple history: MacBook Air becomes ‘world’s thinnest notebook’

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A plain manila envelope became a key stage prop for selling the MacBook Air.
A plain manila envelope became a key prop for selling the MacBook Air.
Photo: Apple

January 15: Today in Apple history: MacBook Air becomes 'world's thinnest notebook' January 15, 2008: Steve Jobs shows off the first MacBook Air at the Macworld conference in San Francisco, calling the revolutionary computer the “world’s thinnest notebook.”

The 13.3-inch laptop measures only 0.76 inches at its thickest point and 0.16 inches at its tapered thinnest. It also boasts a unibody aluminum design, thanks to an Apple engineering breakthrough that allows the crafting of a complicated computer case from a single block of finely machined metal.

In a brilliant piece of showmanship during the MacBook Air launch, Jobs pulls the super-slim laptop out of a standard interoffice envelope. (You can watch his keynote introducing the MacBook Air below).

Today in Apple history: Cancer forces Steve Jobs to take leave of absence

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Why Salesforce chief gave up AppStore.com for Apple
Steve Jobs put his leave of absence down to a "hormone imbalance."
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

January 14: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs takes a leave of absence because of cancer January 14, 2009: Steve Jobs’ cancer worsens to the point that he takes a medical leave from Apple.

Despite his illness, the CEO remains reluctant to take the time off. When he does, he keeps quiet about the severity of the situation. He calls “the curiosity over my personal health” a distraction caused by prying bloggers and reporters. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that his health problems “are more complex than I originally thought.”

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates quits as Microsoft CEO

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates' rivalry with Steve Jobs was legendary.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

January 13: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates quits as Microsoft CEO January 13, 2000: Steve Jobs’ longtime frenemy Bill Gates steps down from his role as Microsoft CEO, a month after his company’s stock hits its all-time high.

The news coincides with a turning point in the long-running battle between the two tech powerhouses. Microsoft begins a long decline from its previous dominance, while Apple continues its rise to the top.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces original MacBook Pro

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The original MacBook Pro brought innovative features (and stirred up a bit of controversy).
The original MacBook Pro brought innovative features (and stirred up a bit of controversy).
Photo: Apple

January 10: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces the MacBook Pro January 10, 2006: Steve Jobs unveils the original 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s thinnest, fastest and lightest laptop yet.

Building on the previous PowerBook G4 laptop, the new laptop adds dual-core Intel processors for the first time. The MacBook Pro immediately makes waves in the tech community. And did we mention its awesome MagSafe connector?

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone

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jobs
Steve Jobs introduces the smartphone that changed smartphones.
Photo: Apple

January 9 Today in Apple history January 9, 2007: Apple CEO Steve Jobs gives the world its first look at the iPhone onstage during the Macworld conference in San Francisco. The initial reaction to that first iPhone demo is mixed. But Jobs is confident that Apple has created a product that people want — even if they don’t know it yet.

The palm-size device combines an iPod, a phone and a PDA. The iPhone unveiling excites many Apple fans but critics remain skeptical.

Today in Apple history: Woz and Jobs reunite onstage

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jobs and woz pic
It's an Apple reunion, with the Steves joining then-CEO Gil Amelio onstage.
Photo: Apple

January 7: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs reunite onstage January 7, 1997: Steve Wozniak returns to Apple to participate in an advisory role, reuniting with co-founder Steve Jobs onstage at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Woz’s homecoming is revealed at the end of the Macworld conference. With Jobs’ recent return to Apple (thanks to the NeXT buyout), it marks the first time the two co-founders have been at Apple together since 1983. It’s a great way to celebrate Apple’s 20th anniversary. Unfortunately, the reunion won’t last.

Today in Apple history: Apple becomes a corporation

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
Today marks another key milestone in early Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

January 3: Today in Apple history: Apple becomes a corporation January 3, 1977: Apple Computer Co. is officially incorporated, with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak listed as co-founders.

Third founder Ron Wayne — who initially invested in the company — is not part of the deal, after selling back his stake in Apple for $800. The funding and expertise needed to turn Apple into a corporation is provided by a man named Mike Markkula, who becomes an important figure in the company’s history.

Today in Apple history: Microsoft hits the height of its power

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December 1999 was a turning point for Microsoft.
December 1999 proved to be a turning point for Microsoft.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

December 30: Today in Apple history: Microsoft hits the height of its power December 30, 1999: Microsoft hits the height of its 1990s dominance and begins its early-2000s decline, clearing a gap at the top for Apple.

After hitting an all-time high of $53.60, Microsoft stock starts to fall. Less than a year later, MSFT shares will fall more than 60% in value to $20.

Today in Apple history: Apple ships world’s largest LCD display

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The Cinema Display was Apple's first widescreen monitor.
The Cinema Display was Apple's first widescreen monitor.
Photo: Apple

December 29: Today in Apple history: Apple ships world's largest LCD display December 29, 1999: Apple starts shipping its unfathomably large 22-inch Cinema Display.

The biggest LCD computer display available anywhere, Apple’s all-digital flat panel is a far cry from the bulky cathode ray tube monitor of the popular iMac G3, which took the world by storm the previous year. It is also Apple’s first widescreen display — and the first to sport a digital video interface.

Today in Apple history: Stock ‘backdating’ scandal hits Steve Jobs

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Steve_Jobs_2007
There was even some speculation Jobs could lose his, err, job.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

December 28: Today in Apple history: Stock 'backdating' scandal hits Steve Jobs December 28, 2006: As the rest of the country enjoys a much-deserved holiday, Apple gets embroiled in a stock “backdating” scandal.

The news, centered on the dubious awarding of stock options to Steve Jobs, prompts Apple share prices to fall. Some people even suggest Jobs might have to step down as Apple CEO. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen.

Today in Apple history: Second-gen Apple TV hits 1 million sales

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apple tvPIC
On this day in 2010, the Apple TV hit a sales milestone.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

December 27: Today in Apple history: Second-gen Apple TV hits 1 million sales December 27, 2010: Almost four months after the second-gen Apple TV’s debut, Cupertino says it has sold 1 million of the streaming video devices.

The news shows that Apple’s set-top box is gaining momentum. However, Apple’s PR move is also a low-blow shot at competitor Roku, which recently said it planned to hit the 1 million unit mark by the end of 2010.