| Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store

By

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: Computer retail giant’s closure hits NeXT hard

By

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

May 14: Today in Apple history: Businessland closes, hitting NeXt hard May 14, 1992: Steve Jobs’ company NeXT runs into trouble as it loses a crucial deal with Businessland after the giant computer retailer closes its stores.

It comes at a time when NeXT’s luck is going from bad to worse. This is one of the lowest points in Jobs’ career — before everything starts to turn around again.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for Apple’s biggest product

By

Bill-Gates-60-Minutes
Unfortunately for Gates, Steve Jobs was one step ahead.
Photo: 60 Minutes

May 12: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for iPod, Apple's biggest product May 12, 2005: Longtime Apple frenemy Bill Gates tells a German newspaper that Apple may have hit it big with the iPod, but that its success isn’t going to last forever.

The reason? Mobile phones are going to steal the iPod’s market share. The good news for Gates is that he was right on the money. The bad news for Microsoft is that Apple cannibalized itself by making the iPhone. And Apple’s smartphone became even more successful than the iPod.

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact [Updated]

By

Steve Jobs on the cover of NewsWeek
Steve Jobs and the iPod make the cover of NewsWeek.
Photo: NewsWeek

Editor’s note: We originally published this illustrated history of the iPod to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary on Oct. 22, 2011 (and updated it a decade later). We republished it on May 10, 2022, when Apple finally pulled the plug on the iPod.

The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players.

The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.

Today in Apple history: 1997’s ‘MacBook Air’ weighed 4.4 pounds

By

The PowerBook 2400c was Apple's ultra-thin laptop of the late '90s.
The PowerBook 2400c was Apple's ultra-thin laptop of the late '90s.
Photo: Apple

May 8: Today in Apple history: PowerBook 2400c launch May 8, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 2400c laptop, a 4.4-pound “subnotebook” that’s the MacBook Air of its day.

The PowerBook 2400c predicts the rise of speedy, lightweight notebooks, while also paying tribute to Apple’s past. Its design echoes the original PowerBook 100. Even years later, it remains a cult favorite among many Mac users.

Today in Apple history: Apple PR guru Katie Cotton steps down

By

Apple
Katie Cotton helped control Apple's narrative in the press for years.
Photo: Apple

May 7: Today in Apple history: Apple PR guru Katie Cotton steps down May 7, 2014: Katie Cotton, the fearsome, much-admired head of Apple’s worldwide publicity machine, steps down from her VP post after 18 years with the company.

During her stint at Apple, Cotton worked in lockstep with Steve Jobs and proved instrumental in controlling the company’s portrayal in the press. Her departure provides one more reminder that the Jobs era is over at Apple.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs trashes Flash in devastatingly blunt open letter

By

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs trashes Adobe Flash in an open letter titled
Steve Jobs really didn't care for Flash.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

April 29: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs pens letter to Flash April 29, 2010: Steve Jobs pens “Thoughts on Flash,” an open letter to explain why, basically, Adobe Flash kind of sucks. The letter marks the beginning of the end for the once-omnipresent plugin that powered multimedia in internet browsers for years.

Following the devastatingly blunt broadside, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen hits back at Apple, arguing against Jobs’ complaints. But the Apple CEO has clearly made up his mind: iOS devices will never support Flash. The writing is on the wall.

Today in Apple history: It’s time for Apple Watch

By

Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is the first major new product launch of the post-Steve Jobs era.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

April 24: Today in Apple history: Original Apple Watch launch date April 24, 2015: It’s time for the official release of the Apple Watch, the wearable device Apple CEO Tim Cook describes as the “next chapter in Apple history.”

Fans, having endured a seven-month wait since the device’s unveiling at a keynote the previous September, can finally strap an Apple Watch onto their wrists. Behind the scenes, however, the Apple Watch launch is a moment long in the making.