Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder quits and cashes in his stake for $800

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Ron Wayne: today, and when he co-founded Apple in 1976
Ron Wayne today and when he co-founded Apple in 1976.
Photo: Ron Wayne

April 12: Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder Ron Wayne quits and cashes in his stake for $800 April 12, 1976: Apple’s third co-founder, a former Atari colleague of Steve Wozniak’s named Ron Wayne, cashes in his Apple shares for just $800.

Wayne, who owns a 10 percent stake in the company, throws in the towel after worrying that he doesn’t have the time or energy to properly invest in Apple. He later receives an extra $1,500 check to seal the deal. When he cashes it, he loses out on an investment worth billions.

Today in Apple history: Apple-1 starts a revolution

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Apple-1
The Apple-1 in all its glory!
Photo: Auction Team Breker

April 11: Today in Apple history: Apple-1 launches. It's the First Apple computer. April 11, 1976: Apple releases its first computer, the Apple-1.

Designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, the computers are sold wholesale by “Steven” Jobs. To finance their manufacturing, Wozniak sells his HP-65 calculator for $500, while Jobs sells his VW van. Years later, in 2014, a working Apple-1 will sell at auction for $905,000.

Today in Apple history: Apple is founded by Steve Jobs, Woz and Ron Wayne

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Apple logo
The original Apple logo, designed by Ron Wayne.
Photo: Apple

April 1: Today in Apple history: Apple founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne April 1, 1976: The Apple Computer Company gets its start as founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne set out to sell the $666 Apple-1 computer.

Apple will not officially become a corporation until January 3 the following year. By that time, Wayne is no longer a part of the business.

Today in Apple history: Homebrew Computer Club meets for first time

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Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak make important connections at the Homebrew Computer Club.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak learned valuable lessons at Homebrew.
Photo: Apple

March 3: Today in Apple history: Homebrew Computer Club meets for first time March 3, 1975: The Homebrew Computer Club, a hobbyist group that helps spark the personal computing revolution, holds it first meeting in Menlo Park, California.

It becomes a welcome forum for computer geeks at a time when few others cared. And regular attendee Steve Wozniak and his friend Steve Jobs will eventually show off the first Apple-1 unit at the club.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak survives a plane crash

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The Woz tells it like it is.
A plane crash marked the beginning of a leave of absence for Woz.
Photo: Universal Pictures

February 7: Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak survives a plane crash February 7, 1981: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is involved in a serious plane crash, resulting in his first lengthy leave of absence from the company.

At the time, Wozniak is flying a turbocharged single-engine, six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC. In the plane with Woz is his fiancé, Candi Clark, her brother and her brother’s girlfriend. Fortunately, nobody dies in the crash, although Woz suffers minor head injuries.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple

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A lack of respect for the Apple II leads to Steve Wozniak's departure from the company he founded.
A lack of respect for the Apple II leads to Steve Wozniak's departure from the company he founded.
Photo: Anirudh Koul/Flickr CC

February 6: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple February 6, 1985: Frustrated by Apple’s shifting priorities, co-founder Steve Wozniak leaves the company to pursue outside interests.

His departure from Apple — which comes the same year that Steve Jobs leaves to form NeXT — represents a big change for the company. It is brought about by Woz’s dissatisfaction at how the Apple II division is treated, and his desire to start a new company.

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 its first custom-built office, giving the company a bespoke business center to house its growing operations.

A full 15 years before One Infinite Loop, and almost 40 before Apple Park’s stunning “spaceship” landed, 10260 Bandley Drive — aka “Bandley 1” — becomes the first purpose-built, permanent headquarters for the newly founded company.

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 director Ridley Scott. It very nearly didn’t air, though.

Today in Apple history: Woz and Jobs reunite onstage

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jobs and woz pic
Woz, Jobs, and then-CEO Gil Amelio.
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.

Woz’s Cupertino 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, it doesn’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
Apple was incorporated 40 years ago today.
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 a man named Mike Markkula, who becomes an important figure in the company’s history.