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: First Apple computer, Apple-1 launches 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 frenemy Microsoft is born

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Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, with the company becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple embark upon a long-running feud.

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 which time Wayne is no longer a part of the business.

Today in Apple history: World’s first Apple killer goes on sale

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The TRS-80 was Apple's first big rival in the marketplace.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

Aug 3August 3, 1977: The first affordable, mass-market personal computer makes its debut… and, contrary to what you might think, it’s not the Apple II.

Although Tandy’s TRS-80 arrived the year after the Apple I and a few months after the Apple II, it proved to be the first “Apple killer” on the market: pre-dating later rivals like IBM as Apple’s first big tech industry opponent. And, for the longest time, it seemed to be on course to win…

Today in Apple history: Apple ships its first OS

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apple_ii
Remember the days of green text on black backgrounds?
Photo: Ste Smith/Matthew Pearce

July 20 July 20, 1978: Apple DOS makes its debut on the Apple II, giving Apple its first official operating system.

A command line interface with green text prompts on a black background, Apple DOS looks incredibly primitive next to today’s graphical user interfaces. Nonetheless, for Apple users this was the macOS Sierra of its day.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first ever computer goes on sale

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apple-1-dec-2014-auction
One of today's surviving Apple 1 computers.
Photo: Christie's

Friday 1 July 1, 1976: The Apple 1 goes on sale, becoming the first computer ever sold by the Apple Computer Company.

Arriving the same month Jimmy Carter was nominated for U.S. president, Family Feud debuted on TV, and the United States celebrated the 200th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence, the Apple 1 is only produced in small numbers, and sells for the unusual price of $666.66.