September 23, 1981: Years before Steve Jobs told us to “think different” and Tim Cook argued Apple should act as a “force for good,” Cupertino lays out what it calls its “Apple Values.”
Despite being written 35 years ago, the values Apple viewed as being crucial to its brand remain relevant today. They demonstrate that Apple always has been a company that’s about more than just selling computers.
September 20, 1989: Apple releases the Macintosh Portable, its pre-PowerBook attempt at introducing the world to a battery-powered Mac you could take on the road.
At a time when Tim Burton’s Batman is flying high in theaters, and Madonna is shocking audiences at the MTV Video Music Awards, this ahead-of-its-time product lays the groundwork for Apple’s looming laptop revolution.
September 18, 1989: Steve Jobs’ company NeXT Inc. ships version 1.0 of NeXTStep, its object-oriented, multitasking operating system.
Incredibly advanced for its time, NeXTStep is described by The New York Times as “Macintosh on steroids.” In an ironic twist, the operating system Jobs plans to use to compete with Cupertino turns out to be one of the things that saves Apple a decade later.
September 16, 1985 and 1997: Twice on this date, Steve Jobs makes significant moves with regard to his career at Apple. In 1985, he quits the company he co-founded. Then, more than two decades later, he officially rejoins Apple as its new interim CEO.
In terms of the emotions associated with those historic occasions, it’s hard to think of two more polarizing days in Jobs’ life.
September 15, 1988: Apple releases the Apple IIc Plus, the sixth and final model in the Apple II computer series. It’s a great machine, with impressive capabilities, but suffers from poor marketing and support.
With the Mac around, Cupertino simply doesn’t seem interested in the Apple computer anymore.
Coming less than eight months after the original Macintosh, the 512K Mac makes no sweeping changes to the computer’s form factor. Instead, the big upgrade is quadrupling the RAM. This leads Apple fans to refer to the computer as the “Fat Mac.”
September 3, 1982: The Us Festival, an extravagant music and technology event staged by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, kicks off in California. The fest costs $8 million to stage, and boasts appearances from some of the biggest musical acts of the day.