TIAH: 2000s

Today in Apple history: Mac mini arrives with Intel inside

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With a powerful Intel chip inside, the new Mac mini made big of waves.
With a powerful Intel chip inside, the 2006 Mac mini made big waves.
Photo: RecycledGoods

February 28: Today in Apple history: Mac mini arrives with Intel inside February 28, 2006: Apple introduces an upgraded Mac mini, an affordable computer powered by an Intel processor.

A “headless” Mac for entry-level users, it’s the third Apple computer to switch to Intel chips. Oh, and it makes one heckuva media player when plugged into a television set.

Today in Apple history: iTunes becomes No. 2 music retailer in US

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iTunespic
iTunes was going from strength to strength.
Photo: Apple

February 26: Today in Apple history: iTunes becomes No. 2 music retailer in U.S. February 26, 2008: Less than five years after launching, the iTunes Music Store becomes the No. 2 music retailer in the United States, second only to Walmart.

In that relatively short period, iTunes sells more than 4 billion songs to more than 50 million customers. The rapid rise to prominence stands as a massive achievement for Apple — and for the revolutionary digital distribution model Cupertino helped pioneer.

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: iPod mini is ‘world’s smallest music player’

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iPod mini launch lineup in 2004: Five small music players in five different colors (silver, gold, pink, blue, and green).
The iPod mini quickly became a big hit for Apple.
Photo: Apple

February 20: Today in Apple history: iPod mini launch shows off 'world's smallest music player' February 20, 2004: Music goes small as the iPod mini launch brings the reimagined digital audio player to Apple stores.

Released with 4GB of storage and in five colors, the diminutive device features a new “click wheel” that integrates control buttons into a solid-state, touch-sensitive scroll wheel. It also showcases Cupertino’s growing fascination with aluminum, which will become a hallmark of Apple design.

Despite its small size, the new music player’s market potential looms large. In fact, the iPod mini soon becomes Apple’s fastest-selling music player yet.

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: Original iPhone goes large with 16GB of storage

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The original iPhone
The O.G. iPhone was a thing of beauty.
Photo: Traci Dauphin/Cult of Mac

February 5: Today in Apple history: Original iPhone goes large with 16GB of storage February 5, 2008: Six months after the first-gen iPhone goes on sale, Apple releases a new version with a whopping 16GB of storage.

For some users, there’s never enough memory,” says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPod and iPhone product marketing, in a statement. “Now people can enjoy even more of their music, photos and videos on the most revolutionary mobile phone and best Wi-Fi mobile device in the world.”

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: 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: iPod drives profits to new heights

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iPod
The iPod was kind of a big deal in 2005.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

January 12: Today in Apple history: iPod drives Apple profits to new heights January 12, 2005: Apple reports record earnings for the preceding three months. Holiday sales of the iPod, and demand for the latest iBook laptop, give the company a four-fold increase in profits.

Apple brags that it sold a total of 10 million iPods, and rightly so. The massive popularity of the portable music player drives Apple to its highest earnings yet.

Today in Apple history: iPod shuffle randomizes our music

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The iPod shuffle did away with the display (and celebrated randomness).
The iPod shuffle did away with the music player's display -- and celebrated randomness.
Photo: Apple

January 11: Today in Apple history: iPod shuffle randomizes our music January 11, 2005: Steve Jobs introduces the iPod shuffle, an entry-level music player that lacks a display. The device randomly shuffles the audio files it holds, but lets users easily skip songs they don’t like.

The first iPod to use flash memory, the iPod shuffle plugs directly into a computer using USB 2.0 and comes in 512MB and 1GB configurations. Oh, and it’s smaller than a pack of gum — and weighs less than an ounce!

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: HP’s iPod comes out of the blue

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The Apple iPod + HP flopped, but it was still a savvy business move for Apple
Do you remember the HP-branded iPod?
Photo: Keegan/Wikipedia CC

January 8: Today in Apple history: Apple iPod + HP debuts January 8, 2004: The clumsily named iPod+HP, a Hewlett-Packard-branded iPod, debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Shown off by Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the prototype device is blue, the color used for HP’s branding. By the time it arrives on the market later that year, however, the digital music player is the same shade of white as the regular iPod. The device doesn’t hang around for long, either.

Today in Apple history: Pirate app service Hackulous shuts down

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Hackulous icon
At one time, Hackulous aspired to be a Napster for pirated apps.
Photo: Hackulous

December 31: Today in Apple history: Pirate app service Hackulous shuts down December 31, 2012: App piracy hub Hackulous shuts down, bringing an end to two of its most popular apps, Installous and AppSync.

The iPhone jailbreak tool Installous allowed users to install “cracked” or pirated apps on their iOS devices, thereby avoiding paying purchase fees to Apple or developers.

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: Apple’s new tablet is called … iSlate?

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Today in Apple history: December 24, 2009: Pre-iPad rumors indicate Apple will call its tablet the
Pre-iPad rumors indicate Apple will call its tablet the "iSlate."
Illustration: Apple/Cult of Mac

December 24: Today in Apple history: Apple's new tablet is called ... iSlate? December 24, 2009: As rumors of a possible Apple tablet reach the boiling point, word spreads online that the new device will be called the iSlate.

The news is based on the fact that Apple quietly acquired the domain name iSlate.com a few years earlier. Since Apple did the same thing for the iPhone back in the late 1990s, years before the iPhone actually debuted, it makes total sense that the company would follow suit with the naming of its tablet.

Of course, that didn’t end up happening.

Today in Apple history: Apple invents ‘slide to unlock’

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Apple didn't invent the Slide to Unlock gesture.
"Slide to unlock" drew audible gasps from the audience when Steve Jobs first showed it off.
Photo: Jared Earle/Flickr CC

December 23: Today in Apple history: Apple invents slide to unlock gesture for iPhone December 23, 2005: Apple files a patent application for its iconic “slide to unlock” gesture for the iPhone.

At this point, the iPhone remains a secret research project. However, the ability to unlock the device by sliding your finger across it signifies Apple’s big ambitions for its smartphone. Cupertino wants the iPhone to be easy to use, intuitive and miles ahead of the competition technologically.

Today in Apple history: Apple crushes Think Secret rumors site

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Cupertino's battle with Apple rumors site Think Secret splits Apple fans.
Cupertino's battle with a rumor site splits Apple fans.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

December 19: Today in Apple history: Apple crushes Think Secret Apple rumors site run by Nick Ciarelli, aka Nick de Plume December 19, 2007: Apple settles a lawsuit with reporter Nick Ciarelli, resulting in the shuttering of Think Secret, his masssively popular Apple rumors website. Writing under the screen name Nick de Plume, the Harvard University student had broken a number of Apple stories on the site, which he launched in the late 1990s.

The terms of Ciarelli’s settlement with Apple remain secret. In a statement, he says he will “be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

Today in Apple history: iOS finally overtakes Windows Mobile

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Original iPhone running iOS 1
It's hard to believe how quickly the mobile landscaped morphed over the past decade.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

December 17: Today in Apple history: iPhone iOS overtakes Windows Mobile December 17, 2009: Apple finally triumphs over longtime rival Microsoft … on mobile operating systems market share. New data shows that iPhone OS surpasses Windows Mobile in the United States for the first time.

With roughly 36 million Americans owning smartphones, a quarter of them run Apple’s mobile operating system, according to figures released by research firm Comscore.

Today in Apple history: ‘Let It Snow!’ becomes iTunes’ 25 millionth download

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Today in Apple history: 'Let It Snow!' is iTunes' 25 millionth download.
It's a Christmas miracle for Apple! (Or just good marketing.)
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: 'Let It Snow!' is iTunes' 25 millionth download December 15, 2003: Almost eight months after launching the iTunes Music Store, Apple celebrates its 25 millionth download.

The song in question? Appropriately enough for this time of year, a Frank Sinatra cover* of the Christmas classic “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Today in Apple history: Apple’s massive glass staircase wows Manhattan

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The Apple Store on West 14th Street in New York City becomes the company's trendiest yet.
Apple's trendiest store yet?
Photo: Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr CC

December 7: Today in Apple history: Apple opens its first three-story retail store, the Apple Store on West 14th Street in New York City December 7, 2007: Apple opens its magisterial store on West 14th Street in New York City. The new Apple Store features a three-story glass staircase deemed the most complex ever made.

The store is Apple’s biggest in Manhattan (and second-largest in the United States, after the one on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue). The first three-story Apple retail outlet, it boasts an entire floor dedicated to services. It’s also the first Apple Store to offer free Pro Labs classes to customers.

The sheer size of this Apple Store — with its 46-foot Genius Bar — proves impressive. However, its astonishing spiral staircase steals the show as its most iconic design feature.

Today in Apple history: Lousy quarter proves Steve Jobs isn’t invincible

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$1 trillion value
A perfect storm of bad news leads to a massive $195 million quarterly loss for Apple.
Photo: Apfellike

December 6: Today in Apple history: Apple suffers first quarterly loss since Steve Jobs' return December 6, 2000: Apple Computer’s stock price falls after the company posts its first quarterly loss since Steve Jobs’ return to Cupertino in 1997.

Shares tumble $3 to just $14 a share as doom-predicting pundits worry that the big Apple comeback might come screeching to a halt. Little did they know …

Today in Apple history: Apple Store celebrates its millionth online customer

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The Apple Store proves that tech fans like buying things online!
Turns out that tech fans like buying things online!
Photo: Ste Smith/Maxime Raphael/Flickr CC

December 5: Today in Apple history: Apple Store celebrates millionth online sale December 5, 2002: Cupertino says it served its millionth unique customer in the Apple Store online, marking a significant milestone for the company. It is a benchmark worth celebrating for Apple, which launched its online store just five years earlier.

Reaching our 1 millionth customer is a major milestone, and is proof positive that our online shopping experience is second to none,” Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations at the time, said in a statement. “The Apple Store is a popular way for a growing number of consumers and businesses to buy Apple products, and with extensive build-to-order capabilities, easy 1-Click shopping and free shipping on orders, it’s never been easier to buy a Mac online.”