TIAH: Steve Jobs

Today in Apple history: iTunes hits 10 billion downloads

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With iTunes 10 billion downloads milestone, Apple becomes the world's biggest music vendor.
Apple becomes the world's biggest music vendor.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 23: Today in Apple history: iTunes hits 10 billion downloads February 23, 2010: The iTunes Store officially passes the 10 billion music downloads mark, reaching a major milestone. The 10 billionth purchase? “Guess Things Happen That Way” by Johnny Cash.

The buyer of the song in question is Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia. As part of a “Countdown to 10 Billion Songs” promotion by Apple, Sulcer wins a massive $10,000 iTunes Store gift card — and receives a personal phone call from Steve Jobs for good measure!

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: A young Steve Jobs appears on Time cover

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With Steve Jobs first Time magazine cover, he becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Steve Jobs becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 15: Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time magazine cover February 15, 1982: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time. The lengthy cover story makes Jobs the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.

The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the burgeoning personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs’ NeXT quits making computers

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

February 9: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs' NeXT quits making computers February 9, 1993: NeXT Inc., the company Steve Jobs founded after being pushed out of Apple, quits making computers. The company changes its name to NeXT Software and focuses its efforts entirely on producing code for other platforms.

In a mass layoff, 330 of NeXT’s 500 employees are made redundant in an event known internally as “Black Tuesday.” Cruelly, many people hear of their fate on the radio.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs flips out over iPad tweet

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The first-gen iPad in all its glory.
Steve Jobs did not like losing control of the iPad narrative.
Photo: Apple

February 8: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs flips out over iPad tweet February 8, 2010: Steve Jobs reportedly flips out over a tweet sent from an iPad by an editor at The Wall Street Journal.

The reason? Apple showed the iPad to top staffers at the news outlet months ahead of its official release. While Jobs already had unveiled the device to the public a couple of weeks before, the suggestion that people outside Apple gained early access to the tablet was apparently enough to upset the CEO.

The tweet quickly disappeared.

Today in Apple history: Apple is back in the black

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Apple takes a hacksaw to estimated trade-in values for its devices
The turnaround begins...
Photo: Pictures of Money/Flickr CC

January 6: Today in Apple history: Apple is back in the black January 6, 1998: After taking over a company on the verge of bankruptcy, Steve Jobs shocks attendees at San Francisco’s Macworld Expo by revealing that Apple is profitable again. An Apple comeback is on the way!

Referring to the company’s strategy since he took over as interim CEO in September 1997, the recently returned Apple co-founder says, “It’s all come together for us.”

Little did most of us know exactly how astonishing Apple’s rebound would be.

Today in Apple history: NeXT buyout brings Steve Jobs back to Cupertino

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Steve Jobs returned to Apple on December 20, 1996.
Steve Jobs pictured on December 20, 1996.
Photo: Tim Holmes/Flickr CC

December 20: Today in Apple history: Apple buys NeXT for $429 million, bringing Steve Jobs back to Cupertino December 20, 1996: Apple Computer buys NeXT, the company Steve Jobs founded after leaving Cupertino a decade earlier.

The deal costs Apple $429 million. It’s a massive price to pay for the failing NeXT, a computer company that already saw its hardware division crash and burn. But the price is worth it when you consider what Apple gets as part of the deal: the return of Steve Jobs.

Today in Apple history: Apple IPO mints instant millionaires

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
December 12, 1980, was an incredibly important day for Apple.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

December 12: Today in Apple history: Apple goes public at $22 per share, minting instant millionaires December 12, 1980: Apple goes public, floating 4.6 million shares on the stock market at $22 per share. The Apple IPO is the biggest tech public offering of its day, and more than 40 out of 1,000 Apple employees become instant millionaires.

As Apple’s biggest shareholder, 25-year-old Steve Jobs ends the day with a net worth of $217 million. However, the big payday triggers internal tensions as it highlights Cupertino’s class divide.

Today in Apple history: Apple storms New York’s Grand Central Terminal

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Apple Grand Central is one of the company's most stunning retail outlets.
Apple Grand Central is one of the company's most stunning retail outlets.
Photo: Apple

December 9: Today in Apple history: Apple opens store in New York's Grand Central Terminal December 9, 2011: Apple opens a store in New York’s fabled Grand Central Terminal, the company’s fifth Manhattan retail outlet.

Overlooking the terminal’s Main Concourse, the enormous Apple Store makes a stunning addition to the 140-year-old train station, which is one of New York’s busiest transportation hubs.

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.”

Today in Apple history: A phone call sows the seeds of Mac OS X

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Look familiar? NeXT's OpenStep operating system laid the groundwork for OS X.
Look familiar?
Photo: The Color Convergence

Nov 25: Today in Apple history: The seeds of OS X are sown with NeXT OpenStep November 25, 1996: A midlevel manager at NeXT contacts Apple about the possibility of Cupertino licensing NeXT’s OpenStep operating system.

Garrett L. Rice’s communication with Ellen Hancock, Apple’s chief technology officer, is the first formal step in a long process. It ultimately leads to Apple buying NeXT, the creation of Mac OS X, and Steve Jobs returning home to the company he co-founded.

Today in Apple history: Rare Apple-1 sells for crazy money

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The Apple-1 sold for what was then the largest amount a personal computer ever earned at auction.
The Apple-1 sold for what was then the largest amount a personal computer had sold for at auction.
Photo: Christie's

November 23: Today in Apple history: Rare Apple-1 computer sells for $210,000 at auction November 23, 2010: An early Apple-1 computer, complete with its original packaging and a letter signed by Steve Jobs, sells for $210,000.

At the time, it ranks as the most expensive personal computer ever sold at auction. That makes sense, because it’s an incredibly rare find. The working Apple-1 is thought to be one of only approximately 50 still in existence.

Today in Apple history: Apple begins retail venture inside CompUSA

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Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Photo: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia CC

November 4: Today in Apple history: Apple CompUSA November 4, 1997: Apple unveils its plan to open small “store within a store” sections inside CompUSA outlets around the United States.

In a step toward the flagship Apple stores that would launch four years later, Cupertino-trained employees staff these mini-stores. The move gives Apple a bit more control over the way its products get displayed and demoed to consumers.

Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm

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Kanye West
Artists like Kanye West helped drive music video downloads past 1 million in less than 20 days.
Photo: Rodrigo Ferrari/Flickr CC

October 31: Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm October 31, 2005: Less than three weeks after launching video downloads with iTunes 6, Apple reveals that it has already sold more than 1 million music videos.

Apple’s dive into the online digital video market — with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films and a selection of hit TV shows for $1.99 — looks like the logical next step after selling individual songs on iTunes. Passing the 1 million download benchmark so quickly suggests the plan is a roaring success.

Today in Apple history: iPad sales overtake Macs

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The iPad quickly became the world's fastest-selling device.
The iPad quickly became the world's fastest-selling device.
Photo: Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr CC

October 18: Today in Apple history: iPad sales overtake Macs October 18, 2010: Just six months after the original iPad debuts, Steve Jobs reveals that Apple’s tablet already outsells the mighty Macintosh computer.

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Jobs says Apple sold 4.19 million iPads during the previous three months, compared with 3.89 million Macs.

Today in Apple history: Bono’s (Product) Red iPod nano fights HIV/AIDS

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The limited-edition (Product) Red iPod nano raised cash for a worthy cause.
Did you own this special edition iPod?
Photo: Wikipedia/Re-ality CC

October 13: Today in Apple history: Bono's (Product)Red iPod nano fights HIV/AIDS October 13, 2006: Apple launches its limited-edition iPod nano (Product) Red Special Edition music player, with 10% of profits going to fight AIDS in Africa.

Created in association with U2 lead singer Bono and activist/attorney Bobby Shriver, it’s the first of many Apple philanthropic products. “We’re ecstatic that Apple is giving their customers the choice to buy a red iPod nano and help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa,” Bono says in a statement.

Today in Apple history: Michael Dell says he’d shut down Apple

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Steve Jobs took issue with Michael Dell's comments about Apple
Steve Jobs took issue with Michael Dell's comments about Apple
Photo: Oracle PR/Hartmann Studios/Flickr CC

October 6: Today in Apple history: Michael Dell says he'd shut down Apple October 6, 1997: Michael Dell makes an incredibly bleak appraisal of Apple’s fortunes. Asked what he would do with the struggling company, the founder of Dell Inc. says he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

As incorrect forecasts go, this ultimately will go down as one of the more notable in tech history. But it doesn’t seem that way at the time.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs dies at 56

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Steve Jobs, creator of the iPad and created on the iPad.
Steve Jobs leaves an enduring legacy at Apple.
Portrait: Jeremy Martin

October 5: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs dies at 56 October 5, 2011: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies at the age of 56 in his home in Palo Alto, California.

Jobs’ official cause of death is respiratory arrest arising from complications related to a rare type of pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer eight years earlier, and officially stepped down from his role as Apple CEO in August 2011, just weeks before his death.

Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Apple envisioned an AI helper like Siri way back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.

A groundbreaking example of artificial intelligence in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. In fact, the company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.

Today in Apple history: Macs get that iSyncing feeling

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Today in Apple history: Macs get that syncing feeling as Apple launches iSync. It was a killer app for its time.
iSync let Macs sync with a variety of other devices.
Photo: Juska Wendland/Flickr CC

September 30: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces iSync, letting Macs sync to cellphones and iPods September 30, 2002: Apple introduces iSync, a tool that lets Mac users synchronize their address books and calendars with their cellphones, iPods and Palm OS-compatible handheld organizers via Bluetooth.

“iSync is the beginning of something really big,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs says in a press release announcing the iSync public beta. “With the push of a button, iSync synchronizes the address book and calendar on your Mac with those on your mobile phone.”

It represents a big leap forward in the ability of computers and mobile devices to talk with one another. And it hints at some of Apple’s later advances.

Today in Apple history: ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ who ‘think different’

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The Apple
Do you remember when Apple told you to think different?
Photo: Apple

September 28: Today in Apple history: Apple 'think different' television commercial says 'here's to the crazy ones' September 28, 1997: Apple debuts its iconic “Think Different” television commercial, aligning the troubled computer company with some of history’s most celebrated freethinking rebels.

The most famous tagline in Apple history, “Think Different” doesn’t just articulate how Cupertino differs from its competitors. It also highlights how Apple, under the leadership of CEO Steve Jobs, will forge a future far different from its floundering, money-losing days of the early 1990s.