Today in Apple history

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on Today in Apple history:

Today in Apple history: Cupertino fires back after Microsoft’s ‘Apple tax’ ads

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Microsoft Windows
Microsoft ads take issue with Apple's premium prices.
Photo: Microsoft

April 16 Today in Apple history April 16, 2009: Apple hits back at Microsoft following an advertisement that criticizes Cupertino for failing to sell decent laptops for less than $1,000.

“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want,” Mac PR director Bill Evans tells Bloomberg. “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price.”

Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III

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Apple III
The problems encountered by the Apple III sound strangely familiar.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

April 15: Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III April 15, 1981: Apple CEO Mike Markkula defends the struggling Apple III with a surprisingly straightforward admission. The comment comes even as the company pushes an unorthodox “fix” for the Apple III motherboard, which tends to overheat due to a questionable design.

“It would be dishonest for me to sit here and say that it’s perfect,” he tells The Wall Street Journal, after critics blast the new computer for its overheating motherboard. Apple’s official solution to the problem? Ask users to drop their Apple III from a height of 6 inches, thereby hopefully reseating the chips.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke further enhances the Mac

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The Macintosh 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
The 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
Photo: Vectronicsappleworld

April 14: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke launches April 14, 1986: The “low-cost” Macintosh 512Ke brings hardware upgrades — and a bit of confusion — to the low end of the Mac lineup.

The Mac 512Ke is an “enhanced” (hence the “e”) model of the Mac 512K. The upgrade addresses complaints that the original Mac lacked enough memory. The 512Ke adds a double-density 800KB floppy drive and a 128KB ROM to the Mac 512K formula.

Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing

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iPad Pro 2
According to a 2005 rumor, Apple planned to launch a 15-inch tablet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 13: Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing April 13, 2005: The tech world gets excited when a sketchy rumor suggests Apple is building a tablet computer.

The Chinese-language report claims Quanta will build a 15-inch touchscreen tablet PC with detachable keyboard. Apple will supposedly ship the device in the first quarter of 2006. Things don’t turn out quite like that, but the rumor offers the first hint about Apple’s secret iPad project.

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% 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 that could have been worth billions.

“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,” Wayne told Cult of Mac decades later, referring to Wozniak and Steve Jobs. “They were whirlwinds — it was like having a tiger by the tail. If I had stayed with Apple I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery.”

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 Volkswagen van. Years later, in 2014, a working Apple-1 will sell at auction for $905,000.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs loses control of the Mac

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Mac 128k Beauty Shot
Steve Jobs was distraught at being removed as general manager of the Mac division.
Photo: iFixit

April 10: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs loses control of the Mac April 10, 1985: During a fateful meeting, Apple CEO John Sculley threatens to resign unless the company’s board of directors removes Steve Jobs as executive VP and general manager of the Macintosh division.

This triggers a series of events that will ultimately result in Jobs’ exit. The marathon board meeting — which continued for several hours the next day — results in Jobs losing his operating role within the company, but being allowed to stay on as chairman. Things don’t exactly play out like that.

Today in Apple history: Apple sells its 100 millionth iPod

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iPod
The iPod was Apple's most successful product yet.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

April 9: Today in Apple history: 100 millionth iPod sold April 9, 2007: Apple sells its 100 millionth iPod. Coming five-and-a-half years after the portable music player went on sale, the landmark event confirms the iPod as Apple’s most popular product of all time.

Until the iPhone arrives a couple months later, that is!

Today in Apple history: John Sculley takes over as Apple CEO

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley talks at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
John Sculley goes from pushing Pepsi to running Apple.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

April 8: Today in Apple history: John Sculley takes over as Apple CEO April 8, 1983: John Sculley, former president of PepsiCo, takes charge as Apple’s third CEO.

Despite a total lack of experience selling tech products, Sculley is lured to Apple by Steve Jobs himself. The Apple co-founder famously pitched the Pepsi exec with the line, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update

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Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update: Mac OS 7.6.1 was the beginning of the end for Mac OS System 7.
This was the beginning of the end for System 7.
Photo: Apple

April 7: Today in Apple history: System 7 gets its final update with Mac OS 7.6.1 April 7, 1997: Apple’s System 7 operating system receives its last update with the shipping of Mac OS 7.6.1.

The update brings a few bug fixes and support for Apple’s new PCI Power Macs and the PowerBook 3400. Most importantly, it marks the end of the System 7 era, which dawned way back in 1991.

Today in Apple history: Future Apple CEO John Sculley is born

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Fremont, California, 1990.
John Sculley in Fremont, California, 1990.
Photo: Doug Menuez/Fearless Genius

April 6: Today in Apple history: Apple CEO John Sculley born April 6, 1939: John Sculley is born in New York City. He will grow up to be hailed as a business and marketing genius, eventually overseeing Apple’s transformation into the most profitable personal computer company in the world.

After a remarkable stint as president of Pepsi-Cola, Sculley will take over as Apple’s third CEO in 1983. He runs Apple for a 10-year period, guiding the creation of the revolutionary Newton MessagePad.

During Sculley’s decade at the helm, Apple sells more personal computers than any other company. But most people still remember him for his role in kicking Steve Jobs out of Cupertino.

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: Microsoft is founded by childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The 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, becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After Windows arrives, Microsoft and Apple will embark upon a long-running feud.

Today in Apple history: ‘Magical’ first iPad debuts in stores

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The long wait was finally over. iPad 1 had arrived.
On launch day, people were very excited about the first iPad.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

April 3, 2010: Today in Apple history: ‘Magical’ first iPad debuts in stores April 3, 2010: The first iPad hits store shelves after months of anticipation. The tablet Apple CEO Steve Jobs called “magical and revolutionary” at its unveiling earlier in the year quickly becomes a major success.

Jobs initially showed off Apple’s first tablet on January 27, 2010. And there had been rumors long before then. But the wait for the iPad is finally over … at least for people in the United States. (The iPad’s international debut won’t happen until May.)

Today in Apple history: Microsoft’s first hardware debuts … on the Apple II

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Microsoft Z80 SoftCard, the company's first hardware product, worked with the Apple II computer.
The original ad for the Z80 SoftCard.
Photo: Microsoft

April 2: Today in Apple history: Microsoft Z80 SoftCard, the company's first hardware, debuts on Apple II April 2, 1980: Microsoft releases its first hardware product, the Z80 SoftCard. A microprocessor card that plugs into the Apple II, it allows the computer to run programs designed for the CP/M operating system, a popular OS for business software.

Arriving several years before the first version of Windows, the Z80 SoftCard quickly becomes a big hit for Microsoft.

Today in Apple history: First iPad reviews hail a true game-changer

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iPad
Did you own an original iPad?
Photo: Apple

March 31: Today in Apple history: First iPad reviews hail a true game-changer March 31, 2010: The world gets its first sense of how Apple’s tablet measures up, as the first iPad reviews hit the internet.

The consensus? That there’s no Flash, no USB, no multitasking — but Apple’s tablet offers an exciting new computing experience all the same. As USA Today writes, “The first iPad is a winner.”

Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again

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Beatles
The Beatles' clash with Apple ran for almost 30 years.
Photo: Apple Corps

March 30: Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again March 30, 2006: A court case begins that once again pits Apple Computer against Apple Corps, aka The Beatles’ record label and holding company.

The lawsuit caps a long-running legal battle between the two wealthy companies. It’s the final fight in an epic legal battle over music, technology and money.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout

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Antennagate
No, you weren't holding your iPhone wrong.
Photo: Apple

March 29: Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout March 29, 2012: Apple settles its “Antennagate” controversy by giving affected iPhone 4 owners the chance to claim a whopping $15 payout. The settlement covers customers who experienced problems with the phone dropping calls due to its cutting-edge design, but were unable to return their handsets (or didn’t want a free bumper from Apple to mitigate against the problem).

While it’s arguable whether a $15 payout was worth filing all the paperwork necessary to claim the cash, the Antennagate story — and the resulting class-action lawsuit — generated big headlines at the time.

Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
In 1996, Apple's worst quarter yet saw the company lose $700 million.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 28: Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss March 28, 1996: In a dire message to Wall Street, Apple warns that it will report a $700 million after-tax loss for its most recent quarter.

Apple’s biggest quarterly loss in history, the shocking news reveals a company in far more financial trouble than previously thought. More than half the loss comes from $1 billion of unsold products.

Today in Apple history: Radius kicks off clone Mac era in style

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Radius was the first company to launch an official Macintosh clone, the Radius System 100.
Radius was the first company to launch an official Macintosh clone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 27: Today in Apple history: Radius kicks off clone Mac era in style with System 100 computer March 27, 1995: The Radius System 100, the first official Macintosh clone, launches.

A high-end computer made by a company founded by several notable Macintosh alumni, this marvelous machine kicks off the era of clone Macs in grand fashion. However, it won’t be long until things take a turn for the worse.

Today in Apple history: Apple pays to use ‘iPad’ name

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The iPad delivered Apple's
Would an iPad by any other name smell as sweet?
Photo: Apple

March 26: Today in Apple history: Apple buys rights to use iPad name from Fujitsu March 26, 2010: Apple pays up to settle a trademark dispute with Japanese multinational Fujitsu over the name “iPad” in the United States.

It comes two months after Steve Jobs first showed off the iPad, and around a week before the tablet will land in stores. As it happens, it’s not the first time Apple battled over the name for one of its new products.

Today in Apple history: Apple exec bets his wine cellar on Newton

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The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
A daring wine cellar bet means a very public deadline for the Newton MessagePad.
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

March 25: Today in Apple history: Apple executive Gaston Bastiaens bets his wine cellar on Newton March 25, 1993: Apple executive Gaston Bastiaens bets a journalist that the eagerly anticipated Newton MessagePad will ship before summer ends. The prize? Bastiaens’ well-stocked personal wine cellar, worth thousands of dollars.

The bet takes place at the CeBit trade show in Hanover, Germany. Bastiaens’ outburst comes in response to a reporter’s needling. The gamble not only gives the Newton a release timetable, but also a price target: less than $1,000.

Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad reaches new heights

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The Newton MessagePad 2000 brought many upgrades to Apple's doomed PDA line.
The Newton MessagePad 2000 brought many upgrades to Apple's doomed PDA line.
Photo: iFixit

March 24: Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad 2000 takes Apple PDA to new heights March 24, 1997: The Newton MessagePad 2000 brings major upgrades to Apple’s PDA line, including a far better display and a much faster processor.

The best MessagePad yet by a wide margin, it quickly becomes a critical and commercial success. But it won’t be enough to save the doomed product line.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh LC II is the Mac mini of its day

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The Macintosh LC II was more powerful and cheaper than its predecessor.
The Macintosh LC II was more powerful and cheaper than its predecessor.
Photo: Jonathan Zufi

March 23: Today in Apple history: Macintosh LC II launch March 23, 1992: The “headless” Macintosh LC II arrives, wooing value-oriented customers with a beguiling mix of updated internals and budget pricing.

Designed to take up minimal space underneath a monitor (sold separately), the Mac LC II is destined to become a hit. In retrospect, the entry-level machine is roughly analogous to today’s Mac mini.