No April Fooling: Apple turns 48 years old today!

No April Fooling: Apple turns 48 years old today!


On this date, April 1st, back in 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne formed a partnership that nine months later became a company called Apple Computer, Inc. As many of you know, the first product sold by Apple was the Apple I which was built by Wozniak. It wasn’t a complete computer and consisted of a motherboard with RAM, a CPU, and basic video chips.

From that humble beginning, Apple changed the world. With its graphical user interface and mass-produced mouse, the Mac changed computing. The iPod changed the music industry making songs more mobile than ever. And what can you say about the iPhone that has never been said before? Sure, Apple didn’t invent the smartphone but the company did turn it into the one device that everyone must own.

And Apple now makes the most popular watch in the world, even more popular than Swiss timepieces. It also ships the most tablets and the most wireless Bluetooth earbuds. And of course, Apple remains one of the well-known brands in the computer market with a 10% global share during the calendar fourth quarter of 2023 (16% in the U.S.).

Not every product Apple has created has been a hit. The Newton handheld Personal Digital Assistant featured handwriting recognition and after launching in 1993, Apple sold only 200,000 units thanks to the skittish hand recognition feature. The project predated Jobs’ return to Apple (which is a juicy story for another day) and Steve took Newton behind the Apple shed and as an act of mercy, ended its life after Apple spent $100 million on the device.
We are tempted to include Apple’s HomePod smart speaker with the Newton, but Apple ended up reviving the device by building a HomePod mini that was able to bring enough life to the line that Apple added a second-generation HomePod and is rumored to be developing one with a screen.
This year, of course, Apple shipped its Vision Pro spatial computer in the U.S. and the jury is still out on the product although the technology involved has been extremely well received.

Apple went public on December 12th, 1980 making millionaires out of the two Steves and even with a recent slump in the company’s stock, Apple is currently valued at $2.63 trillion. And it all started 48 years ago today.


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