Apple has been one of the driving forces in innovation in the personal computer and consumer electronics industries. Even at times when the company was considered a niche player in personal computing, features that it pioneered often made their way into products marketed by its more successful competitors. In the twenty-first century, with its iPod MP3 player, the company expanded from computing to marketing “digital lifestyle” devices, and it grew to become the world’s largest online purveyor of digital music files.
Apple (originally Apple Computer) was founded by Steve
Apple quickly established its reputation for innovation. The Apple II personal
Steve Jobs, chair of the board of Apple Computers, holds up an Apple II computer in 1984.
By the middle of the 1990’s, Apple was in serious trouble. Its product line had become confused, and its market share was shrinking. There were even speculations that the company could fail. In a bold stroke, the board of directors brought back ousted cofounder Jobs to become interim chief executive officer (CEO) in 1997. Jobs immediately cleaned house, simplifying Apple’s product line and concentrating on creating innovative, elegant products. His first offering was the iMac, an all-in-one computer that harked back to the original Macintosh while replacing several key interfaces with the new universal serial bus (USB). USB soon became a standard across the industry. Jobs followed that coup with the iBook, a colorful laptop also aimed at the consumer market.
Once Apple was back on a solid financial footing, Jobs began investigating the possibility of marketing a digital music player. The result was the iPod, which was introduced in October of 2001. To go with it, Apple also introduced the iTunes Music Store, an online store that allowed people to purchase and download music files to play on their iPods over the
Levy, Steven. The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. Malone, Michael S. Infinite Loop: How Apple, the World’s Most Insanely Great Computer Company, Went Insane. New York: Doubleday, 1999. Young, Jeffrey S., and William L. Simon. iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.
Digital recording technology
International Business Machines
Video rental industry