Apple turns 42 today
42 years ago today, April 1st, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed Apple Computer. The following January 3rd, the business was incorporated. Surely the two Steves couldn't have imagined that Apple would be on its way to becoming the first public company valued at $1 trillion (current market cap is $850 billion). Along the way, Apple would become known for a number of things that would turn the company and Steve Jobs into household names.
Let's take a trip down memory lane starting with the introduction of Apple's most important and world-changing product, the iPhone. To paraphrase Jobs' own "The Crazy Ones" commercial, you can love the iPhone or hate it, but it did push forward the concept of what a smartphone is, and to this day the design of the latest model is copied by countless manufacturers. Think that's an overstatement? Exhibit one, the "Notch." The OG iPhone featured Apple's ground breaking (and patented) multi-touch, which added "pinch and zoom" to our vocabulary.
After months of rumors and phony renders, Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPhone at MacWorld on January 9th, 2007. The original iPhone was far from being perfect. It ran over AT&T's impossibly slow EDGE network, did not feature MMS capabilities, and could not copy and paste. Also, it did not support stereo Bluetooth. Apple fixed some of these issues with the iPhone 3G, which was also the first model to feature the App Store. The latter opened on July 10th, 2008, with approximately 500 apps available.
Apple, as it still does to this day, tinkered with its smartphone and added virtual assistant Siri with the iPhone 4s. Over the subsequent years, the screen got larger, Touch ID was added, a plastic version didn't connect with buyers, a larger "phablet" variant of the device was introduced, and last year Apple unveiled the tenth anniversary model called the Apple iPhone X. The latter added the new TrueDepth Camera, Face ID and an edge-to-edge OLED screen.
While the iPhone might be Apple's highest grossing product, the company created the consumer tablet category when Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad on January 27th, 2010. Like it did with the iPhone, the iPad was refined over the years. First, a smaller iPad mini was introduced in 2012, and three years later the larger screened, more powerful Apple iPad Pro was unveiled. The latter was equipped with four speakers, the ability to multitask using a split screen, and came with support for the Apple Pencil. To this day, Apple still is the volume leader in the tablet market.
Back in 2013, rumors started picking up steam about an Apple smartwatch that was expected to be called the iWatch. Apple even filed trademarks to register that name in several countries. As it turned out, a company called OMG Electronics had already filed to use the iWatch name in September 2012 for a timepiece that was never made. Still, Apple had to call its wearable the Apple Watch. This was introduced on September 9th, 2014. A stand-alone version of the timepiece with a cellular connection became available when the Apple Watch Series 3 was launched last September. Apple is now the top watch manufacturer in the world, topping several companies that are much older.
On May 28th, 2014, Apple made its largest acquisition to-date with the $3 billion purchase of Beats Audio. That led to the creation of Apple Music, available on iOS and yes, even Android. Apple's music streamer was unveiled on June 8th, 2015 and launched on June 30th, 2015. It now has 38 million paid subscribers at last count, second only to Spotify.
Lastly, Apple came late to the smart speaker party with the HomePod. Trying to play catch up in a category created and dominated by Amazon, it didn't help that Apple had to push back the release of the device into this year. As a result, the HomePod was not available for the holiday shopping season last year. Despite offering a premium sound experience, the hefty $349 price tag and Siri's failure to keep up with the competition could make the HomePod a hard sell.
So what is in Apple's future? The next big product could be Apple Glasses, which is believed to be an AR headset similar to Google Glass. Rumored to use rOS (reality Operating System) and carry a model number of T2888, the wearable is reportedly going to be made by contract manufacturer Quanta. Apple Glasses could launch as early as next year, or the year after. Former Apple analyst Gene Munster predicted in 2017 that Apple Glasses will become bigger than the iPhone.
In other words, the future remains bright for Apple and we can't wait to see what the company comes up with over the next 42 years. Happy Birthday Apple!