Steve Jobs, the visionary founder and leader of Apple Computer Corporation, died Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at the age of 56 after an 8-year battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Jobs, who is sometimes referred to as the father of personal computing, was the mastermind behind Apple’s Computers, iPods, iPhones, iMacs and iPad’s and is seen by many as a man who pioneered the personal computing industry and literally changed the way we live our lives every day. In celebration of his life and his accomplishments over the years, the following is a timeline of Jobs’ history, and the history of Apple, beginning in 1972 when he graduated from Homestead High School in Cupertino, CA, and focusing on the major events in a memorable life.
Upon the announcement of Steve Jobs death, Apple changed the homepage of their website to reflect a full-page image of Jobs with text that simply says “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” When you click on the image, you are directed to a page featuring a statement made by current Apple CEO Tim Cook: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
Apple’s Board of directors put out the following statement:
We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
Their journey began when the two Steve’s met in 1972. Steve Jobs, a young, energetic, electronics enthusiast with a knack for marketing electronics met Steve Wozniak, a talented, self-taught electronics engineer and electronics hobbyist while Jobs worked a summer internship at Hewlett Packard. Their partnership began when Wozniak started building boxes that allowed him to make long-distance phone calls for free and Jobs assisted Wozniak in marketing and selling several hundred of his boxes.
Jobs was just 21 years old, when in 1976, he co-founded Apple Computer Corporation along with friend and fellow college drop out Wozniak, 26. The company quickly established itself as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States with its products being carried by over 100 dealers by the end of 1978 and going public in 1980 when 4.6 million shares sold out in under a minute.
Prior to Apple, when people thought of computers they thought of mainframe servers that took up entire floors. Jobs was a visionary whose idea for a personal computer led him to revolutionize the computer hardware and software industry, ultimately leading to just about every home and every school in America being able to afford and own a personal computer of their own.
The Journey Begins
1972: Steve Jobs while still in high school started attending lectures at Hewlett-Packard, where he met Steve Wozniak after he was hired as a summer employee.
1974: Wozniak, who dabbled in computer design, invited Jobs to join the “Homebrew Computer Club” held at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center where electronics- enthusiasts got together to share knowledge and help others with their self-made computers. Jobs who has an eye for the marketability of personal computers then convinces Wozniak, who enjoys creating electronic devices for fun, that they should form a company to build and market a personal computer to the mainstream.
1975: Jobs and Wozniak begin working on the design for the Apple I computer in Jobs’ bedroom and built the prototype in Jobs’ garage, all the while getting feedback from fellow Homebrew Computer Club Members.
1976: Although they originally planned to sell their new computers to members of the Homebrew Computer Club, as an employee of HP, Wozniak has to get a legal release from HP in order to produce and distribute electronic devices on his own. Therefore he approaches HP to offer up his newest idea, but no one at HP seem to be interested in the idea. Jobs and Wozniak then decided to sell their most valuable possessions, Jobs’ Volkswagen Micro-bus and Wozniak’s Hewlett-Packard Scientific calculator to raise a total $1,300 to start their company they called Apple Computer Company. Jobs convinced Wozniak to quit his job at Hewlett-Packard to become the vice president in charge of research and development of their newly formed company and Jobs himself quit his job at Atari to become the company vice president.
An Apple is Born
1976: Early that year, Jobs and Wozniak Hire Ronald Wayne on 10% share of the company. The three receive their first order from a local computer store called “Byte Shop” for 50 Apple I computers at a cost of $666.66 each. Each computer costs $100 in parts to build. They get the parts on 30 days net credit and work in the evenings in Job’s garage, delivering the order in only 10 days. Later that year, Wozniak finishes the Apple II prototype. In an effort to acquire funding they present the Apple II to Commodore who produced the CPU used in the Apple II and are turned down.
1977: Jobs realized that there is a huge gap in the computer market when almost all computers took up entire rooms and were far too expensive for individuals to afford. They redesigned their computers and redeveloped the Apple ][ computer that was created and marketed with the individual user in mind. That year Apple is incorporated hires Michael “Scotty” Scott as Apple’s first CEO. Apple receives venture capital of $250,000 from former marketing manager of Intel, Armas Clifford “Mike” Markkula. With the help of their first ad agency, the company shows first year sales of $2.7 million with company earnings growing 700% to $200 million within their first three years.
1978: Job’s daughter Lisa Nicole is born. Wozniak also designed the first ever 5.25″ floppy disk controller and drive that attached to the Apple II using an expansion slot.
1979: the Apple II+ which has far more memory than the Apple II is introduced and sells for $1195 and boasts an easier start up system In addition, that year brings about the companies first printer, the Silentype, and the first spreadsheet for micro computers, VisiCalc. Apple also begins working on the Lisa project named after Steve Jobs’ daughter who was born the year before.
1980: Apple goes public and in one day makes 40 employees of Apple into instant millionaires. Jobs who held the largest number of shares made $217 alone, while Markkula makes $203 million (a 220,700% return on his investment). The Apple /// is released and sold with various configurations for $3,495 to $7,800 but has a failed start when due to technical design and flaws, 14,000 units are recalled. Jobs hires 15 Xerox employees to work on the Lisa project. Within 1 year Apple stocks increase in value 1700%.
1981: Markkula becomes the new president and CEO of Apple. IBM introduces the IBM PC for $1,565. Their PC contains 16K RAM, a 5.25″ floppy disc drive and runs the first version of MS-DOS, and although rarely reached the efficiency of the Apple II, released 4 years earlier, the IBM PC becomes an instant success.
1982: The Company released 40 new software programs, opened a European office and put out its first hard disk drive. By December that year, Apple became the first computer company to reach $1 billion in annual sales. The Lisa Computer is declared ready for market.
1983: This is a busy year for Apple. The Apple Lisa is introduced to market in January for $9,998 and in September without bundled software for $6,995. The Apple IIe is also introduced in January for $1,395. In December the Apple III+ is introduced for $2,995to replace the defective Apple III. It is estimated that Apple looses half of its market share to International Business Machines (IBM).
1984: The “1984” Ad Spot is aired at the Super Bowl XVIII. Apple releases a revolutionary Macintosh all-in-one desktop Computer that sells for $2,495. This new computer features never before seen icons that are opened when clicked upon using a new device called a mouse. The Macintosh failed due to a lack of features other personal computers had. John Sculley replaces Markkula as the companies 3rd CEO.
1985: Because of the recent failures coming out of Apple, along with poor inventory tracking and infighting between divisions, CEO John Scully persuaded the Board of Directors to strip Jobs of all operational responsibilities. Jobs resigns from Apple, yet maintains his position as Chairman of the board although he has no influence on decisions any more. Apple sues Jobs because he informs them that he plans on founding a new company with 5 other Apple executives that follow him to the new company. Scully then signs a contract with Microsoft giving them permission to use some Mac GUI (Graphic User Interface) technologies if Microsoft continues producing software for the Mac (Word, Excel). In return, Microsoft agreed to continue developing Word and Excel for Macintosh. Because of this contract, Apple looses all lawsuits over copyright infringements against Microsoft in the following years ultimately leading to Microsoft becoming Apple’s greatest competition.
1986: Apple drops the suit against Jobs, who agrees neither to build computers competitive to Apple nor to hire Apple employees for 6 months. Jobs finds his newest endeavor, NeXT, Inc. Jobs also purchases Pixar computer animation studios from George Lucas for less than $10 million. Apple releases the Apple IIgs for $999 per unit.
1987: Apple celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Ross Perot invests $20 million into NeXT. The Mac SE and Mac II are released.
1988: Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.3, which features Mac-like icons. Apple sues Microsoft and HP for violation of copyrights of Apple on the Macintosh System Software. The NeXT computer, which features 25MHz ’30 Processor, 8 MB RAM, 250 MB Optical Disk Drive, FPU, Math Co-Processor, Digital Processor for Real Time Sound, Faxmodem and a 17″ monitor, is released and sells for $6,500. Apple’s newest Mac released that same year was half as fast, with no peripherals and sold for $1,000 more. By that year, over one million Macintosh computers had been sold, with 70 percent of sales to corporations. Software was created that allowed the Macintosh to be connected to IBM-based systems. Apple’s income topped $400 million, up from income of $217 million in 1986.
1989: Apple Corps, the Beatle’s record company files a trademark infringement suit against Apple. The NeXTstep OS is introduced. Apple releases the Macintosh IIci, the Macintosh IIfx and the very first laptop known as the Macintosh Portable.
1990: Daniel Lewin, a NeXT founder resigns. Windows 3.0 is released. The NeXTstation is released for $4,995 exactly one year after the release of the NeXTstep OS. It used the new 25 MHz ’40, 2.88 MB floppy drive, 105MB HD, 8MB RAM, and monochrome monitor. Also introduced was the NeXTstation Color for $7995 with a 16″ monitor capable of 4,096 colors, and 12 MB RAM. The $7995 NeXTcube was next, with the same configuration as a NeXTstation Color except it could use a 32-bit video board for 16.7 million colors in Adobe’s Display Postscript. Windows 3.0 is released.
1991: NeXT Founder, Susan Barnes resigns and one of NeXT’s Board of Directors, Ross Perot, resigns saying it was the biggest mistakes he’s made in business. Apple, IBM and Motorola form an official alliance. The three companies agree to create PowerPC based machines. IBM was in charge of development, Motorola was to produce the new CPU and Apple was to create a port for the MacOS to run on the new platform. Pixar and Disney form a filmmaking partnership where Pixar makes the movies, Disney distributes them and both companies share production costs and profits. The Apple Corp. settles the lawsuit with Apple Computer, Inc. who pays them $26.5 million.
1992: NeXT 3.0 is announced and Microsoft releases Windows 3.1.
1993: The last NeXT co-founder resigns leaving Steve Jobs alone as head of the newly named NeXT Computer, Inc. Michael Spindler replaces Sculley as Apple CEO. Sculley becomes the new Chairmen of the Board but resigns from Apple later that same year. Apple releases 1st Macintosh TV and the first PDA the Newton Message Pad that ultimately fails to deliver on the reliability it promises.
1994: Apple releases its first Power Macintosh Desktop Computer as well as the Powerbook 500 Series. Apple starts licensing the MacOS and announces the creation of Pippin, a home multimedia system for gaming, learning and surfing the Internet. Apple receives the PowerPC 603 and 604 CPU’s from IBM and Motorola.
1995: Disney Pixar releases its first movie, “Toy Story.” The PowerPC 603e is announced. IBM and Motorola introduce the 100 MHz 603e, which is up to 30% faster than the 603. IBM releases a 120 MHz 601 and Power Computing releases the first Mac clones.
1996: Apple Purchased NeXT Software for $430 million. Steve Jobs returns to Apple as a part time consultant to the CEO. Gilbert Frank Amelio becomes the 4th CEO with the shortest tenure of any Apple CEO. Apple releases its Apple Performa 6400 Desktop computer.
1997: Apple celebrates its 20th Birthday and the 20th Anniversary Macintosh is announced to commemorate the occasion. Apple and Microsoft enter into a partnership, agreeing to cooperate on several sales and technology fronts. Mac OS7.6 and MacOS 8.0 are released that year. Jobs Announces that Apple will sell computers directly to users over the Internet. Apple’s online Apple store becomes an immediate success when within one week, it the third largest eCommerce site on the Internet. CEO Amelio and VP Ellen Hancock are both forced to resign. After 20 years, Jobs is finally named CEO (interim) of the company he created in his garage. Apple buys Power Computing and both Motorola and IBM discontinue all Mac clones. Later that year, Apple introduces its deal with CompUSA for the new brick and mortar locations of an “Apple Store” within each CompUSA location. Apple and Microsoft form an alliance where Microsoft invests $150 million in Apple stock while Apple includes Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser in every copy of the MacOS.
1998: Marks the release of the new iMac, which featured powerful computing at affordable prices ($999.00). The design is sleek with a clear plastic case trimmed in translucent shades of blue or red, with a smaller mouse and keyboard. The iMac is pre-ordered over 150,000 times. Apple also releases the PowerBook G3. Apple returns to profitability and Jobs announces a $47 million profit in the first quarter.
1999: The Power Macintosh G3 and an upgraded 2nd and 3rd version of iMac are released. The new iBook laptop is unveiled and pre-orders exceed 140,000. This new laptop is available in bright colors and includes Apple’s AirPort, the computer version of a cordless phone that allows users to surf the Internet wirelessly. Disney Pixar launches Toy Story 2.
2000: Jobs becomes the permanent CEO of Apple. MacOS X, a brand new operating system based upon Apple’s Rhapsody strategy is released. Apple releases AppleWorks 6 office software. Apple’s website is completely redesigned, featuring new services such as iTools, a free web space service for Apple Macintosh users, and iReview. The PowerBook G3 (FireWire) now runs at 400 to 500 MHz and features AirPort wireless network. The iBook Special Edition and the faster Power Macintosh G4 Cubes (500 MHz) are released. In September Apple announces a correction for its predicted earnings in quarter four from $165 million profits to only $110 million causing Apple stocks to fall 45% from $53.50 to $29.13 over night. In December, Apple announces an estimated loss of $259 million for the first quarter of 2001, which ends on December 30th, 2000. This is the first quarterly loss for Apple in three years.
2001: Apple reveals its new iMac with built-in CD-RW drive. It runs at 400, 500 or 600 MHz and ships with the color options “Indigo”, “Blue Dalmatian”, “Flower Power” and “Graphite”. Later that year they release the Power Macintosh G4 Quick Silver. And in October of 2001, Jobs introduces the revolutionary iPod, a portable hard disk MP3 player with 5 GB capacity, holding up to 1,000 MP3 songs.
2002: Apple announces the all-new LCD iMac with PPC G4 CPU, 14″ iBook and iPhoto, a free photo editing software and shows a profit of $38 million in quarter one. Apple Computer Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Ericsson announce that they have teamed up to develop a multimedia system for cell phones using Apple’s QuickTime Streaming technology. Apple releases the eMac, an all-in-one computer with a 17″ flat CRT display and 700 MHz G4 processor especially designed for the education market but releases it to the general public later that same year. Apple releases a 17″ iMac configuration, 20 GB iPod, iTunes 3 and MacOS X 10.2.
2003: Apple releases a 12″ and a 17″ PowerBook G4, Safari web browser, Final Cut Express, iPhoto 2, iDVD 3, iMovie 3, Keynote presentation software and Airport Extreme. At a special Apple Event Steve Jobs announces new iPods and iTunes 4. iTunes 4 features a music store in which 200,000 songs are available for download. Apple announces and releases Safari 1.0 and introduces the new Power Macintosh G5, the world’s fastest personal computer, a new iMac model featuring USB 2.0 and new iPod sizes. Apple also announces that it has sold over 10,000,000 songs via iTunes Music Store making it a huge success and a 20-inch flat-panel iMac model.
2004: Jobs introduces the 4th generation iPod and the new iMac G5 featuring a PowerPC G5 CPU with either 1.6 Ghz or 1.8 GHz PowerPC, 17 or 20-inch TFT LC display and SuperDrive (on two of three models). Prices start from $1,299.
2005: The Mac mini measuring just 6.5″ square and 2″ tall is released and becomes the least expensive of all Apple computers selling for only $499. . Inside is an optical drive (Combo or 2.5″ hard drive, room for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, and one slot for memory. There are no expansion slots, and there’s no internal power supply. Apple announced its best quarter ever. The holiday 2004 quarter had generated US$295 million in profits. That included over 1 million Macs (up 25% from the previous year) and 4.5 million iPods. The iPod mini, Apple’s most popular model ever, was discontinued on Sept. 7 and replaced with the iPod Nano.
2007: Marks the release of the original iPhone, Apple’s first mobile phone, a smart phone that combined a cell phone, an iPod, and an OS X, a redesigned aluminum iMac in 20″ and 24″ varieties, and the iPod touch, an iPhone without mobile phone or camera capabilities.
2008: Apple introduces the MacBook Air, a 3 lb. 3/4″ think machine with a full sized keyboard and 13.3″ display, the 2nd version iPhone 3G and version 2.0 of the iPhone/iPod touch.
2009: Mark’s Mac’s 25th anniversary. Apple releases the new MacBook featuring a white unibody, the 17″ version of the MacBook Pro and unveils its new “Magic Mouse.”
2010: Apple releases the Apple iPad. And adds the newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 4. Apple also unveils an all new line of iPods, including the iPod Shuffle, the world’s smallest iPod, with 2 GB of memory, the new smaller iPod Nano with a Multi-touch user interface and a 24 hour battery life and the new iPod Touch which now includes Face time between iPods Touches and iPhone. Apple also created a new Social Network for music lovers they call Ping which is on your computer, the iPhone and the iPod touch. Finally Apple released the 2nd generation Apple TV that is a 4th of the size of the original Apple TV released in 2006.
2011: Apple releases the 2nd generation iPad 2 with 2 built-in video cameras (front and back) that is now 1/3 thinner than the original iPad 1, even thinner than the iPhone 4, works with both AT&T and Verizon, still has a 10 hour battery life and comes in 2 colors, black or white.
August 24, 2011: Steve Jobs steps down as CEO and is replaced by Apple’s COO, Tim Cook.
October 5, 2011: Steve Jobs passes away peacefully at home at the age of 56 after an 8-year battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.