The spirit of Silicon Valley: Apple celebrates 42nd birthday

From modest beginnings in a suburban California home, the iPhone and iPad maker has become a world-leading giant.

2 min read

Apple's Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007, calling it a "revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone."

Photo courtesy of Apple

Among the companies that embody the spirit of Silicon Valley, Apple looms large.

The consumer electronics giant's history features all the tropes of the Valley mythos. Tick them off. First headquartered in someone's home? Check. Success followed by near bankruptcy? Check. Internal struggles? Check. And (of course) a renaissance leading to dominance? Check. Apple also weathered the death of Steve Jobs , its charismatic co-founder, as the company reached new heights.

All the stuff of a movie (or six).

Apple also redefined categories of tech products. It made the personal computer actually personal with the Macintosh, changed the way we consume music with the iPod and transformed mobile communication with the iPhone. It also created the consumer tablet market with the iPad and has dabbled in TV, smart speakers and watches.

Meanwhile, co-founder Steve Wozniak comments frequently on Apple's direction, while CEO Tim Cook takes the company into new territory.

Sunday marks the 42nd anniversary of Apple's founding in the Los Altos, California, garage of Jobs' parents. To mark the occasion, CNET is highlighting these earlier stories about the Silicon Valley icon.

Here's an oral history of the company that we compiled a couple of years back, when Apple celebrated its 40th anniversary. We also have a gallery of photos of the company's most important products. And if you want to catch up on Apple's latest, here's what our reviewers have to say about the new iPad, which the company unveiled at an education-themed event in Chicago last week. 

Apple: See what's up with the tech giant as it readies new iPhones and more.

Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs explain why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care.