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Tech Industry

The history of Apple

NEWS.COM takes a look Apple's tumultuous two decades.

    More upheaval hits Apple as CEO Gil Amelio and Executive Vice President of Technology Ellen Hancock quit the company and original founder Steve Jobs plans to take "an expanded role." As the latest drama unfolds, CNET's NEWS.COM takes a look back through the last two decades to trace the twists and turns of Apple's fate.

    April 1976 to July 1997
    April
    1976
      Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs form Apple and show off the Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club, Stanford University.

    Jan
    1977
      Apple is incorporated. Mike Markkula becomes chairman. Headquarters moves from Steve Jobs's garage to Cupertino, California.

    June
    1977
      Apple II becomes available to general public for $1298. It has 4K of memory; users must supply own TV monitor.

    Dec
    1980
      Apple goes public, sells 4.6 million shares at $22 each.

    Mar
    1981
      First big shake-up: Markkula replaces Mike Scott as president. Jobs becomes chairman; Scott becomes vice chairman.

    Aug
    1981

      IBM announces the IBM PC. The race is on.

    Dec
    1982

      Apple hits $1 billion in annual sales.

    April
    1983

      John Sculley joins as president and CEO.

    Jan
    1984
      "1984" commercial airs during the Super Bowl; first Macintosh unveiled with $2495 price tag.

    Feb
    1985

      Wozniak resigns to pursue his own interests, including teaching and music festivals.

    Sept
    1985

      Jobs resigns to start Next.


    July
    1991
      Apple and IBM sign letter of intent to cooperate on technologies; alliance will eventually result in PowerPC processors and OpenDoc.

    Oct
    1991
      Company's biggest product launch ever; includes the first PowerBooks.

    Feb
    1993

      Mac ships 10 millionth machine.

    June
    1993
      Michael Spindler becomes CEO; Sculley remains chairman.

    July
    1993

      Company announces 2,500 layoffs.

    Aug
    1993
      Newton MessagePad introduced at Macworld Boston.

    Oct
    1993
      Sculley resigns; Markkula (left) becomes chairman.


    Nov
    1993

      After 16 years, the Apple II product line is discontinued.

    Mar
    1994

      The first Power Mac machines are unveiled.

    June
    1994

      Apple launches its ill-fated online service, eWorld.

    Oct
    1995
      Apple board of directors reaffirms support for Spindler.

    Feb
    1996
      Spindler gets the ax, Dr. Gil Amelio (right) is in as new CEO; company predicts its worst quarter ever; licenses the Mac OS to Motorola.

    April
    1996
      $740 million loss announced for first quarter of 1996; Apple licenses Java.

    July
    1996
      Ellen Hancock joins company as chief technology officer; third quarter results in $32 million loss.

    Aug
    1996
      Power Macs hit 200 Mhz; Copland bites the dust (increments are the new plan).

    Oct
    1996

      Fourth quarter results in $25 million profit.

    Dec
    1996
      Apple buys Next Software for $400 million; Steve Jobs returns as "consultant."

    Jan
    1997

      Apple posts an unexpected $120 million loss for the first quarter as sales plummet. Amelio tells investors that Apple will be in the red until September despite earlier promises that the company would recover by March.

    Market researcher Dataquest reports that Apple's market share fell to 5.2 percent in 1996 from 7.2 percent in 1995.

    Mar
    1997
      Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he is considering buying Apple, the third time he floated the idea of a takeover.

    Apr
    1997

      Ellison decides not to buy Apple, but says he will keep his eye on the company.

    Jul
    1997
      Apple posts smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss of $56 million.

    Apple releases Mac OS 8 on time.

    Rumors swirl about whether Steve Jobs will take over as CEO and chairman. In the end, Jobs reportedly sends an email to employees at Pixar, where he is currently chairman, that he would not accept the offer. Jobs asserts that he is only interested in getting Apple back on track, not running the company.

    Aug
    1997
      At his keynote speech at Macworld Boston, Jobs announces that he will join Apple's board of directors along with Oracle chairman and CEO Larry Ellison, Jerry York, former CFO of IBM and Chrysler, and Bill Campbell, CEO of Intuit.

    Bill Gates announces a $150 million investment in the company as well as increased technology collaboration between the two companies.

    First Apple logo and photos of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple I, "1984" commercial, Steve Jobs, Mike Markkula, and Dr. Gil Amelio courtesy of Apple Computer
    Newton photo courtesy of John Greenleigh

     

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