“What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.” —Steve Jobs
Apple Inc. is an American tech company that was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne with the intention of developing and selling a personal computer created by Wozniak, the Apple I. Since its initial public offering in 1980, the product line has grown to include personal computers, the iPod music player, iPad tablets, the Apple smartwatch, and iPhone smartphones. In addition to their devices, Apple Inc. also owns and operates software, professional applications, and streaming services. Below are 43 innovative facts about this iconic company.
43. Honoring Visionaries
The Apple slogan “Think Different” was first used in a 1997 Apple commercial that appeared on TV called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones, Think Different.” The commercial was an acknowledgment of every visionary who ever dared to challenge the norm and to innovate. It was also a direct nod to IBM who was using the slogan “Think IBM” to advertise its Thinkpads. Soon after, the slogan became part of all of Apple’s advertising, and it changed the perception of Apple from just another computer company to something unique and high-tech.
42. Mistaken for Perishables
When Apple first launched in Japan in the 1980s, the name recognition was so low that workers mistakenly thought that the computers were real apples and delivered them in refrigerated trucks to keep the “fruit” from going bad.
41. Smarter Speaker
In February 2018, Apple launched the HomePod, its first new product in over 3 years. The product is intended to compete with the smart speakers offered by Amazon and Google and combines great sound with all of the features of the other smart speakers on the market. The product is equipped with Siri and can do almost anything Siri for iPhone can do.
40. Which Side Up?
When an Apple computer is in use, the apple logo on the back used to glow upside down. The company apparently thought that it had to be facing the right way when it was closed, because users would try to open it the wrong way if it wasn’t. In the 1990s, the logo was flipped to make it look better in movies.
A graphic of a half-dog, half-cow, or Dogcow, was included in the Cairo font in the original Macintosh Computer. When the font was discontinued, the Dogcow continued on in the LaserWriter Driver 4.0. Clarus—the Dogcow’s actual name—makes a “moof” sound and was used on Mac operating systems until just a few years ago. She and the “moof” sound were trademarked and became an unofficial mascot for Apple.
38. 1,000 Songs in Your Pocket
While Apple was developing the iPod, Jobs supposedly came up with the tagline “1,000 songs in your pocket,” but the MP3 player still needed a name. When copywriter Vinnie Chieco saw the iPod for the first time, he said he immediately thought of the line “Open the pod bay door, HAL” from the sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. From there, all he had to do was add the “I” prefix to it, and it became the iPod.
37. Good Luck Getting a Job
If you’re hoping to get hired at an Apple store, the odds are definitely not in your favor. According to Apple, in 2009, 10,000 people submitted applications to work at their new Manhattan location, but only 200 or 2% of those applicants were hired.
36. Architectural Wonders
Although the majority of Apple’s stores are found inside shopping malls, the company does have several flagship stores which are both architectural wonders and tourist attractions. One of the most famous locations is New York City’s Fifth Avenue location. The store itself is actually underground, but visitors are drawn to the giant glass cube at street level. The store reportedly cost $10 million to build, and the location is one of the most visited and most photographed spots in New York.
35. A Better Experience
In 2001, Steve Jobs opened the first two Apple stores in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and Glendale, California. Jobs felt that Apple’s customers needed a better experience than the ones they were receiving in third-party retail chains and he recruited a team of retail experts to develop the concept. Despite some skepticism from critics who thought the move was too risky, the stores were an instant success, and welcomed 7,700 people to the two locations in their first weekend. Today, Apple operates approximately 500 stores in 18 countries around the world.
34. Hot Commodity
When Apple made its IPO (Initial Public Offering) on December 12, 1980, it was the largest since that of Ford Motor Company in 1956. The stocks sold out almost immediately and 40 Apple employees became instant millionaires when their shares rose by 32%.
33. Celebrating Diversity
Just before the launch of the Apple II computer, Apple added rainbow colors and a bite to the apple in its logo, which they used until 1999. According to a book about Apple written by Michael Moritz, the rainbow symbolized the color possibilities of the new computer. For the company’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Apple resurrected the classic logo to celebrate diversity. As CEO Tim Cook explained, “Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love”.
32. The Original Logo
The familiar apple symbol that makes up the logo for Apple Inc. wasn’t the first company logo. The first design came from Ronald Wayne, one of the company’s four original founders, and was a drawing of Sir Isaac Newton leaning against an apple tree, with lines from a Wordsworth poem. Jobs apparently thought the logo was too “cerebral” and thought that it could have been the reason behind the Apple I’s slow start.
31. Where the Profits Are
The largest percentage of Apple’s annual revenue comes from products that were invented after 2006 like the iPhone, the iPad, iTunes and the later iPod lines. Also interesting to note is that of those products, $30 billion in revenue comes from those that were invented in 2012 or later.
30. Cash on Hand
At one point during the summer of 2011, Apple had reserves of $76.4 billion dollars, which was more than the reserve of the US Treasury, which had $73.7 billion.
29. Safer than Fort Knox
Whenever a team is starting work on a new project at Apple Headquarters, a team of carpenters erects walls around their desks with security doors and frosted windows. The team then continues their work in a highly secure structure.
28. I is for…
The “i” in the 1998 iMac stood for “internet” because of how the computer connected to the web in two steps. Apple has also said that the “i” stands for individuality and innovation and they also used it for their iPod, iPad and iPhone products.
27. Founded, Fired, Re-Hired
Steve Jobs was notoriously difficult to work with, and in 1985, after a boardroom showdown between Jobs and then CEO John Sculley, Jobs either left the company on his own or was fired, depending on who you ask. After leaving, Jobs found NeXT, which was supposed to be the next incarnation of the personal computer, and Apple pushed on first with John Sculley, then with long-time Apple employee Michael Spindler, and then Gil Amelio. It was Amelio who came up with the idea to acquire NeXT and bring Jobs back to the company. In the end, Jobs managed to get what he wanted all along, and after getting Amelio dismissed, he was named interim and then finally permanent CEO.
26. Major Player
Apple Inc. is the largest technology company in the world and is the second largest cell phone manufacturer next to Samsung. For the 2017 fiscal year, the company reported an annual revenue of $229 billion.
The release of Apple’s first iPad in April 2010 was not only ground-breaking but record-breaking as well, selling 3 million units in its first 80 days of release. The following March, Apple broke its own record with the release of the iPad 2. It sold 4.69 million units in the second quarter of 2011, which is an average of 311,666 units per day.
24. MVB (Most Valuable Brand)
In 2012, Apple overtook Google as the most valuable brand in the world. It retained its top spot for 5 years, dropping to second below Google in 2017. Amazon, AT&T, and Microsoft rounded out the top 5.
23. Outdoing Itself
In Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2017-2018 (October to December 2017) the release of the iPhone X propelled them to a new quarterly sales record. Their previous record was a net income of $18 billion set in in 2015, and the new record set over the holiday period was expected to be at least $19 billion.
During a panel discussion at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, Steve Wozniak revealed an interesting fact. He told the audience that he was still on the Apple Payroll and is the only person to have been on the payroll since the beginning. He also revealed that on paper, he still reports to Steve Jobs, and since Jobs passed away in 2011, he technically can’t ever be fired.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were both just 20 years old when they decided to found Apple. Since neither one of them had any money, Jobs sold his VW Microbus and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard calculator to get the $1,350 in capital that they needed.
20. 100% Failure Rate
Even the best companies produce a lemon once in a while, and Apple is no exception. In 1980, the Apple III nearly destroyed all of the gains that its predecessor had made. The computer had no air vents, which made it run quietly, but which also made it overheat, messing up the logic board. The screen showed garbled text, the chips got melted and fused together, and the floppy disks suffered heat damage. Every single machine Apple made had to be repaired, and Wozniak said it had a 100% failure rate.
19. Grew and Grew and Grew
Before the launch of the iPhone, Apple only had about 14,000 employees. Since then, it’s grown to almost 9 times its size, and as of 2017, employed 123,000 people full-time.
For the first 30 years of its existence, Apple was called Apple Computer. In 2007, they changed the name to Apple Inc., removing the word “computer” to denote its expansion outside of computers and into the electronic market.
17. Find It if You Can!
The first-generation iPods had an Easter egg for those who were clever enough to figure it out. The device came with a version of the popular breakout game called Brick. The only way to access the game was to go to the About menu and hold the select button for 5 seconds. In future models, the game was added to the extras. Wozniak and Jobs created the original version of the game when they worked for Atari.
16. He Really Liked Them
For the duration of Jobs’ life, how Apple got its name was unknown. In the posthumous biography Steve Jobs, the truth was finally revealed. It turned out that Jobs was on a fruit kick, and he was especially fond of apples.
15. Repeating Numbers
The Apple-1 computer went on sale in July, 1976 and retailed for $666.66. The price was chosen for no other reason than Wozniak liked repeating numbers.
14. No Assembly Required
One of the things that made the Apple-1 computer so innovative was the fact that it came fully assembled. Purchasers of the Apple-1 did have to make their own case, but unlike other computers of the time, which had multiple circuit boards, the Apple-1 came with a single motherboard and 60-chips that were already connected.
13. Home Gaming Console
In 1996, Apple made its one and only foray into the home gaming market with the release of its Pippin console. Computer experts generally believe that there was nothing technically wrong with the product, but that the market was already too saturated for it to break through. It did offer users an online gaming experience, but few people had a good enough internet connection yet to play online, and the device was $599, which was expensive for the time.
12. Their Loss, Apple’s Gain
Before the iPod became an Apple product, its creator Tony Fadell first offered it to Philips and Real Networks. Both companies turned it down, not having enough faith in the product to go to the trouble of producing it. When he brought it to Apple, they were extremely enthusiastic about Fadell’s idea and gave him a team of 30 people and a year to successfully release it.
11. Moving the Music
Apple revolutionized the portable music player with the iPod Nano and Shuffle, bringing the company’s trademark minimalism to a product category that had been traditionally clunky, dysfunctional, and unappealing.
but in July 2017, the company announced that they were eliminating both models as people were mostly using their phones as music players. Although the iPod Touch is still available (for now), it’s such an inconsequential part of Apple’s business that they don’t even bother reporting on it in their financial statements.
10. Super Bowl Spot
The TV commercial for the first Macintosh Computer aired in 1984 during the Super Bowl. The commercial was directed by Ridley Scott, who is famous for directing films like Alien, Blade Runner, and The Martian.
9. Built-in Personal Assistant
When Apple launched the iPhone 4S, it came with a fun new feature. Siri is the voice-controlled personal assistant that comes with all new Apple devices, and throughout the years, her intelligence and capabilities have grown. Siri can handle most personal needs like setting reminders, making phone calls, keeping lists, and providing sports scores, but users know that she also has a sense of humor. There are many guides to Siri Easter eggs that reveal some of the funnier things she can do.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had a long-standing love-hate relationship and rivalry, but at one time, Microsoft made the software for the Apple II. In 1983, Jobs tried to sell Gates on the idea of making software for his new Macintosh Computer with a graphic interface, instead of one that was text-based, but Gates was reportedly unimpressed with both Jobs’ attitude and the platform. They managed to work together for a couple of years, but the relationship splintered when Gates released the first version of Windows. Jobs accused Gates of stealing his idea, and from then on, the two were bitter rivals.
7. Nothing Biblical About it
Just like the Apple name, the meaning behind the logo (an apple with a bite out of it) has also been a source of speculation. Some thought it was a biblical reference to the tree of knowledge, but the truth was simply that the designer showed Jobs two designs- one with a bite out of it and one without, and Jobs simply preferred the bite.
6. Frozen in Time
Every ad for an Apple product shows 9:41am on the screen. According to a former iOS chief Scott Forstall, Apple likes to do their big product reveals at 40 minutes into a presentation. The extra minute is the tiny margin they allow themselves just in case. When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, the reveal portion of the event began at 9:41 exactly.
5. Smokers Beware
If you have an Apple computer, smoking anywhere around it can invalidate your warranty- even if you have the extended Apple Care insurance. Apparently, Apple repair staff have refused to work on smoker’s machines, due to the noted dangers of second-hand smoke. When a customer complaint reached the office of Steve Jobs, Apple stood by their employees, stating that “Nicotine is on OSHA’s list of hazardous substances and Apple would not require an employee to repair anything deemed hazardous to their health.”
Around the same time that Apple was launching the iPhone 8, 8S and iPhone X, they were forced to admit that they had been using software updates to slow down the performance of older models, and that battery issues may make them turn off suddenly. A week later, Apple issued an apology for the tactic and offered a cheap battery replacement. The option didn’t satisfy everyone however, and many angry users have filed lawsuits over it.
3. Short Tenure
Ronald Wayne is not a familiar name to the average Apple user. That’s because he left his position just 12 days after its founding and sold his share for $800 plus an additional $1,500 payout. Had he hung onto his 10%, it would have been worth over $60 billion today. Don’t feel too sorry for him though. He has said in interviews that he has no regrets as he would have “wound up the richest man in the cemetery,” meaning that he’d be dead if he stayed with the company.
2. Symbiotic Relationship
While Apple and Samsung are direct competitors in the tablet/smartphone market, but they also have a somewhat symbiotic relationship. Samsung’s manufactures some of the key components of the iPhone and they’re the only company with the ability to do so. Some reports estimate that Samsung will make as much as $110 from each iPhone X, which is more than they make off of their own phones. The manufacturing arm of the company also accounts for approximately 35% of Samsung’s business.
While the iPhone was under development, great pains were taken internally to make sure that there were no leaks. The hardware developers never saw the software, the software developers never saw the hardware, and few people outside of Jobs had any idea what the product would look like when it was finished. To everyone outside of the development team and the executives, the project was simply M68, and whenever someone in a meeting said “we’re going to talk about M68,” they were taught to go quiet and wait and see if anyone outside of the meeting asked what it was.