Apple Facts
Apple Facts

50 High-tech Facts about Apple Inc. and Mac

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published September 21, 2016
  • Apple was founded as a partnership on April Fool’s Day 1976 by three people who originally worked at Atari: Steven Gary Wozniak (1950- ), Steven Paul Jobs (1955-2011), and Ronald Gerald Wayne (1934- ). Apple was incorporated on January 3, 1977, without Wayne, who sold his shares back for $800. Wayne wrote the Apple I manual, drafted the partnership agreement, and drew the first Apple logo.[8]
  • To raise capital for their new company, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Steve Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator for $500.[8]
  • Steve Wozniak credits entrepreneur and investor Mike Markkula (1942- ) for the success of Apple. He provided initial funding and managerial support, and he served as chairman for Apple from 1985 to 1997. He wrote several early software programs for the Apple II and freely distributed them under the alias “Johnny Appleseed.”[7]
  • For the first 30 years, Apple was called Apple Computer, Inc. On January 9, 2007, it removed the word “Computer” to reflect its expanding electronic market.[3]
  • Steve Jobs set the list price of the original 4K Apple 1 at $666.66 ($2,572 in 2011 dollars), doubling the cost of manufacturing. Fundamentalist Christians were quick to complain that 666 was the “mark of the beast.”[8]
  • Steve Jobs Facts
    Steve Jobs has been called both controlling and a visionary
  • Apple Inc.’s founder, Steve Jobs, is a college dropout. He dropped out of Reed College in 1972, after attending only one semester.[7]
  • Apple’s first computer, the Apple 1 (1976), did not include a keyboard, monitor, or case and was basically an assembled circuit board. The Apple II was introduced on April 16, 1977, and has been widely credited with popularizing the home computer.[8]
  • In 2010, Apple surpassed Microsoft to become the most valuable technology company in the world. In 2010, Apple was valued at $222.12 billion, while Microsoft was valued at $219.18 billion. In August 2011, Apple pushed past Exxon as the most valuable public company in the world.[6][12]
  • In July 2011, the U.S. Treasury had an operating cash balance of $73.7 billion. Apple, however, reported its reserves higher than the government, at $76.4 billion. While the U.S. is spending around $200 billion more than it collects in revenue every month, Apple, on the other hand, is making money.[2]
  • Apple generated approximately $625 of revenue from each of the 40 million iPhones it sold in 2009. It generated $164 of revenue for every iPod sold, $1,279 for every Mac, and $665 for every iPad.[4]
  • Most of Apple’s annual revenue (approximately $65 billion) is generated from the products Apple has invented during the last 10 years, such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, and iTunes. Almost half of its annual revenue, or $30 billion, comes from products invented in the past 4 years.[3]
  • At the time, Apple’s initial public offering on December 12, 1980, was the largest IPO since the Ford Motor Company went public in 1956. It sold out in minutes. Apples shares rose 32%, making 40 Apple employees instant millionaires.[7]
  • Ronald Wayne, one of the original founders of Apple Inc., designed the first logo for Apple, which was a pen-and-ink drawing of Sir Isaac Newton leaning against an apple tree with a portion of a William Wordsworth poem: “Newton . . . . A mind forever voyaging though strange seas of thought . . . alone.” Jobs thought the logo was “too cerebral” and a single apple was chosen with a bite (byte), partly to prevent it from looking like a cherry tomato.[8]
  • Apple Logo Facts
    The first apple logo was created in 1976 by Ron Wayne
  • Jean-Louise Gassee (1944- ), former executive of Apple Computer, suggested that the Apple logo is a symbol of lust and knowledge, “bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn’t dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy.” In 1997, Jobs replaced the rainbow color of the apple logo with solid white.[8]
  • Apple stores each sell an average of $93,150 worth of products every day, which is equivalent to $3,900 an hour or $65 a minute every day of the year.[1]
  • iTunes, Apple’s online music, video, and app store, generated sales of $4 billion in 2010. That’s over $1 billion more than one of the world’s largest music companies, Warner Music Group.[4]
  • In 1983, Apple entered the Fortune 500 at #411 after being in existence for only five years, making it the fastest growing company in history.[8]
  • In 1989, the Macintosh Portable became Apple’s first “portable” Mac computer.[7]
  • In 1984, the Macintosh was introduced by the famous “1984” commercial, which showed a young, female rebel (Apple) striking a blow against corporate “Big Brother” (presumably IBM).[8]
  • Today, twice as much revenue is generated from Apple’s hand-held devices and music than from Apple computers.[1]
  • In 2010, a British newspaper reported sweatshop conditions at an iPod factory in China. Apple also admitted to using child labor.[10]
  • Environmentalists have criticized Apple for not providing a full-fledged computer recycling program, unlike its competitors.[5]
  • Apple Corp, the Beatles’ record company, has repeatedly taken Apple Computer to court over trademark infringement. The first time was in 1978, shortly after Apple Computer was founded in 1976. The parties settled in 1981, on the contingency that Apple Computer would never enter the music industry. However, Apple Corp again took the computer giant to court in 1989 when Apple Computer introduced computers capable of music playback, and then again in 2003 after the iPod and iTunes hit the market in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The companies ultimately reached an agreement concerning the use of the word “Apple” in 2007.[7]
  • iPhones account for 39% of Apple’s overall revenue.[3]
  • iPhone Earnings Facts
    Most of Apple's annual revenue comes from products invented in the last ten years
  • In 2009, Apple sold 40 million iPhones. That’s 4,583 sold per hour, 76 per minute, or 1.27 per second. The iPhone is sold in 89 countries.[1]
  • Steve Wozniak (a.k.a. “Woz” and the “Wizard of Woz”) designed and built the first Apple computers. Even though he left Apple in 1985 to start his own company, he is still on the payroll of Apple and sometimes represents the company at events. According to Wozniak, “Steve [Jobs] didn’t know very much about electronics.”[7]
  • On November 22, 1985, Apple signed an agreement to let Bill Gates use Mac GUI (graphical user interface) technology in Windows 1.0 if Microsoft continued to produce products for the Mac. However, when Windows 2 showed features of Mac technology, Apple sued. The lawsuit was decided in Microsoft's favor on August 24, 1993.[8]
  • Climate Counts, a nonprofit organization that ranks companies for climate-conscious consumers, ranked Apple last among electronic firms. Greenpeace criticized Apple in 2008 for failing to phase out hazardous material such as chlorinated plastic polyvinal chloride and brominated flame retardant in the iPhone.[5]
  • In 2010, Apple annual sales were $65.23 billion. If Apple were a country, it would rank as the world’s 68th biggest country.[14]
  • In March 2010, Forbes reported that Apple was the most admired company in the world. Hewlett-Packard and EMC round out the top three.[1]
  • There were 250 million iPods, 43 million iPhones, and 32 million iPod touches (a.k.a. iTouches) sold as of March 22, 2010.[1]
  • Apple’s largest retail store is on Regent Street in London, boasting 25,000 square feet. The smallest Apple store, at just 540 square feet, is at Santa Rosa Plaza in California.[1]
  • Getting a job at an Apple store can be extremely selective. In 2009, Apple reported that 10,000 people submitted applications at its new store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Of those, just 200 got jobs, for a 2% acceptance rate.[1]
  • While Microsoft spent $8.7 billion on research development in 2009, Apple spent only $1.7 billion. Additionally, Apple spent $5.5 billion on sales, marketing, and general and administrative expenses in 2009, while Microsoft spent $17 billion. Despite spending more money, however, Microsoft had smaller sales and vastly slower growth.[1]
  • In December 1982, Apple became the first personal computer company to reach $1 billion in annual sales. To celebrate, it threw a Billion Dollar Party for employees.[8]
  • Londoner Jonathan Ive (1967- ) designed the iMac, the iPod, and the iPhone. In 1999, he was named as one of the world’s top 100 inventors under the age of 35.[13]
  • Apple Product Facts
    In Japan, refrigerated trucks delivered Apple computers due to name confusion
  • Apple’s name recognition was so low in Japan in the early 1980s that refrigerated trucks were used to deliver shipments of Apple computers because workers thought that the boxes contained perishable fruit.[7]
  • The first graphical image ever displayed on a Mac prototype was a picture of Scrooge McDuck playing the fiddle while sitting on some money bags.[8]
  • In the movie Courage Under Fire, Denzel Washington’s character uses a PowerBook 5300 several times. The movie takes place right after the Gulf War in 1991, but the PowerBook 5300 wasn’t released until August 1995. The only Mac “laptop” available in 1991 was the Mac Portable, a 15.8 pound giant which would have been difficult to carry around, especially in a war zone.[8]
  • On August 28, 1991, the first true email message from space was sent by the crew of the space shuttle STS-43 Atlantis using a Mac Portable and specifically configured AppleLink software.[8]
  • Due to legal concerns and Carl Sagan’s protest, the code name for the Power Macintosh 7100/66 was changed from “Carl Sagan” to “BHA” in 1993. However, when Sagan learned that BHA supposedly stood for Butt-Head Astronomer, he asked Apple’s engineers to change the name again. They settled on LAW, which stands for Lawyers Are Wimps.[7]
  • In 1994, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan sued Apple for trademark infringement when Apple decided to name a product “Dylan,” which stood for “dynamic language.” Ironically, critics have noted that Bob Dylan was actually born as Robert Zimmerman and adopted the first name of the early 20th-century Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in August 1962.[7]
  • In 1985, Jobs lost a power struggle with the board of directors at Apple and left the company. He founded a computer platform, NeXT, that same year. In 1996, a floundering Apple bought NeXT and brought Jobs back to the company. Much of the OS X operating system is built on NeXT technology. Additionally, once Jobs returned, he pulled Apple from the brink of bankruptcy, tripled annual sales, doubled Mac’s market share, and increased Apple’s stock 1,300%.[7]
  • After Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985, Apple Computers struggled to survive falling market shares and inefficient leadership. In fact, Apple was named the worst run company of 1996 by investment giant CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System).[7]
  • Apple Store Facts
    The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue is one of the most photographed retail landmarks
  • The most expensive Apple store is on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and is estimated to have cost $10 million to build. It is also said to be one of the most photographed retail landmarks in the world.[1]
  • Though the concept of a GUI (graphical user interface) was initially developed by Xerox, Apple was the first company to mass market GUI-based computers. While Apple’s first GUI-based computer, Lisa, was a commercial failure, the Macintosh released a year later was a success. Before GUI, computers were controlled by complicated key combinations and typed commands.[8]
  • In early 1987, Ross Perot invested $20 million in NeXT. However, he resigned from the company’s board of directors and sold most of his shares before Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to his company.[7]
  • The name “Macintosh” is based on the name of an apple cultivar, the McIntosh.[8]
  • TecheBlog reports that the Macbook Air Platinum is the most expensive Mac laptop ever, at a whopping $486,616. Its unibody enclosure is made from solid platinum. The MacBook Air Platinum is limited to just 5 units.[9]
  • In Sex and the City 2, Carrie Bradshaw continues to use her beloved Mac computer, but the movie also prominently features Hewlwtt-Packard PCs, powered by Windows. Coincidentally, Apple never pays for product placement, though it will donate products to a set.[11]

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