Steven Wozniak, a young engineer designed the Apple. Wozniak worked as a designer for Hewlett-Packard, a giant computer and calculator company. During his spare time, Wozniak, or "Woz" as he is more commonly known, began to design his own personal computer. Much of the technology he used in the machine already existed. A lot that went into it, however, was totally new. (Wikipedia Online, 2006)
Wozniak was not very interested in being a businessperson. He built his first computers mostly just for the sake of his pleasure. His friend Steven Jobs convinced him to establish their own company to sell computers. Jobs, who was a vegetarian, came up with the name Apple for their company. It was supposed to suggest that the machine was friendly and easy to use. The first Apple computers were put for sell to the public in 1978 (Levy, 1994). They were built by Wozniak and Jobs in the garage of Jobs' parents' home and were an immediate success. The Apple quickly evolved into the Apple II, Apple II+, Apple IIE and in 1985, the Apple IIGS (Duprau and Tyson, 1986). With the introduction of the Macintosh range in 1984, Apple had become among the leading computer companies all over world. Other companies quickly followed Apple's lead into the personal computing industry. Early manufacturers included Atari, Timex, Osborne, Texas Instruments, and IBM.
Influences on the technology industry
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Apple has initiated a number of advancements directly related to the Macintosh that were then accepted by the industry as a standard for the designing machines. Probably, Apple's top impact on the industry was the industrial use for the first time of a graphical user-interface in operating system (OS) software. Now, nearly every conventional OS depends on a graphical user interface, and most operating systems still repeat the design of the first Macintosh graphical user interface, like the use of the “double click,” “drag and drop,” and the mouse being used. The Macintosh as well initiated software which facilitated WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get,” pronounced “whizzy-wig”) text and graphics correction alongside noteworthy technical developments like: long file names allowing whitespace, not needing a file extension, 3.5" floppy disk drives, 8-bit mono audio, built-in speakers, and an output jack as typical features. (Computer history, 2006)
The Macintosh platform has initiated many advancements and designs that had noteworthy influences on the computer industry, specifically in the domain of communications standards. Among the first was the Macintosh Plus, which, in 1986, effectively initiated the SCSI interface. In 1990, the Macintosh IIsi and the Macintosh LC initiated standard audio in ports and out ports — now, these ports are standard on the mainstream computers. Starting with the iMac in 1998, Apple set the Universal Serial Bus standard and initiated FireWire, a high-speed data transfer bus, currently admired in media-editing computers and nearly all the digital video cameras. (About Inventors, 2006) Apple has made innovation in the domain of networking as well.
In 1999, heavy marketing and early execution of the present wireless networking standard IEEE 802.11b (AirPort) in the Macintosh portable lines, is among the prominent ones. In 2001, the Power Macintosh G4 with its SuperDrive initiated the first comparatively inexpensive DVD-R drive. The iMac, launched in 1998, was among the first computers to have no floppy disk drive; at present, hardly any new computers come with one. Other significant contributions: first personal computer with virtual memory (first in 1989 by using 'Virtual' a Connectix product, then two years later applied into System 7 by Apple); being compatible with multiple monitors as far back as 1988 - a full decade before Windows 98 did the same with dual monitors. (Moritz, 2003)
Apple has as well added a lot to the domain of mobile computing, and many features of their mobile computers are now the norm. In 1991, The PowerBook 100, 140, and 170 made the ergonomic standard for the placement of the keyboard by moving the keyboard after a palm rest, in spite of being at the bottom of the laptop. In 1991, the PowerBook 100 series featured, a trackball, the first built-in pointing device on a laptop. The PowerBook Duo as well initiated the concept of a dock/port replicator in 1992. In 1994, among the most significant features ever added to the Macintosh PowerBook lineup was the first true touchpad as a pointing device on the PowerBook 500. Today, most laptops depend on it as their pointing device. More lately, the PowerBook G4 claimed to be the first laptop to feature a widescreen display, in 2003 it was the first laptop with a 17-inch display, and in 2004 it was the first laptop to support dual-link DVI. Apple was first to bring Wi-Fi internet access by means of the Wi-Fi Alliance's 802.11x standard in their AirPort product line. (A2 History Online, 2006)
Market share and demographics
From the time of the initiation of the Macintosh, Apple has put in great effort to achieve a noteworthy share of the personal computer market. Initially, the Macintosh 128K experience a shortage of existing software compared to IBM's PC, which resulted in unsatisfactory sales in 1984 and 1985.Only 500,000 Macs were sold by September 1985. Jobs had initially forecasted that five million machines would be sold within the next two years; sales ultimately crossed the one million mark in March 1987 and the two million mark in 1988, and three years later, the mounted base at last reached five million. Mac computers are most extensively used in the creative professional market, which include journalism and desktop publishing, video editing and audio editing, although have, as well penetrated into the educative and scientific research segments.
By 1997, there were more than 20 million Mac users, in contrast to an installed base of around 340 million Windows PCs. Statistics from late 2003 show that Apple had 2.06% of the desktop share in the United States, increased to 2.88% by Q4 2004. (Rose, 2006)
The real installed base of Macintosh computers is very difficult to figure out, with numbers varying from a conservative 3% to an optimistic 16%.
Whether the size of the Mac’s market share and installed base is in fact relevant, and to whom, is a passionately argued topic. Industry experts have often taken notice of the Mac’s comparatively small market share to forecast Apple's approaching destiny, specifically in the late 1990s when the company’s prospect seemed the most miserable. (Johnson, 2005) Others debate that market share is not the right way to critic the Mac’s success, citing the following reasons:
- Apple has located the Mac as a higher-end personal computer, and so it is deceptive to evaluate a Mac against a low-budget PC.
- Market share seem to be such a major issue only within the computer industry. The issue is rarely raised in the automobile or television industries.
- Too much stress is placed on the Mac’s international market share at the cost of its United States market share, which as of 2006 holds at nearly twice the equivalent worldwide figure.
- As the overall market for personal computers has developed so much and so swiftly, the Mac’s rising sales numbers are successfully eaten by the industry’s numbers as a whole. Apple’s small market share, then, presents the fake notion that less people are using Macs than did (for example) a decade earlier. (Smarte and Reinhardt, 1990)
Market share numbers disregards the total installed base of a particular platform, a statistic which is hard to precisely decide. For example, if one platform is exchanges less often than others, the figure in use at any given instant would be higher than shown by sales alone.
Irrespective of the Mac’s market share, Apple Computer has stayed profitable ever since Steve Jobs’ come back and the company’s consequent reorganization. (Butcher, 1988) Market research shows that Apple sketches its customer base from artistic, creative, and well-educated people, which may make clear the platform’s visibility within definite youthful, advanced subcultures. Additionally, conservative knowledge claims that the platform attracts specifically to the politically liberal-minded. This insight may or may not be precise—several famous conservatives, which include George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh, are Mac users—but it can only be resisted by the company's model of political contributions. Read about Apple internal growth
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- Moritz, Michael. The Little Kingdom. (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc, 2003).
- Rose, Frank. West Of Eden: The End Of Innocence At Apple Computer. (New York: Penguin Books, 2006).
- Smarte, Gene, and Reinhardt, Andrew. "15 Years Of Bits, Bytes, And Other Great Moments". Byte, Sep 1990.
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