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Apple, Inc. (then called Apple Computer) was founded on 1 April 1976 in Cupertino, USA, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne. Jobs and Wozniak were classmates in high school and later studied at the same university. They both left after one semester in order to pursue careers in the IT industry. Jobs joined Atari, and Wozniak went to Hewlett Packard. But the turning point came in 1975. Wozniak, who regularly attended meetings at a computer hobbyist club, was inspired by early models such as the Altair 8800 and decided to build a computer at home.
Shortly after, Wozniak, along with Steve Jobs and Ron Wayne, decided to establish a company to manufacture and sell home computers. Twelve days after founding Apple Computer, Wayne left the company after disagreeing with the direction it was taking and sold his shares to the other two partners for $800.
Apple Computer soon launched its first product – the wooden Apple I computer. In 1977, it was replaced by a new model, the Apple II, which featured a plastic body and a revolutionary colour monitor. In 1980, Apple Computer entered the stock market, and its shares rose by 32% on the first day!
The company experienced problems in 1981, when the first IBM PC hit the market and topped sales charts. Jobs's team responded by launching the Apple Lisa, the first computer with a graphical user interface; but due to the exorbitant price ($ 10,000), it had little success. On the contrary, the first Macintosh, released in 1984, was a phenomenal success. Interestingly, the first television advertisement for the Macintosh was shot by Ridley Scott.
Apple soon experienced more problems. Wozniak left the company following disagreements with one of the directors, and Jobs left to found his own company, NeXT Computer. Ten years later, however, Jobs returned to Apple as CEO.
Jobs set about making Apple a worldwide success. In 1998, he introduced the first iMac running Mac OS X. The next milestone was the first iPod, launched in 2001, and the iTunes media player and library. Apple went on to dominate the market of personal music players. The company's name was shortened to Apple, Inc., and in 2007 the Apple iPhone and iPad hit the stores. These iconic products changed the electronics landscape forever and became the best selling products in their categories. More recently, Apple has launched the Apple Watch and the iPad Pro.