Here’s How Apple’s Journey to $1 Trillion Tech Giant Enfolded Over the Past 42 Years (infographic)

The story about Apple started in the spring of 1976 when two high school friends and fellow college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided to set up shop in Jobs’ parent’s garage on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. The two brilliant minds joined forces and started working on their first product – a desktop computer dubbed Apple I and released on April 1, 1976.

Fast forward to August 2018 and Apple is now the biggest tech company in the world with a market capitalisation of $1 trillion! But this kind of success doesn’t just happen overnight. Here’s how Apple’s journey to $1 trillion enfolded over the past 42 years:

All but 25 units of Apple I were sold in just nine months, and Apple revenues started doubling every four months. Apple’s second product, Apple II was introduced in June 1977, and between September 1977 and September 1980, annual sales of Apple products grew from $775,000 to a whopping $118 million.

On December 12, 1980, Apple conducted an initial public offering (IPO) at $22 per share and made history by generating more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956. The IPO of Apple’s 4.6 million shares made 300 of the company’s employees and investors instant millionaires, while Steve Jobs - as the largest shareholder - made 217 million dollars alone.

In January 1983, Apple released the Lisa, one of the first personal computers with a graphical user interface in a machine aimed at individual business users. Apple sold around 100,000 Lisa machines at a price of $9995, generating about $1billion in revenue.

Apple Lisa was followed by the Macintosh computer, which made its debut on January 22, 1984. The release of the Macintosh is remembered for the “1984” television commercial which notably aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. Directed by Ridley Scott, the commercial was set in a dystopian, industrial setting and starred English athlete Anya Mayor as an unnamed heroine who is chased by the Big Brother police.
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In his 1983 keynote address, Steve Jobs alluded that the Big Brother from the commercial was supposed to represent IBM, telling the audience that "IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control: Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?" The commercial was a huge success, and Apple ended up selling about $3.5 million worth of Macintoshes after the advert ran.

Despite the initial success, the follow-up sales of the Macintosh weren’t that great due to the computer’s high price and limited range of software titles. To make matters worse, in 1985 Steve Jobs and Apple CEO John Sculley became engaged in a power struggle, and Jobs tried to oust Sculley from the leadership position. Once the Apple CEO found out about Jobs’ attempt to organise a coup, he called a board meeting and got all of the board of directors to side with him. On September 16, 1985, Jobs resigned as chairman of Apple Computer and went on to found his own company, NeXT Software, that same year.

When Michael Spindler, the president and CEO of Apple, was replaced by Gil Amelio in 1996, numerous changes took place at Apple Computers and on February 4, 1997, Amelio made headlines when he announced that Apple had acquired Steve Jobs's NeXT in a $429 million deal. The following year, Jobs was brought back to Apple as interim CEO, and at the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" from his title and became permanent CEO of Apple. He would hold this title until August 24, 2011, when he resigned for health reason and named Tim Cook as his successor.

The 2000s were full of momentous events for Apple. On January 9, 2001, iTunes was introduced, and on October 23 of the same year, the popular iPod mp3 player was released. Apple was on a roll and in 2003, it launched both the iTunes Music Store and the Safari web browser. But Apple’s most popular product, the iPhone, was yet to make its debut on the market.

To find out how Apple’s journey to $1 trillion went on, don’t miss the comprehensive infographic below by The Watchstrap!

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