An era has ended with the resignation of Apple CEO Steven Paul Jobs. Tim Cook, the Vice President, is now the CEO, with Steve Jobs stepping into the background as Chairman of the Apple Board much as had occurred when Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO and became Microsoft Chairman.
His fourteen (14) years reign as Chief Executive Officer after his return in 1997AD is best chronicled in the below Infographic from Column Five: (click for full view)
The innovator born February 24th 1955 to Paul and Clara Jobs nee Hagopian (yes he’s Syrian!) lived in Mountain View, California with no certification in Electrical Engineering started Apple Computers in 1977AD in his Garage with his friend Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak. “Woz” did most of the engineering work, while Steve Jobs stuck to the Marketing, an early indication of his instincts as it relates to products that would be hit-or-miss.
Years prior he had skipped a couple courses at Reed College later (actually did only one semester and audited only one course, Calligraphy) and became a college dropout, the traditional route of most Silicon Valley Superstars.
After swapping Coke bottles and free food at the local Hare Krishna temple got too much for him, he and Steven Wozniak both got work at Hewlett Packard as interns in 1974. A college dropout, he took on work at Atari and with the money saved, journeyed to India in search of Spiritual Enlightenment.
His Bob Dylan and LSD years aside, the creativity started to shine in the Apple I and Apple II before the slump of 1984AD set in. This was the year of the Apple Macintosh, the Personal Computer from Apple which unveiled to a wildly enthusiastic crowd the idea of an all-in-one design, productivity software, GUI (Graphic User Interface) and the use of a mouse.
It was also the year Apple faced increasing competitor from Intel and Microsoft, the software and hardware juggernauts of the 80’s. At which point, John Sculley, the then CEO asked Steve to leave.
In the thirteen (13) years he wandered in the Silicon Valley wilderness, he fathered two companies: NeXT Computers and PiXaR, an animation arm of George Lucas’ ILM (Industrial Light and Magic). His experience at NeXT Workstations with their OOP (Object oriented Programming) OS, the basis of Mac OS and iOS later on and PiXaR which he purchased in 1986AD, served as the creative inspiration for the Apple iMac, the plastic bubble all-in-one Computer he debuted in 1997AD, a year after John Sculley himself was ousted due to ravages of Microsoft-Intel tag team and the Dot.com bubble of the 90’s.
As a bit of a reality anchor, I was seventeen (17) years old at the time in my first year at UTECH (University of Technology), doing a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications. The year prior in 1996AD, I was at Glenmuir High School, much reviled as I dared to predict the victory of IBM’s Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov as chronicled in IBM and the Watson.
The Apple iMac marked the return of the Prodigal Son Steve Jobs’ to Apple, beginning a career as CEO, first in 1996AD as an Advisor and then in the Acting Role of CEO to finally taking the helm. The Apple iMac was the result of his return and at the time, at age thirty two (32), he was considered very young for a CEO.
But onto the gear.
The Apple iMac is unique in that it improved upon the now popular GUI and mouse interactivity that Microsoft “copied” with Internet connectivity straight out of the box in a complete package. In his words in 1997AD quote, “The Excitement of the Internet with the Simplicity of Macintosh”.
Just like the Macintosh, except it was customizable in various colours, borrowing the stylizations from the NeXT line of computers. Apple began to make the Internet cool and easy to navigate and thus the Apple began to ripen…..
The Apple iPod followed in October of 2001AD. A sexy music player, it only really took off when Apple introduced Apple iTunes for Windows in 2003AD luring away WinTel (Windows Intel) users at which point it was declared that “Hell had frozen over”. But it was not until the Apple iPhone’s debut in 2007AD that Apple really started making money.
This as the Apple iPhone is the source of almost all innovation in both the smartphone as well as the Tablet space post 2007AD as per my article Apple’s Revolution: Android @ Home and Ice Cream Sandwich in 2015AD. Not to mention having hardware with the least complaints as stated in the article Android smartphones may be king in 2015AD, but RIM Blackberry quality shines.
At this point Apple became truly profitable with the Apple iPhone, the raw clay from which the Apple iPad (really a bigger Apple iPhone) as per my article Apple iPad 2 – Dual-Core Easy Skankin’ was forged, based on a winning model of a VAS (Value Added Service) named iTunes and Apple Apps Store that made these post-iMac devices more than just pretty white gadgets.
Apps, especially Game apps as per my ditty Smartphones and Apps – Freemium Games are No. 1 remain the mainstay of Apple’s success with a healthy 70% cut for Developers to keep them happy.
Apple did have some flops along the way; the Apple Puck Mouse, the Apple G4 Cube and the Apple iTunes phone, precursor to the Apple iPhone. Some would say “Antennagate” in 2010AD, but the notoriety of the problem turned out to be over-amplification by the Media, especially in light of the fact that the new antenna design actually improved 3G Signal reception on AT&Ts Network.
Since the start of 2011AD and the rise of Google Android from 2009AD, now the dominant Smartphone and Tablet OS Worldwide as stated in Android Tablets gain on the Apple iPad – Here Comes the Hot Steppa, Apple is now under pressure. The Tablet Computer, a niche which Apple iPad single handedly carved out, is now heralding the coming of a “Post-PC Era” to quote Steve Jobs as per the article Apple iPad 2 – Dual-Core Easy Skankin’.
Apple is set to change the Television Landscape, once his “hobby”, the Apple iTV, matures and may become an Apple Television set as per my article Web-enabled Television Sets Sales Rise – The Apple Television cometh albeit this is pure speculation!
Tim Cook now takes over a company that is now the No. 1 PC Company, when the Apple iPad is factored, based on the statistics of DisplaySearch. The handy graphic below finally does Apple justice !
Need I say more?
Good luck Steve Jobs on your new adventure!!
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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.