Steve Jobs, the man that made Apple(s)

Steve Jobs, who suffered from failing health and had previously taken several medical leaves of absence, this week decided to step down as CEO of the Cupertino giant.  Next to Google taking over Motorola, it’s the biggest computing news this month.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs, aged 56, wrote in his letter of resignation.  “I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee,” Jobs added.  “As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.”

Financial analysts will probably react positively to this news, as Apple, now one of the wealthiest companies in the world, had a lot riding on the views, opinions and the man himself that made Apple to what it is today.

But in a way, Apple wouldn’t be Apple and it would certainly not be around now, if it weren’t for that other Apple icon, Steve Wozniak, who together with Jobs founded Apple.  It’s also thanks to Commodore icon Chuck Peddle, that they were able to be part of the upcoming home computer market when Wozniak met with Chuck around 1975.  Wozniak later on used Chuck’s MOS6502 CPU to create his Apple I in his garage.
Perhaps little known to the larger audience, but for Commodorians much more than just a footnote in history, in 1976 the future of the computer industry could have been shaped quite differently, as Commodore was looking at buying Apple!  The reason behind this, was that Commodore wanted to meet the deadlines for the Consumer Electronics Show in 1976 and present a prototype revolving around the ideas Chuck had for a cheap computer.  As time was of the essence, and Apple already had a working system with their Apple I that was 6502 based, a deal could be made between the two companies to get something off the ground together.  It is rumored, that the Apple’s two Steves were looking at a price of $100.000 for their young company.  Jack Tramiel, always pushing these deals to the limit did not want to put forth that amount of cash and the deal basically fell through.  If the deal would have stuck, Commodore would have eliminated an early rival and the world would have seen the Commodore Apple!

Hindsight is always easy of course, and we do not know what other discussions or tactics were involved.  Nonetheless, Apple has been a gamechanger in the past 40 years, and a lot is thanks to Steve Jobs.  So lets take a look at the 10 most innovative products Jobs brought to the market.

The Apple I (1976)
Mostly the work of the other Steve (Wozniak), but it was thanks to Jobs’ vision that it would be a taste of things to come.

The Apple II (1977)
Again the work of Wozniak, and this time around, one of the first commercially successful computers.

The Lisa (1983)
Some say the name refers to Jobs’ first daughter, the documentation states it stands for “Local Integrated Software Architecture”.  Released in 1983, it was the first computer to feature a GUI and a mouse.

The Macintosh (1984)
The computer most people associate Apple with and it would mark Apple as the company with the most amazing marketing campaigns.  The Macintosh got introduced in 1984 during the Superbowl, with practically half of the US population watching the 1 minute advertisement.  Marketing genius at work!

The NeXT (1989)
Not an Apple product, as Steve left Apple due to an argument on the way the company should be run.  Apple founded NeXT and designed this beauty.  Though not a commercial success, its OS, NeXTStep would serve as the basis for the later Mac OS X.
In 1997 Apple bought NeXT and marked the return of Steve, who replaced most of Apple’s management by that of NeXT, hence the takeover was dubbed “Apple paying NeXT to buy Apple”.

The iMac (1998)
With Jobs back in control at Apple, he set to work to get Apple back on the computer landscape.  The introduction of the iMac, was an instant hit.

The iPod (2001)
Apple goes in search of other markets and finds… the music industry.  It’s hard nowadays to find a train or bus without someone listening to his or her iPod.  The gadget of a new generation…

The iTunes Store (2003)
The music industry’s best bet to reduce the downloading of music by illegal means.  Jobs transformed the whole thing and hassle of purchasing music into an easy online experience.

The iPhone (2007)
After transforming the music industry, Jobs now set his sights on the market of mobile phones and especially the segment of smartphones.  With his iPhone, he again set the standards.

The iPad (2010)
For years, everyone had been talking about the upcoming tablet computers, but no-one seemed to have the correct recipe, the is, until Steve Jobs got involved and brought us the iPad.

With Steve no longer the CEO of Apple, it will mark the end of an era, but we can be sure that he’ll stay closely involved with the future of the company.
Thanks Steve, for all the wonders you’ve given us so far!

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2 Responses to Steve Jobs, the man that made Apple(s)

  1. Pingback: Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011 | A Commodore Geek's Blog

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