January 30, 2024

How Did Apple Change the World?

Few companies change the world, and even fewer do so more than once. Apple has done so twice, revolutionising computing and upending industries with a series of products that have redefined the way we use technology.

From the start, the company aimed to produce a product that was beautiful as well as functional. Its founder, Steve Jobs, had a unique understanding of how things worked and how to build them. His attention to detail made Apple's products, in his words, 'insanely great'. His successor, Tim Cook, has pushed on with the same vision and produced more of those amazing products.

When the first Apple computer, the Apple I, was launched in 1977, it sold just a few hundred units. But its follow-up, the Apple II, proved a hit with the business community. It used a Macintosh operating system and included a sleek plastic case that was modelled more on kitchen appliances than on microcomputing technology.

In 1998, the company released its first Macintosh-branded iMac computers with a colourful, curvy design that turned it into a trendsetter in consumer electronics. Then came the iPod in 2001, which was a revolutionary music player that integrated seamlessly with iTunes, allowing users to download and store hundreds of songs in a tiny and convenient device.

The iPhone, launched in 2007, revolutionised mobile phones with its intuitive touch-based interface and a unique ecosystem that allowed developers to create, distribute and monetize apps that made the iPhone so much more than just a phone. It was a game console, an image editor, a flashlight and much more, all in one handheld device, and Apple was the gatekeeper, taking a 30% cut of app revenue.

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