Apple has always been a cutting edge company. Be it with its inventive UI or its unbeatable hardware, their products have always been a class apart. The sleek, curved edges with the minimal, eaten apple at the back – their design too, has been iconic. The company started off with Steve Jobs spearheading it as a college dropout and is now a mammoth venture. Just recently, the net value of Apple shot above trillion dollars. The first company in history to do so.
But beyond the glitz and the shows, the keynotes and the CEO’s lies, something that is at the core of Apple’s products – bleeding new technology. Here we talk about 6 Apple products introduced over the years that has changed our perception of what technology can be and where it is going.
Let us go way back to 1977.
Steve Jobs along with Steve Wozniak decided to spearhead apple (which had previously released the Apple I) into the personal computer segment. In 1977, this was an unheard venture.
While Wozniak saw over the software, Jobs designed the chassis and they brought together the world’s first B2C, a personal computer. The two apple co-founders showcased this computer at the West Coast Computer Faire and it became a raging hit for its times.
Jesse Adams Stein wrote, “As the first company to release a ‘consumer appliance’ micro-computer, Apple Computer offers us a clear view of this shift from a machine to an appliance.”
The personal computer success ran from 1977 to 1998. This was a long run, but the computer still had to push its consumer limits. Meanwhile, in this process, Steve Jobs was kicked out and then reinstated into his own company.
After his comeback in 1998, he decided to launch the iMac. The iMac is what made Apple, Apple. It propelled Apple’s idea into the future and became a roaring success.
In a Guardian review, it was mentioned that “nobody who attended last week’s product launch expected to find the most radical Macintosh since the original hit the streets 14 years ago … There isn’t even a floppy drive.”
Before the iPod, people associated portable music with big bulky systems such as Walkman and boomboxes. These systems could have only a few songs stored in them with little or no visual display.
The iPod revolutionized all of this with its tiny size, futuristic display, and colorful hardware. Not only this, the iPod was capable of storing thousands of songs and providing additional functionality like album art and 8-bit games.
Before the age of iTunes, music was sourced through store-bought CD’s or through illegal piracy websites. The former was an inconvenience for the consumer and the latter was a hole in the pocket for artists.
The invention of iTunes made music listening a win-win situation. Consumers could legally start buying music online which made it better for artists too. It was the true disruptor in the music recording industry. Soon, iTunes provided much more than music. You could rent or buy TV shows, Podcasts, music videos, and even movies. All in the comfort of your own home.
iTunes also brought with it the ability to have all of these media in just one place. So, whether you logged in through your iMac or through your iPod – your whole directory could be found all at once.
Apple’s and the tech industry artists’ contribution to consumers to date has been the iPhone. The concept, when first introduced in 2008 was unthought of – a smartphone that can call, email, and can be used to listen to music at the same time!
This concept in today’s day and age is very ubiquitous, but back in 2008, it was revolutionary. When Jobs introduced the iPhone, it caught on like wildfire. It was the one device to replace all devices. Even basic concepts like the portrait to landscape mode switch were made popular by the iPhone.
Many media houses called it the “Jesus Phone”.
Many may not deem the iPad as Apple’s biggest win, but it was the most futuristic idea of the lot. A Star Wars-esque moving piece of screen had come to life with the iPad. It was a phone with a huge screen while being a laptop with no keyboard. It could do everything and be sleek at the same time.
The tablet market soon after became a huge one after the iPad was launched with Samsung, Asus, and the like getting their own versions of tablets in the system. But, it was Apple who first powered and gave impetus to the idea.