Apple Computer was incorporated on April 1, 1976. Since the release of the Apple I that year, we’ve had the famous Macintosh, a fall into near-obscurity in the 1990s, and the revival and rise to the world’s biggest company under Steve Jobs, and then Tim Cook.
But how well do you know Apple? To mark four decades since it was founded, here are 40 things you may not know.
1. Steve Jobs chose the name Apple Computer for two reasons. He was on a fruitarian diet, and thought the playful term would take the edge off the serious-sounding Computer. Secondly, he wanted the company’s name to be ahead of Atari in the phone book.
2. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were not the only founders of Apple. Ron Wayne, who wrote the nascent company’s original partnership agreement after meeting the pair at Atari, sold his 10 per cent share just 12 days later for $800 and a payout of $1,500. Now aged 81, Wayne claims he has no regrets about giving up a stake which would be worth some $60 billion today.
3. The iPad mini was actually head of software Eddy Cue’s idea. In 2011 Cue wrote an email to Tim Cook and other executives saying he believed there was a market for the 7-inch tablets Samsung was manufacturing at the time, and that “we should do one”. The email was used in court during the company’s legal battle with Samsung the following year. Apple released the iPad Mini in November 2012.
4. Apple sold 201,529,000 iPhones last year. That’s a rate of 6.4 iPhones every second.
5. The first Apple TV as such was the the short-lived Macintosh TV in 1993, giving you the choice to switch between the computer display and a cable-ready TV, controlled by a remote. One of the few black Macs, only 10,000 units were made before it was discontinued in 1994 following poor sales.
6. Chief design officer Sir Jony Ive, who was born in Essex, played rugby for Staffordshire in his youth.
7. The “i” in many of Apple’s products was originally said to stand for “internet” when Steve Jobs unveiled the iMac in 1998, although the prefix has become ambiguous as the iPod, iTunes and so on were introduced. More recently, Apple has dropped the “i” from its newer products, and the last one to be introduced was 2011’s iCloud.
8. While the Apple slogan “Think different” is often lambasted for being grammatically incorrect, Jobs wanted “different” to be recognised as an noun, rather than an adverb, as in “think results”, “think victory” or “think beauty”.
9. The error sound which played when encountering a problem on Macs prior to the 1998 iMac was known as ‘the chimes of death’.
10. Jobs was dead-set on attempting to persuade Robin Williams to read the famous “Here’s to the crazy ones” speech featured in Apple’s TV adverts during the mid-nineties, following his return to Apple. After Williams’ wife refused to let Jobs speak to the actor, who didn’t do adverts, Jobs turned his attentions to Maya Angelou and Tom Hanks. The job eventually went to Richard Dreyfuss, best known for his role in Jaws.
11. Many of Apple’s most senior executives have worked at the company for more than 20 years. Craig Federighi first worked under Jobs at NeXT in the ‘80s before formally joining Apple in 1996, Tim Cook joined in 1998, Jony Ive did agency design work for Apple before coming aboard in 1992 and Eddy Cue has been an employee since 1989.
12. Jurassic Park and Independence Day star Jeff Goldblum has appeared in several Apple adverts, including for iMacs and the original iPod.
13. The leather stitching on the skeumorphic calendar app iCal, used up until iOS 7, was based on the interior of Jobs’ private jet.
14. The first Apple product, the Apple I, went on sale for $666.66. The price was chosen because it was a markup of one-third on the $500 wholesale cost of making the machine and because co-founder Steve Wozniak reportedly liked repeating digits. The founders were apparently unaware of any connection with the Number of the Beast.
15. The original Apple retail stores were inspired by Gap. Ron Johnson, who Jobs hired as head of retail in 2000, greatly admired the vision Gap chief executive Mickey Drexler had for its products and retail environment, including pine benches, floors and white walls. Drexler later joined Apple as a board member.
16. Car fanatic Ive flies back to Britain to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed every year.
17. In 2008 Apple filed a patent for a computer capable of projecting its screen onto a nearby wall.
18. Jobs once banned pets from the Apple campus.
19. Apple invented a strange little canine/bovine hybrid avatar nicknamed Dogcow during the ‘80s which was part of the Cairo font glyph for the letter z on Mac OS, and is fondly remembered as an early Apple mascot.
20. The iPhone was originally developed under the codename Project Purple, and various different names for it were considered, including “telepod”, “mobi”, “tripod” and even “ipad”.
21. John Appleseed, a name which frequently crops up in Apple’s marketing material, is believed to be based on 18th century American pioneer Johnny Appleseed.
22. Apple’s revenues totalled $235 billion in the calendar year 2015. Put against countries’ GDP, that would make it 45th in the world, bigger than Portugal, Qatar and New Zealand.
23. South Korean rivals Samsung and LG are two of the main suppliers for Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
24. The Apple I computer released in 1976 had 4KB of RAM. 40 years later, the high-end Mac Pro has up to 64GB – a 16-million-fold increase in power.
25. In October 1997, just months after Steve Jobs had rejoined the company, Michael Dell of powerhouse laptop maker Dell said if he was in charge of Apple he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders”. If you had bought £10,000 of Apple shares on that day they would now be worth £1.4 million.
26. Susan Bennett, the original voice of digital assistant Siri, had no idea her voice was going to be used, having made the recordings for another company as early as 2005.
27. Apple launched an early camera, called the Apple QuickTake, in 1994. It was discontinued in 1997.
28. There are more than 1.5 million apps in the App Store, but thousands have never had a single download. One report in 2012 claimed that 60 per cent of apps had not been downloaded from the App Store once.
29. Pixar-created Monsters Inc contains a scene when Mike Wajaowski, voiced by Billy Crystal, holds up a magazine with a computer advert on the back cover, complete with the slogan ‘Scare Different’.
30. Apple has patented a number of technologies that have never seen (or are yet to see) the light of day, including a virtual reality headset and a “smart bike”.
31. Even the time displayed on Apple’s products in their adverts are carefully managed. 09:41 is always displayed on the iPhone, since that is the time that Steve Jobs unveiled the first model in 2007.
32. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch face shows the time at 10:09. Traditional watch makers have typically shown 10:10, since those are the hours that best show off the watchface, but the theory is that Apple wants to show it is a minute ahead of its analogue predecessors.
33. Smoking around an Apple computer can invalidate its warranty.
34. Apple was almost bought 20 years ago by Sun Microsystems, the computer systems and software maker that designed Java. The company’s former president Ed Zander subsequently said it was “literally hours away” from buying Apple but the deal fell apart. A few months later, Apple bought Steve Jobs’ NeXT Computer, and the rest was history.
35. Sir Jony Ive has worn the same T-shirt in different colours in every Apple product intro video since 2000. They are made by G-star.
36. Apple’s first logo featured Newton sitting under an apple tree and was designed by its co-founder Ronald Wayne, but Jobs thought it was too complex. They ended up with the rainbow-coloured apple with a bite.
37. The very first iPod had a hidden Easter egg feature, which allowed you to play Breakout, a game invented by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, when they were at Atari. Later versions of the iPod added three more games, Parachute, Solitaire, and Music Quiz that you don’t need iOS to play.
38. Apple launched a fetching line of very ‘90s-looking clothing in 1996. T-shirts and various hoodies are available to buy from its gift shop open to the public on its Cupertino campus.
39. Arch-rival Bill Gates invested $150 million in Apple in 1997 to help the ailing company shortly after Jobs’ return.
40. The Add to Reading List spectacles icon featured in iOS 7 onwards is based on Steve Jobs’ glasses.