It may have been April Fools’ Day, but Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne were not joking around when they came together on April 1, 1976, to form Apple Computer Inc to sell the Apple I personal computer kit.
The kits were hand-built by Wozniak and first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. They went on sale in July 1976.
Apple would be incorporated on January 3, 1977, but without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.
Although some of its products over the years were not accepted by consumers – the Apple III, for example – the company’s longer-term success is nothing to laugh at.
After its IPO (initial public offering) saw the creation of a record number of instant millionaires, a series of ups and downs in the 1980s and 1990s would lead Apple to the new millennium where it has seen exceptional success.
The company would remove "Computer" from its name in January 2007, to reflect its shifted focus toward consumer electronics, moving it firmly beyond its Mac line of computers.
Propelled by its iPod, iPhone, and iPad lines, Apple’s worldwide annual revenue in for its fiscal 2012 (ended September 29, 2012) totaled more than $156 billion. Currently, more than 72,800 full-time employees and 3,300 temporary full-time employees worldwide work at Apple.
The Apple brand itself has, overall, become synonymous with ease of use for consumers and is among the most well-known electronics brands across the globe.