Timeline: iPad joins list of Apple product milestones
The iPad is just the latest in decades of big milestones and product introductions for Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs.
Here’s a quick list:
High school buddies, and dropouts, Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs found Apple Computer. Their first product, Apple I, built in circuit board form, debuts at “the Homebrew Computer Club” in Palo Alto, California, to little fanfare.
The company unveils the Apple II, perhaps the first personal computer in a plastic case with color graphics. It is a big hit.
Apple starts selling the “Lisa,” a desktop computer for businesses with a graphical user interface, the computer system most users are familiar with today. A year earlier, Jobs was booted from the Lisa project — so he started working on the Macintosh.
1984 – Apple debuts the Macintosh personal computer. It is hyped with a dark, stylized commercial in which a lone “heroine” takes on “Big Brother” characters that are reminiscent of those in George Orwell’s novel “1984” — a metaphor for IBM. Directed by “Alien” and “Blade Runner” filmmaker Ridley Scott, the ad airs just once nationally, during the Super Bowl.
Apple introduces the Powerbook 100, its first hit portable computer.
The Newton Message Pad, Apple’s first handheld device, debuts. The touchscreen device features many tools found in today’s smartphones, such as an address book, a calendar and an e-mail function. It flops.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who left in 1985 after a power struggle, is named interim CEO of the struggling company, which had racked up losses of more than $1.8 billion in the previous two fiscal years.
Jobs introduces a new line of Macintosh computers, called G3. He also demonstrates a new Web site that will let people order machines directly from Apple.
Apple unveils the iMac desktop computer, boasting its simple setup and built for an Internet age.
Apple introduces the iPod, a palm-sized, hard-drive-based digital music player
The iTunes Store opens. The software-based application allows users to shop for music, audiobooks, movies, and TV shows for download over the Internet.
The iPod adds video, and Apple fills out its portable media line with the low-end iPod shuffle, and sleek iPod nano. (Through 2009, it sold more than 220 million iPods.)
Apple announces the iPhone. The device features one button on its smooth face and has a “virtual” keyboard. It also introduces Apple TV, considered one of Apple’s lowlights.
Apple unveils the iPod Touch — essentially an iPhone without the phone — which has wireless capabilities and can perform much like a portable computer.
Apple opens the doors to the App Store as an update to iTunes. The store features small applications — from games to social and business tools — that add functions to the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple also releases the Macbook Air, a slim portable computer.
Apple releases the iPhone 3GS.
After months of speculation, Apple introduced the iPad, a sleek, full-color, half-inch thin touchscreen gadget designed for a variety of media, from videos to games to electronic books, movies and newspapers. Apple is hoping the device will be a new growth engine, particularly as iPod sales wane.
Photos in descending order:
* Steve Jobs stands beneath a photograph of him and Apple-co founder Steve Wozniak during the launch of Apple’s new “iPad” — Reuters, Kinberly White
* Ad for Apple’s “Lisa”, Computer History Museum
* “1984”; Youtube
* Newton, Reuters file
* Steve Jobs with iPod, Reuters file
* Apple iPhone, Reuters file
* Apple iPad, Reuters file