It would be a stupid question to ask someone if they know Apple. Anyone who owns a mobile phone definitely knows what Apple is and what it does. It is a game-changer for technology in the world. Smartphones, Tablets, and PC would not be what they are today if not for Apple. Not many you know may own an Apple smartphone but most people will want to buy Apple products at some point in their life. Such is the craze and popularity of Apple products. People around the world are fascinated by the products of this company. Today owning an Apple device is not just like owning any other device it is looked up as a status symbol. The quality, the design, and improvements in every new product keep the world interested in every new project by Apple.
Apple is known for innovation, it is known for creativity, for style, and for compatibility. There is a classy feel that comes with every product from Apple. Steve Jobs is a name that comes into the mind of every individual when they hear Apple. He played an instrumental role in the success of the company. Steve Jobs was greatly responsible for taking the company to the position that it is in today. Apple has also played an important role in the success of many other businesses and industries. It was the first company that launched devices that could add extra applications in them. The late Steve Jobs demonstrated how you download, install, and use applications on Apple iPhone.
Till Steve was alive people thought he owned the company as he was the CEO. But now he is gone, people don’t know who owns it. But before knowing that let’s take a look at how it all began.
The story of Apple is one of the most popular among ones among entrepreneurs. After all, everyone wants to know the origins of the company that currently has the highest market value in the world. So this is how it started. Steve Jobs along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple in his parent’s house on April 1, 1976. It was founded with the intention of making PCs. The first product of the company was Apple I. This product is the invention of Steve Wozniak as he did everything from designing to assembling it. But this was just a kit that consisted of a CPU, RAM, and textual video chips not a complete personal computer. It was January 3, 1977, when Apple Computer became Apple Inc but Ronald Wayne already left the company by then.
After that Mike Markkula provided funding and business expertise to the company. The revenue of the exponentially increased taking the yearly sales from $775,000 to $118 million. During this time the company had a 533% annual growth rate. Steve Wozniak invented Apple II on April 6, 1977, and this product was better than Apple I. Apple II was also a success as it was compatible with both home use and office. Apple decided to use the graphical user interface as Steve Jobs thought they were the future of computers. He joined the low-cost computer project of Steve Wozniak and Raskin. They made a computer that is cheaper and faster compared to the “Lisa” project that he was kicked out. Lisa was a very ambitious project for Apple. This was the first time a personal computer was being released with GUI.
Even though Lisa had everything that people wished for at that time it still failed. The failure was due to the high price that it was being sold. After Lisa’s failure, Apple launched Macintosh which was the first personal computer that did not have a programming language. Though initial sales of Macintosh were good they began to drop after the first three months of its release. This was due to its slow speed, high price, and software which had a limited range. The failure of Macintosh led to differences between Steve Jobs and John Sculley. Steve Jobs hired John Sculley a couple of years ago to be the CEO of Apple as he was instrumental in the success of Pepsi at the time. During this power struggle, Steve Jobs was removed as the manager using the unanimous support from the board of directors of Apple.
After this Steve Jobs wanted to oust John out of the company. The latter found about this and stripped Steve Jobs off from all operational duties of Apple in an emergency executive meeting. Following this Steve Jobs resigned from Apple but kept the shares. With few employees who followed after his resignation, Steve founded NeXT Inc. Wozniak also quit Apple but kept the shares and repressed Apple at events for a stipend. In the Christmas season of 1989, Apple saw its worst sale and its stock price dropped by 20%. In the following years, Apple ventured into several different things like video consoles, audio players, cameras, and TVs. But all of these things were not a success. After a series of flop products, John Sculley was replaced by Michael Spindler as the CEO.
The rise of Apple
Apple bought Steve’s company NeXT in 1997 for its operating system and got Steve Jobs back. All of this happened after Spindler was replaced by Gil Amelio as the CEO of Apple. When Gil Amelio was ousted out of the company Steve acted as interim CEO and began to correct things. In 1998 they introduced a new computer iMac which was widely popular for its design. Jonathan Ive who designed the iMac went on to design the iPod and iPhone for Apple. These are products that changed the way people viewed handheld devices forever. After that Apple never looked back and became the multi-billion dollar company that we know today.
Who owns the company?
Apple went public on December 12, 1980, with the ticker symbol “AAPL”. This is the time it sold its 4.6 million shares generating $100 million for an IPO since 1956. This meant that Apple stocks were being traded in the stock market and there is no particular owner as people only own shares of the company.
Arthur Levinson is the person who owns the highest shares of Apple as an individual. He owns 0.03% of Apple shares and has been the chairman of the board since 2011. Tim Cook who is the current CEO Apple owns 0.02% of Apple’s shares. After Arthur and Tim, an entrepreneur and investor Al Gore owns 0.01% shares in the company. But the major shareholders are not these guys.
Vanguard Group Inc and BlackRock Inc are the ones who own a large number of shares in the company. Both these companies own a combined 15.9% of Apple. These companies not only own major shares in Apple but also other popular companies like Amazon and Facebook. After these two companies are in the hands of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. This is the company of the famous billionaire investor Warren Buffett. It owns 5.7% shares in Apple.
Apple is a company that does not need any introduction. It became the first company in the world that is valued at more than $1 trillion. Apple made products that were not only advanced but also beautiful. Even today Apple is pushing the boundaries of innovation with every single product it releases. And there is no doubt that Apple will keep on improving to become a better version of itself.