Apple Inc. is a multinational technology firm headquartered in Cupertino, California, that specializes in consumer devices, software, and online services. Apple is the world's most valuable firm, the fourth-largest personal computer vendor by unit sales, and the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer, with revenue of US$365.8 billion in 2021. It is also the world's most valuable company as of January 2021. Along with Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft, it is one of the Big Five American information technology corporations.
Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976, to build and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. Jobs and Wozniak formed Apple Computer, Inc. in 1977, and the Apple II, the company's next computer, became a best seller. In 1980, Apple went public, and it became an instant financial success.
Throughout the 1990s, as the market for personal computers grew and evolved, Apple lost market share to the lower-priced duopoly of the Microsoft Windows operating system on Intel-powered PC clones (also known as "Wintel"). In 1997, just weeks before filing for bankruptcy, the business purchased NeXT in an attempt to correct Apple's failed operating system strategy and bring Jobs back to the company. Jobs led Apple back to profitability during the next decade by introducing the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad to critical acclaim, producing memorable advertising campaigns, establishing the Apple Store retail chain, and purchasing other firms to expand the company's product portfolio. Jobs died two months after resigning in 2011 due to health issues. Tim Cook took over as CEO after him.
In August 2018, Apple became the first publicly traded US corporation to be valued at more than $1 trillion, followed by $2 trillion in August 2020 and $3 trillion in January 2022. The corporation has been criticized for its contractors' labour policies, environmental practises, and corporate ethics, which include anti-competitive practises and materials sourcing. The corporation has a high level of brand loyalty and is regarded as the most valuable brand in the world.
Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne formed Apple Computer Company as a business partnership on April 1, 1976. The Apple I was the company's first product, a computer designed and manufactured solely by Wozniak. Jobs sold a VW Bus, for a few hundred bucks, and Wozniak sold a HP-65 calculator for US$500 (equivalent to $2,274 in 2020) to help finance for Apple. In July 1976, Wozniak made a first public appearance with the Apple I prototype at the Homebrew Computer Club. The Apple I was launched as a motherboard with a CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips—a base kit concept that would not be marketed as a full-fledged personal computer until later. It went on sale for US$666.66 (equivalent to $3,032 in 2020) shortly after its launch.
On January 3, 1977, Apple Computer, Inc. was formed without Wayne, who had left and sold a portion of the firm to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 only twelve days after co-founding Apple. During the incorporation of Apple, multimillionaire Mike Markkula supplied Jobs and Wozniak with crucial business advice and funding of US$250,000 (equal to $1,067,683 in 2020). Revenues expanded at an exponential rate over the first five years of operation, doubling every four months on average. Annual sales increased by 533 percent between September 1977 and September 1980, rising from $775,000 to $118 million.
No entity has contributed more to the market transition to the great transition from user-replaceable batteries to non-replaceable batteries than Apple, a design trend that is by definition planned obsolescence.
Even though Apple purports itself to be a premium and high quality brand, Apple products have been suffering from repeated design-related and circuitry failures.
Examples include a design where the fans of a Mac Book laptop computer blew hot air against the part that fastens the upper (display) part to the bottom (keyboard) part, causing it to wear down and disintegrate very quickly.
Apple products are deliberately designed for poor repairability. Practices include proprietary fasting screws and the presumably deliberate Error 53 restriction that makes the device unbootable if it can not verify that its home button is manufactured by Apple, rather than third-party vendors.
Apple products have historically been designed with form over function-extremism, such as sacrificing battery capacity for slim design and overprioritizing minimalism (also known under the euphemism cleanness) by, for example, designing some laptops with no more than one port, making it heavily dependent on adapters which would have been criticized by Apple cult members as bulky, had any other vendor done it.
In Apple's poorly designed Magic Mouse 2, a wireless computer mouse with a charging port located "at the bottom surface and a non-replaceable battery, making the device temporarily unuseable after running out of battery charge.
In the years 2012 to 2014, the then latest iPhones (iPhone 5, 5s and 6)[note 2] had, in addition to their batteries not being user-replaceable, around half the battery capacity as the then latest Galaxy Note mobile phones: the Galaxy Note 2, 3 and 4,[note 3] all three of which were equipped with user-replaceable batteries, and the Note 4 with 15 Watts of charging power using Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.
Even in the years afterwards, iPhones had significantly smaller battery sizes than devices of competing vendors.
By default, Apple computers only have poor support for file systems other than those developed by Apple themselves.
For the default Windows file system NTFS (New Technology File System), Apple computers preclude read-only support. Support for the common Linux file system formats ext2, ext3 and ext4 is missing entirely, making Mac OS dependent on third-party software to access such file systems.
To comply to Apple's compatibility restrictions, some hard drive manufacturers pre-format their disks with the technically deprecated exFAT file system, rather than the more modern and reliable NTFS.[note 4]
Apple devices use exclusive proprietary protocols, such as AirPort for file sharing (AirDrop), multimedia streaming and screen sharing (AirPlay), while historically lacking support for file sharing over Bluetooth, WiFi Direct, NFC and Miracast (also known as Screen Mirroring), the first of which many mobile phones have been equipped with since the early 2000s, and the other three since the early 2010s.
Although being equipped with Bluetooth hardware since the first generation (iPhone 2G, 2007) and NFC since the 2014 iPhone 6, the usability and versatility of the hardware has deliberately been severely limited.
AirDrop has been introduced in iOS 7 (2013), while other methods of file sharing have been available on other devices, namely Bluetooth, several years earlier.
A 2015 software bug in “i Operating System” (iOS) caused the system to become unuseable and get stuck upon setting the system date to 1970, caused by an integer underflow error by a date/time calculation attempted near the UNIX epoch time.
Shortly after the release of iOS 7 in 2013, a photorealistic hoax infographic appeared on the anonymous image board 4chan, claiming that “advanced algorithms” introduced to iOS7 control the delicate circuitry in a way to prevent water damage.
Several users have destroyed their device getting fooled by the hoax.
The website gained popularity in January 2016.
The narrow 1 GB RAM capacity of the iPhone 6 and 6+, which already was a low-tier capacity upon release date[note 7], has contributed to this vulnerability.
Upon the late-2015 release of iOS 9, the earliest released device type to receive an update to it was the 2011 iPhone 4s.
However, due to the increasingly decrepit and failing non-replaceable batteries in the three to four year old devices, the operating system deliberately significiantly throttled the processing speed to prevent unsolicited power-offs.
Such power-offs would be caused by the voltage of the overwhelmed battery dropping to deep because of too much current being drawn from it for the chemical reactions of the Lithium-Ion battery, which slow down with battery age, to keep up with.
The voltage threshold below which mobile phones cease to operate is around 3.0 volts.
A 2018 video by Linus Sebastian (Linus Tech Tips) describes how Apple refuses to repair an iMac tabletop computer that costs over $5000 dollars, even if Linus was ready to pay entirely for the repair.
A 2018 short documentary by CBC News exposed how Apple's Genius Bar customer service suggested charging over $1200 for a repair that would have cost a mere fraction of that price, or purchansing an entirely new device as the alternative option.
In a hypocritical and projectory 2006 commercial for the iMac computer, the person representing the iMac is able to communicate to a Japanese woman representing a camera[note 8], while the nerd character representing the Windows PC is not.
It is unclear which protocol Apple was referring to, regarding Microsoft Windows supported both MTP and PTP, commonly used by cameras over a USB connection next to mass storage.
The irony of the commercial is that Apple historically is the one electronics vendor with the greatest vendor lock-in tyranny, having proprietary plugs such as Lightning, poor support for non-Apple file systems and proprietary communication protocols such as AirPort (used for AirDrop and AirPlay) while never having supported file sharing over Bluetooth, WiFi Direct, NFC or screen sharing over Miracast.
↑Also a criticism of Microsoft Windows is its lack of native support for extFS, even though CEO Satya Nadella claimed in 2015 to “love Linux”.
↑The original IMG_0942.mp4 file is 540052 bytes long and its hash sums are: MD5:a92aaf9dc6307e5387cb3206e6faed48, SHA-1:2cbdd6beddcfbeb740c766b9d4c2b729fc600018, CRC32:0af5eca0.
↑When examining the file using mediainfo, one notable line is “Duration_LastFrame: -33ms”, notably a negative number. This could be related to the decoder bug.
↑The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 flagship device, released in September 2013, one year prior to the iPhone 6 and 6+, has been equipped with 3 GB of RAM, which is triple the RAM capacity of the iPhone 6 and 6+ which were released a year later.
↑Japanese camera vendors include Panasonic (Lumix), Sony (CyberShot), Canon and Nikon.
↑How to manage Ext2/Ext3 disks in OS X (by Topher Kessler, CNet, 2012-06-22)
“OS X cannot natively read the popular Ext2 and Ext3 filesystems, though support for these filesystems can be implemented if needed.”