Steve Jobs was a visionary as well as a businessperson who revolutionized technology forever. Millions of people worldwide have been influenced by his products and methods. The company that he founded along with co-founder Steve Wozniak has become one of the most widely recognized icons among computers and portable music players. Apple has even become a business model that many other companies strive towards.
Apple, then called Apple Computer, was founded in 1976 by Jobs and Wozniak on April Fools Day. From there Jobs created the Apple I. The very next year Apple was incorporated and released the Apple II. In 1980, Apple went public.
Steve Jobs brought John Sculley from PepsiCo Inc. to become Apple’s CEO in 1983. Two years after becoming CEO, Sculley’s opposing views from Jobs caused friction within the company resulting in Jobs’ resignation. Jobs continued on, founding Next Inc. as well as buying Pixar from George Lucas. Pixar became a major success after releasing it’s first feature length animation, Toy Story.
In 1996, Apple decided to buy Next to save itself from going bankrupt. Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 and quickly moved his way up to CEO, pushing out Amelio who was CEO prior to Jobs. Steve Jobs makes major changes within Apple upon his return. In the following years, Apple again becomes a profitable company.
The first major release from Apple after Jobs returned as CEO comes in 1998, unveiling the iMac. Steve Jobs personally introduced the iMac to the public in the same manner he released many other products like the iPhone and iPad. Keynotes were a key aspect of a product introduction where Jobs was able to personally introduce the product to the public. Jobs had an outgoing personalty that was liked by many. His enthusiasm in presenting the product personally set himself apart from other companies.
Three years later in 2001, Steve Jobs unveiled the first generation of iPods. Since the introduction of iPods, much has changed about the iPod but it has revolutionized how music is consumed. The flagship iPod has evolved from a click wheel interface with a hard drive to a more sleeker design with a touch screen and flash memory. iPods are now the number one way listeners listen to music.
In 2004, Jobs underwent surgery for a form of pancreatic cancer that is curable. His surgery is revealed to the public afterwards. Despite being ill, Steve Jobs continued as Apple’s CEO, expanding on the iPod and Mac products bringing more success to Apple.
In 2006, Disney buys Pixar for $7.4 billion, making Jobs the largest individual shareholder of Disney. Much of his wealth came from this transaction.
2008 brought about speculation that Jobs had become very ill. In September he appeared at an Apple event, it is apparent that he had lost significant weight as well as changes in his physical appearance. Bloomberg News accidentally published an obituary that it had prepared in advance of Steve Jobs’ death. In the following year Jobs abruptly announced that he will be on medical leave. It was later found out to be because of a liver transplant he received.
In 2010, Apple spearheads the tablet industry as Jobs announced the first generation of iPads. Apple sells 15 million iPads in the three quarters following the release of the iPad, setting the standard for tablets to come. The iPad has now found it’s way into education as well as into many Fortune500 companies. In education the iPad has found new ways to reach children with special needs as well as let higher education students and teachers have access to a wealth of information instantly and in a new interactive way. In the medical field doctors are now able to call up a patient’s health record in a matter of seconds allowing the doctor to more accurately treat them. Airlines are now replacing heavy flight logs and reference books with iPads to lighten the pilot’s load. iPads are increasingly becoming more popular for their ultra-portable design as it fits into the needs of different people and situation.
In January of 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave to his employees in a memo. Tim Cook, COO at the time, is given the task of running day-to-day operations in the midst of Jobs medical leave. Jobs was still consulted for long term operations. In April he appeared at an Apple event announcing the iPad 2. On August 24, Steve Jobs announces his resignation from Apple again, although asked to remain on the board of directors as chairman. Apple announced that Tim Cook will replace Steve Jobs as CEO.
On October 2011, Apple announced it’s much anticipated next generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 4S along with iOS5. The Apple event was not led by Steve Jobs for the first time and was led by Tim Cook instead. The very next day Apple announced Steve Jobs’ death.
The iPhone 4S was met with fierce demand on Friday as pre-orders for the handset began. All iPhone 4S carriers and Apple have sold out of 16GB models of the iPhone within the first day. Estimated ship dates are now slated later than October 14, launch day for the iPhone 4S. Apple exceeded its previous record of iPhone pre-order sell out roughly within 12 hours.
Steve Jobs’ spirit of innovation lives on in the products he helped design and create. He was an inventor with his name appearing on over 300 pattens. On top of being an inventor he was a creative genius. He led a mobile revolution with the introduction of the iPhone and brought about the beginnings of the post PC era with the iPad. Apple stated on it’s website; “Apple has lost a visionary and a creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being… Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”