After the outpouring of sadness surrounding Steve Jobs’ passing in October, it seems appropriate to celebrate the day he was born, in 1955. By now, even the most passive observers will know of his many remarkable exploits. Rather than simply rehashing these, we thought we’d bring you 5 little known facts about Apple, the company that Steve Jobs founded, changing the way millions of people live their lives.
Ask most adults over the age of 20, and they’ll tell you the picture on the left is the original Apple logo. But they would be wrong. In fact, Apple’s very first logo, on the right, was created in 1976 by Ronald Wayne, Apple’s lesser known third founder (along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak). Wayne didn’t stick around long, selling his shares in the company for $800. If he had, those shares would be worth several billion today. Sucks to be you, Ron.
Apple released its first computer in 1976, called the Apple I. Although most people reference the picture above, it is in fact not accurate. This version sports a custom made wooden computer case, but the Apple I was only sold as an assembled circuit board. Buyers would still have to provide their own case, power supply, power switch, keyboard and monitor! Asking price: $666.66.
By now we all know that Apple pioneered and revolutionized the world of personal computing, music players, mobile phones and tablet computing. But did you know Apple was the first company to launch a mass-market digital camera? In 1994, Apple released the QuickTake 100. The less-than-1-Megapixel camera cost $749, shot a maximum of eight pictures, and had no digital display. While the QuickTake didn’t quite takeoff, it is yet another example of Apple’s visionary product philosophy.
iPods and iPhones today are as much gaming devices as they are music players and phones. Video game developers like Rovio (Angry Birds) and Pocket Gems (Tap Pet Hotel) have made millions off these devices alone. But did you know the very first iPod also came with a secret easter egg game? Holding down the center button in the “About” menu would launch the game “Breakout,” more popularly known as Brick Breaker. Sure it may not be as colorful or sexy as today’s iOS games – but it sure killed time in those boring college classes and office meetings.
Well, kind of. Copyrighter Vinnie Chieco coined the name “iPod” after first seeing the original white music device. As part of a team tasked with this simple yet daunting job, Chieco claims he immediately thought of the pods in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Adding an “i” in front was simply a matter of following the naming convention started by the iMac. And the rest is history.
Happy birthday Steve Jobs.