This month marked history as Apple became the first US company to hit a $1 trillion valuation. That’s a lot of money. That’s like, almost too much money. The company has been responsible for some of the biggest tech innovations in recent history, so it’s not surprising it won the race to the most valuable company on planet Earth.
With phones, computers, cloud space, iPods, software, TV services, and much more, you won’t have to look far to see an Apple product near you at any given time. The iPod changed how we listened to music, and the iPhone changed how we communicate today. With Steve Jobs leading this revolution, it wasn’t always such plain sailing. We outline just how they got so far.
1971: A Tale of Two Steves
In the early 1970s, Steve Jobs met Steve ‘The Woz’ Wozniak and immediately bonded over their love of electronics and technology. The 1970s was a crazy time, with a whole generation gearing up to change the world as quickly as technology could keep up.
1976: Apple Is Born
The Steves founded the tech company, and the story of how they came up with the fruity name is still under dispute today. Wozniak claims it was as the two were driving down the road one day, excited for the adventures they were about to have, and it just ‘popped’ into Jobs’ head. They both agreed that they couldn’t think of anything better! That year, the first Apple computer was born, famously built in a car garage.
1980: Apple Goes Public
At the end of 1980, The Steves took apple public with shares valued at $22 a pop. Destiny was clearly teasing Apple’s fate that day since that valuation already gave it a market cap of over $1 billion. A great way to start the 80s!
1985: It Woz The Worst of Times
Success is not a straight path, and the mid-1980s was a significant turning point for both Jobs and Wozniak as they both departed the company. The Woz had miraculously survived a plane crash and decided he wanted to enjoy this new lease of life. Jobs, however, was actually ousted by the board. To his horror, he was kicked out the company he helped build. The chaos of 1985 caused stocks to plunge from $22 to only $2.
1997: Bringing Back Jobs
Twelve years went by before Apple requested that Steve Jobs return to help save the company, which at that time was beginning to see better days. Its valuation had not properly recovered and was suffering from lack of creativity. It needed a win, so it brought back Jobs as interim chief.
1998: The first iMac
Within one year of his return, Apple had secured a win. The company unveiled the famous iMac series. With their deep base and colorful cases, the desktop became an instant classic. Everywhere, everyone wanted one. They were sleek, they were stylish, and more importantly, they were back in the game.
2000: The Release Of The Cube
The turn of the century proved to be an important year for Apple’s growth and scalability. That year, it had released its new Power Mac G4 Cube. At the time, it was around 25% of the size of a regular computer, at a firm 8 inches.
2000: The Famous Mac OS is Revealed.
Later that same year, Apple announced its operating system which was publicly supported by over 100 developers, including Microsoft and Adobe. This huge year for the company shows the return of Jobs was seeing the return of greatness and innovation. This, however, was nothing for what was about to come.
2001: The iPod Is Born.
This is it. The iconic device that will make the history books. This little life-changing device would transform our lives. Even though it wasn’t technically the first digital MP3 player on the market, the iPod had Apple’s cool and innovative look, making it the most successful one to date.
2007: iPhone Changes The Game
Another iconic year in the tech world. Steve Jobs stood on stage and announced Apple had created a device that combined people’s phones, iPods, and web browsers. He called it iPhone, and there’s a chance you may have heard of it? Since its release 10 years ago, Apple has sold over $1 billion iPhones, making it its most popular and flagship product.
2011: Transformative Leadership
2011 marked another sad year in Apple’s history after Steve Jobs resigned due to aggressive cancer. Tim Cook is appointed the new CEO and holds the fort of a company with an annual revenue of $110 billion, stocks reaching $380 a share, and their market capitalization reached $360 billion. Sadly, Steve Jobs died later that year.
2014: Apple Stock Splits, Causing Another Hiccup
Stocks in the company were split up, dropping their value from $645.57 to approximately $92.44. It is said that the previous set-up of how their stocks were managed was prohibited, causing the stir-up in the company and its valuation.
2015: Music To Apple’s Ears
With the new trend of streaming services in full swing, Apple joins the game with Apple Music. Although a game-changer with its famous iTunes store, Apple was actually late to this arena, facing an uphill battle as they take on giants like Spotify, who had entered the space years before them. To date, Spotify is still the winner here, but who knows what will happen in a few years?
2016: Apple’s Very Public Admirer
Apple caught the attention of a very unlikely admirer in Warren Buffett. The billionaire very rarely invests in tech companies, something he sees as unreliable, but had decided to buy a ‘modest’ 9.8 million shares. With a history of good investments, he must have seen what was about to come.
2018: The First US Trillion Dollar Company
In August 2018, Apple became the first US company to be valued at $1 trillion. For a few months before, other contenders like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, were also in the race. Turns out, the company’s strong flow of successful products and a strong market made it possible for this giant to gain the crown.
Apple’s turbulent history of ups and downs can show us that the road to success is rarely a straight line. Over 40 years, we’ve seen how good companies and strong leaders react to challenges and how they overcome them. Today, Apple continues to be a shining example of how companies grow. Apple is the first US company to his this historic milestone, but it surely won’t be the last!