Key dates in Apple history
The following are key dates in the history of Apple, whose ailing co-founder Steve Jobs resigned as CEO on Wednesday:
1976: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak unveil the first Apple computer in Palo Alto, California. It consists of little more than a circuit board and costs just under $700.
1977: The Apple II with a one-megahertz processor becomes the first mass produced computer and an instant hit.
1980: Apple becomes a publicly traded company.
1983: Lisa, the first personal computer featuring a mouse for navigating and desktop icons and folders, is introduced. Its failure is blamed on a daunting price of nearly $10,000.
1984: The Macintosh PC makes its debut. It is affordable and features innovations such as a disk drive, built-in monitor, and a mouse.
1985: Jobs resigns after being stripped of control of Apple in an internal power struggle.
1986: John Sculley becomes Apple president. Jobs starts computer company NeXT and buys Lucasfilm's computer graphics division, renaming it Pixar.
1996: Apple buys NeXT and makes Jobs an adviser.
1997: Jobs returns as head of Apple. Arch-rival Microsoft invests 150 million dollars in the company.
1998: Jobs revamps Apple's product line, churning out colorful $1,300 iMac PCs with monitors and drives in the same casing.
1999: The iBook, marketed as a mobile iMac, is introduced.
2001: Apple launches the iPod pocket digital music player for $399 and opens its first retail store in Palo Alto.
2003: Apple opens online music store iTunes.
2004: Jobs undergoes an operation for pancreatic cancer.
2007: Apple kicks off the era of the touchscreen smartphone with the new iPhone.
2009: Jobs goes on medical leave in January, returning to work in June after undergoing a liver transplant.
2010: Jobs unveils the iPad tablet computer, a huge hit after it goes on sale in April. Apple passes Microsoft in May as the largest US technology company in terms of market value.
January 17: Jobs takes another medical leave of absence.
January 18: Apple reports a record quarterly net profit of $6 billion on revenue of $26.74 billion
March 2: Jobs makes surprise appearance to unveil of the latest iPad
June 6: Jobs again surprises by launching Apple's free online storage hub iCloud
July 19: Apple second quarter profit hits $7.31 billion on revenue of $28.57 billion.
August 9: Apple briefly passes ExxonMobil as the world's largest company by market capitalization
August 24: Jobs announces his resignation as CEO and is replaced by chief operating officer Tim Cook, but stay on as chairman of the Apple board.
(c) 2011 AFP