Apple in general words. Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and manufactures consumer electronics , computer software , and commercial servers . The company's best-known hardware products include Macintosh computers, the iPod , the iPhone and the iPad . Apple software includes the Mac OS X operating system ; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Aperture , a professional photography package; Final Cut Studio , a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products; and Logic Studio , a suite of audio tools. As of January 2010 the company operates 284 retail stores in ten countries, and an online store where hardware and software products are sold.
Apple was established on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs , Steve Wozniak , and Ronald Wayne , to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. They were hand-built by Wozniak and first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club .The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU , RAM , and basic textual-video chips)—less than what is today considered a complete personal computer.The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66 ($2.55 thousand in 2010 dollars, adjusted for inflation.) he Apple II was introduced on April 16, 1977 at the first West Coast Computer Faire . It differed from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET , because it came with color graphics and an open architecture . While early models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface, the Disk II . 
Steve Jobs began working on the Apple Lisa in 1978 but in 1982 he was pushed from the Lisa team due to infighting, and took over Jef Raskin's low-cost-computer project, the Macintosh. A turf war broke out between Lisa's "corporate shirts" and Jobs' "pirates" over which product would ship first and save Apple. Lisa won the race in 1983 and became the first personal computer sold to the public with a GUI, but was a commercial failure due to its high price tag and limited software titles.
Apple's sustained growth during the early 1980s was in great part due to its leadership in the education sector, attributed to an implementation of the LOGO Programming Language by Logo Computer Systems Inc., (LCSI), for the Apple II platform. The success of Apple and LOGO in the education environment provided Apple with a broad base of loyal users around the world. The drive into education was accentuated in California by a momentous agreement concluded between Steve Jobs and Jim Baroux of LCSI, agreeing with the donation of one Apple II and one Apple LOGO software package to each public school in the state.
By the early 1990s, Apple was developing alternative platforms to the Macintosh, such as the A/UX . The Macintosh platform was becoming outdated since it was not built for multitasking, and several important software routines were programmed directly into the hardware. In addition, Apple was facing competition from OS/2 and UNIX vendors like Sun Microsystems . The Macintosh would need to be replaced by a new platform, or reworked to run on more powerful hardware.
In 1994, Apple allied with IBM and Motorola in the AIM alliance . The goal was to create a new computing platform (the PowerPC Reference Platform ), which would use IBM and Motorola hardware coupled with Apple's software. The AIM alliance hoped that PReP's performance and Apple's software would leave the PC far behind, thus countering Microsoft. The same year, Apple introduced the Power Macintosh , the first of many Apple computers to use IBM's PowerPC processor.
On August 15, 1998, Apple introduced a new all-in-one computer reminiscent of the Macintosh 128K : the iMac . The iMac design team was led by Jonathan Ive , who would later design the iPod and the iPhone . The iMac featured modern technology and a unique design. It sold close to 800,000 units in its first five months and returned Apple to profitability for the first time since 1993.
Through this period, Apple purchased several companies to create a portfolio of professional and consumer-oriented digital production software. In 1998, Apple announced the purchase of Macromedia 's Final Cut software, signaling its expansion into the digital video editing market. The following year, Apple released two video editing products: iMovie for consumers, and Final Cut Pro for professionals, the latter of which has gone on to be a significant video-editing program, with 800,000 registered users in early 2007. In 2002 Apple purchased Nothing Real for their advanced digital compositing application Shake , as well as Emagic for their music productivity application Logic , which led to the development of their consumer-level GarageBand application. iPhoto 's release the same year completed the iLife suite
On May 19, 2001, Apple opened the first official Apple Retail Stores in Virginia and California.The same year, Apple introduced the iPod portable digital audio player . The product was phenomenally successful — over 100 million units were sold within six years.In 2003, Apple's iTunes Store was introduced, offering online music downloads for $0.99 a song and integration with the iPod. The service quickly became the market leader in online music services, with over 5 billion downloads by June 19, 2008. Since 2001 Apple's design team has progressively abandoned the use of translucent colored plastics first used in the iMac G3 . This began with the titanium PowerBook and was followed by the white polycarbonate iBook and the flat-panel iMac .
On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod digital music player. It has evolved to include various models targeting the wants of different users. The iPod is the market leader in portable music players by a significant margin, with more than 220 million units shipped as of September 9, 2009.  Apple has partnered with Nike to offer the Nike +iPod Sports Kit enabling runners to synchronize and monitor their runs with iTunes and the Nike + website . Apple currently sells four variants of the iPod.
iPod Classic (previously named iPod from 2001 to 2007), portable media player first introduced in 2001, currently available in a 160 GB model.
iPod Nano , portable media player first introduced in 2005, currently available in 8 and 16 GB models. The newest generation has a 640x480 video camera (H.264, 30FPS) and an FM tuner with live pause and iTunes Tagging.
iPod Shuffle , digital audio player first introduced in 2005, currently available in 2 and 4 GB models.
iPod Touch , portable media player first introduced in September 2007. Currently available in 8, 32, and 64GB models. The 32 and 64GB Gen 3 models feature a faster processor and include voice control and an external microphone
At the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the long anticipated iPhone , a convergence of an Internet-enabled smartphone and iPod.The original iPhone combined a 2.5G quad band GSM and EDGE cellular phone with features found in hand held devices, running a scaled-down versions of Apple's Mac OS X (dubbed iPhone OS ), with various Mac OS X applications such as Safari and Mail . It also includes web-based and Dashboard apps such as Google Maps and Weather . The iPhone features a 3.5-inch (89 mm) touch screen display, 4, 8, or 16 GB of memory, Bluetooth , and Wi - Fi (both "b" and "g").The iPhone first became available on June 29, 2007 for $499 (4 GB) and $599 (8 GB) with an AT&T contract.On February 5, 2008, Apple updated the original iPhone to have 16 GB of memory, in addition to the 8 GB and 4 GB models.On June 9, 2008, at WWDC 2008, Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone 3G would be available on July 11, 2008.This version added support for 3G networking, assisted -GPS navigation, and a price cut to $199 for the 8 GB version, and $299 for the 16 GB version, which was available in both black and white.