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A Brief History of Apple Innovation. by Larry MacPhee Associate Director, e-Learning Northern Arizona University. Disclaimers. The views expressed are those of the presenter and not necessarily the views of e-Learning or Northern Arizona University 

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a brief history of apple innovation

A Brief History ofApple Innovation


Larry MacPhee

Associate Director, e-Learning

Northern Arizona University

  • The views expressed are those of the presenter and not necessarily the views of e-Learning or Northern Arizona University 
  • I have no relatives who work for Apple Computer, but I have made a fair bit of money buying and selling AAPL stock.
“It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them”

-Steve Jobs, 1998


Apple leads the personal computer (PC) industry not in market share, but in innovation. Apple introduces more new technologies to the public than any other computer company, and most of these technologies eventually find their way into all computers. Apple has shaped the PC industry like no other company. Not IBM. Not Intel. Not Microsoft. Not Adobe. Not HP. Not Dell. The following is a list of Apple firsts. Want to see the future computing? Watch Apple.

2 the gui
2. The GUI



3 plug and play
3. Plug and Play

since 1984

Plug and play

4 the lan
4. The LAN



Local Area Network

5 desktop publishing
5. Desktop Publishing



Desktop Publishing

6 hypertext
6. Hypertext



9 multimedia
9. Multimedia



10 the pda
10. The PDA



the dark years 1995 97
The Dark Years1995-97
  • Windows 95
  • Mac clones
  • Brain drain
  • Copland
  • Performas
  • Weak CEOs
    • Sculley
    • Spindler
    • Amelio
  • But finally…the return of Steve Jobs
12 the imac
12. The iMac


Just in time for the Internet

13 wireless
13. Wireless



15 macos x
15. MacOS X

2000 ->


16 digital music
16. Digital Music


iTunes and iPod

17 the switch to intel
17. The Switch to Intel


  • Processor parity
  • Windows on Mac


18 iphone
18. iPhone


Apple reinvents the cell phone

19 appletv
19. AppleTV


Apple tries to repeat iPod’s success with movies

20 ipad
20. iPad


Apple’s reinvents the computer…again

the future
The Future?

The Post-Steve Era

more good stuff
More good stuff
  • http://www.apple-history.com
  • http://www.folklore.org/index.py
why macintosh
Why Macintosh?
  • Not a major target for hackers
  • Very few viruses affect Macs
  • Runs the most popular software
  • Seamless Hardware-OS integration
  • Low TCO (Total cost of ownership)
  • High resale value
  • Innovative industrial design
  • Supportive user community
  • High reliability
  • High customer satisfaction
  • The choice of creative professionals
  • Runs Windows too
  • iOS and MacOS are very similar
why not macintosh
Why not Macintosh?
  • Some websites will treat you poorly
  • Some services come later to Mac
  • Some applications may not be available
  • Gaming is a drag
  • Some hardware/drivers not Mac compatible
  • Harder to get local repairs
  • More limited shopping options
  • International customers have to wait
  • Costs more up front than a budget PC
  • Mac haters will pick on you
  • You can still use your iPod with a PC
  • Apple can be fickle towards its users
decisions decisions
Decisions, decisions
  • Is it worth it?