visionary co-founder Steve Jobs put his own stamp on everything
from the personal computer to the music industry in myriad ways.
For Jobs, how a product looked, felt and responded trumped raw
technical specifications. While PC makers chased after faster
processor speeds, Jobs pursued clever, minimalist design, noted
Fortune magazine listing the ways he changed the world.
Apple's titanium-turned-aluminium notebooks have became
bestsellers. The most recent MacBook Air models have been held up
as examples of the ideal intersection of design, price and
Launched in 2003, iTunes has become the largest online music
retailer in the world, with over 200 million registered users who
have downloaded 15 billion songs. The fall 2011 launch of a
cloud-based iTunes service should only further cement that
Much has happened since Apple II, a mass-produced 8-bit computer
encased in plastic that became one of the most successful PCs of
the 1980, revolutionised the way people work.
But despite the rise of Windows-based computers, Mac sales
continue to climb. In fact, Mac sales for the September 2011
quarter are expected to come in between 4.4 million and 4.6
million, a new record.
In the "post-PC" era tablet-laptop hybrid iPad has sold nearly
14.7 million units in 2010, and just last quarter, sales exploded
183 percent, proving that many people want a sizable yet portable
device they can take anywhere.
Apple operating systems were always intended to be simpler than
the competition -- MS-DOS, Windows or Linux -- and that approach
is readily apparent, whether it's Mac OS System 7 or Mac OSX,
software largely derived from Jobs' work at NeXT.
Ultimately, Jobs' biggest contribution isn't just a smartphone, a
tablet or an operating system, but Apple itself, a 12,000-strong
organization that was once on the brink of irrelevance, Fortune
Since his return to the company in 1997, Jobs has rebuilt it into
the most valuable technology company in the world, surpassing
other heavyweights like Microsoft or HP. It may indeed be the
greatest turnaround in business history, it said.
(Arun Kumar can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)