- Apple was formed in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
- By 1980 its first shares went public.
- On Aug. 2, 2018, the company was the first American publicly traded company to hit a value of $1 trillion.
As a company, Apple’s had its share of firsts. On Aug. 2, 2018, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech company cemented itself as the first U.S. company in history to be worth $1 trillion. It’s hard to remember a time when Apple wasn’t on top and leading the competition.
Before words like FaceTime, App Store and Apple Watch were ingrained in public vernacular, Apple was a nascent computer startup venture between two friends in Northern California. Take a look at Apple history in this timeline to see how the company crossed this historic milestone.
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A Timeline of Apple and AAPL Stock Success
1971: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak meet. The two formed a friendship over their shared love of electronics.
1976: Jobs and Wozniak form Apple. The origin of the company’s name is hotly disputed; Wozniak said the name came to Jobs as the two were driving and neither could think of a better name. The same year, the Apple I computer debuts. Now a collectors’ item, the original Apple I — of which only 200 were built — sold for $666.66.
1980: Apple goes public. Shares of Apple began trading on Dec. 12, 1980, opening at $22 a share. On that day, Apple boasted a market cap of $1.2 billion.
1985: Jobs and Wozniak leave Apple. After surviving a plane crash in 1981, Wozniak took a leave of absence, briefly returned, and then walked away in 1985. As for Jobs, he was ousted by the board of directors in an apparent coup. The company’s leadership instability resulted in the stock falling to below $2 per share.
1997: Steve Jobs returns. Jobs was brought back as interim chief.
1998: The first iMac is unveiled. Jobs introduced the colorful and translucent desktop less than a year after he returned to the company.
2000: Power Mac G4 Cube is released. The computer, which was less than a quarter of the size of most PCs as the time, packed performance into an 8-inch cube, according to a press release.
2000: Mac OS X operating system is unveiled. Over 100 developers had pledged their support for OS X, including Adobe and Microsoft, according to a press release.
2001: iPod debuts. Commuting, running and errands all changed when the digital music player entered the market. Apple didn’t invent the first portable MP3 or music player; it created the first wildly successful one.
2007: The iPhone debuts. The mobile device signaled the beginning of the mobile revolution. The iPhone was the best-selling tech product in 2017, ten years after its launch, USA Today reported.
2011: Tim Cook becomes CEO after Jobs resigns. The same year, Jobs died of pancreatic cancer. During the change in leadership, annual revenue had reached $110 billion, the stock was at roughly $380 per share and Apple’s market capitalization had reached $360 billion.
2015: Apple unveils Apple Music. The subscription service for listeners to stream Apple’s catalog of music and a live radio station, and interact in its social network.
2016: Apple catches the attention of Warren Buffett. Buffett is notorious for shying away from technology investments. Still, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s investment company, bought more than 9.8 million shares during the first quarter of 2016, CNN Money reported.
2018: Apple hits $1 trillion.
The company’s fuel injection of cash, praise and achievement proves that the monolith shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
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Susan Kim contributed to the reporting for this article.