Apple At 40: 12 Products That Changed Computing Forever - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
News
4/3/2016
12:06 PM
100%
0%

Apple At 40: 12 Products That Changed Computing Forever

Apple reached its 40th anniversary this month, no mean feat in a tech industry littered with the names of long-gone giants. Here's a look at the 12 products that defined the company, and changed what we know as computing in the process.
Previous
1 of 13
Next

(Image: Aleksandar Nakic/iStockphoto)

(Image: Aleksandar Nakic/iStockphoto)

Apple celebrated 40 years of existence on April 1. It's a significant anniversary in any industry (and the ruby anniversary, if you're a traditional sort), but it's especially meaningful in an industry like computers. The list of companies that have come and gone since April 1, 1976, is long and contains names that were once absolute titans of the industry.

Apple's survival was not always a given. There have been several points in its history at which it was all but given up for dead by industry pundits. Even now, when it remains one of the larger corporations on the planet, there are plenty of people scrambling to be the first to write its obituary.

An anniversary like this is replete with publications writing about the major milestones in the company's history, and who am I to buck a trend? Instead of looking at major moments, though, I thought I'd look at 12 major products that have defined the company's history. Each has had a role to play in making the company what it is today.

Are you prepared for a new world of enterprise mobility? Attend the Wireless & Mobility Track at Interop Las Vegas, May 2-6. Register now!

My goal here isn't to catalog every product Apple has released, or even every product that has had (or could have) a major impact on the company and its customers. There have been storage products and networking products, lots of software, and even complete platforms (Apple Watch) that aren't here.

Check back in another 10 years to see whether the world has changed enough to warrant their inclusion.

Many of us in the industry can define our personal computer use either by the Apple products we've used, or the Apple products we've reacted to by turning solidly to something else. I can't claim I was along for the Apple ride from the time of the Apple I, but I envied the Apple II and was at the Boston Computer Society in February 1984 when the Macintosh came out of the bag. I have my set of memories around Apple products -- what are yours? I would love to hear your memories -- and I promise to share some more of mine in the comments section below.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 13
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
4/8/2016 | 8:34:36 AM
Apple's innovation remains alive
Curt,

Thank you for this round of Apple products. All of them have contributed in one way or another to the evolution of software, harware, and innovation in computers and other devices. 

Apple will never stop to innovate. People who demand a totally new product each year are wrong. Innovation doesn't work that way. Continuously improving devices and keeping a strong security are valid to me to show that, in my opinion, Apple products are the best.

Who determines the ratio innovation-time? And why? You read complains, but never reasons and explanations. The process of innovation takes time, analysis, testing, and involves even more than that before a new product can be launched to the market. 

It's a bit of a shock to realize that this year marks the fifth anniversary of Steve Jobs's death. Time really flies. 

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
4/8/2016 | 6:04:41 AM
Auto-save would be useful
Curt, 

Do you know what InformationWeek needs? Auto-save. It's not such a big deal when you have to rewrite a line or two when your post has disappered. But after investing about 45 minutes in thinking and writing a quite long comment to lose it right before clicking on "post" button you wonder if you were able to reproduce just the same. 

I'll try. I'll try after a cup of tea. :( Sorry. I needed to vent this little frustration. 

-Susan 
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll