Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Tech technology companies, alongside Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.
The company's hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, the AirPods wireless earbuds and the HomePod smart speaker. Apple's software includes macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, the Shazam music identifier and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites, as well as professional applications like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, and iCloud. Other services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, and Apple Card.
Macintoshes currently in production:
On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod digital music player. Several updated models have since been introduced, and the iPod brand is now the market leader in portable music players by a significant margin. More than 390 million units have shipped as of September 2015. 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.
At the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the long-anticipated iPhone, a convergence of an Internet-enabled smartphone and iPod. The first-generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, for $499 (4 GB) and $599 (8 GB) with an AT&T contract. On February 5, 2008, it was updated to have 16 GB of memory, in addition to the 8 GB and 4 GB models. It combined a 2.5G quad band GSM and EDGE cellular phone with features found in handheld devices, running a scaled-down version of OS X (dubbed iPhone OS after the launch and later renamed to iOS), 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) touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (both "b" and "g").
A second version, the iPhone 3G, was released on July 11, 2008, with a reduced price of $199 for the 8 GB model and $299 for the 16 GB model. This version added support for 3G networking and assisted GPS navigation. The flat silver back and large antenna square of the original model were eliminated in favor of a glossy, curved black or white back. Software capabilities were improved with the release of the App Store, which provided iPhone-compatible applications to download. On April 24, 2009, the App Store surpassed one billion downloads. On June 8, 2009, Apple announced the iPhone 3GS. It provided an incremental update to the device, including faster internal components, support for faster 3G speeds, video recording capability, and voice control.
At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 7, 2010, Apple announced the redesigned iPhone 4. It featured a 960 × 640 display, the Apple A4 processor, a gyroscope for enhanced gaming, a 5MP camera with LED flash, front-facing VGA camera and FaceTime video calling. Shortly after its release, reception issues were discovered by consumers, due to the stainless steel band around the edge of the device, which also serves as the phone's cellular signal and Wi-Fi antenna. The issue was corrected by a "Bumper Case" distributed by Apple for free to all owners for a few months. In June 2011, Apple overtook Nokia to become the world's biggest smartphone maker by volume. On October 4, 2011, Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, which was first released on October 14, 2011. It features the Apple A5 processor and Siri voice assistant technology, the latter of which Apple had acquired in 2010 from SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center. It also features an updated 8MP camera with new optics. Apple began a new accessibility feature, Made for iPhone Hearing Aids with the iPhone 4S. Made for iPhone Hearing Aids feature Live Listen, it can help the user hear a conversation in a noisy room or hear someone speaking across the room. Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S phones in the first three days of availability.
On September 12, 2012, Apple introduced the iPhone 5. It has a 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity, and the upgraded Apple A6 chip, among several other improvements. Two million iPhones were sold in the first twenty-four hours of pre-ordering and over five million handsets were sold in the first three days of its launch. Upon the launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, Apple set a new record for first-weekend smartphone sales by selling over nine million devices in the first three days of its launch. The release of the iPhone 5S and 5C is the first time that Apple simultaneously launched two models.
A patent filed in July 2013 revealed the development of a new iPhone battery system that uses location data in combination with data on the user's habits to moderate the handsets' power settings accordingly. Apple is working towards a power management system that will provide features such as the ability of the iPhone to estimate the length of time a user will be away from a power source to modify energy usage and a detection function that adjusts the charging rate to best suit the type of power source that is being used.
In a March 2014 interview, Apple designer Jonathan Ive used the iPhone as an example of Apple's ethos of creating high-quality, life-changing products. He explained that the phones are comparatively expensive due to the intensive effort that is used to make them:
We don't take so long and make the way we make for fiscal reasons ... Quite the reverse. The body is made from a single piece of machined aluminum... The whole thing is polished first to a mirror finish and then is very finely textured, except for the Apple logo. The chamfers [smoothed-off edges] are cut with diamond-tipped cutters. The cutters don't usually last very long, so we had to figure out a way of mass-manufacturing long-lasting ones. The camera cover is sapphire crystal. Look at the details around the SIM-card slot. It's extraordinary!
On September 9, 2014, Apple introduced the iPhone 6, alongside the iPhone 6 Plus that both have screen sizes over 4-inches. One year later, Apple introduced the iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus, which introduced a new technology called 3D Touch, including an increase of the rear camera to 12 MP, and the FaceTime camera to 5 MP. On March 21, 2016, Apple introduced the first-generation iPhone SE that has a 4-inch screen size last used with the 5S and has nearly the same internal hardware as the 6S.
On September 7, 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, which feature improved system and graphics performance, add water resistance, a new rear dual-camera system on the 7 Plus model, and, controversially, remove the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
On September 12, 2017, Apple introduced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, standing as evolutionary updates to its previous phones with a faster processor, improved display technology, upgraded camera systems and wireless charging. The company also announced iPhone X, which radically changes the hardware of the iPhone lineup, removing the home button in favor of facial recognition technology and featuring a near bezel-less design along with wireless charging.
On September 12, 2018, Apple introduced the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max features Super Retina displays, a faster and improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, the first 7-nanometer chip in a smartphone — the A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine — faster Face ID, wider stereo sound and introduces Dual SIM to iPhone. The iPhone XR comes in an all-screen glass and aluminium design with the most advanced LCD in a smartphone featuring a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, the TrueDepth camera system, Face ID and an advanced camera system that creates dramatic portraits using a single camera lens.
On September 10, 2019, Apple introduced the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 features the same Liquid Retina LCD display used in 2018's iPhone XR. Overall, the iPhone 11 retains the same glass and aluminum design as the iPhone XR while adding in new features such as the addition of an Ultra-Wide 12mp camera, a battery that lasts 1 hour longer than the iPhone XR and an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature an all-new textured matte glass and stainless steel design and a triple camera setup that included an Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto camera. The iPhone 11 Pro series' battery life is capable of lasting up to 5 hours more than the iPhone XS and XS Max. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max also features a new Super Retina XDR OLED display that is capable of a screen brightness of 800 nits. All new iPhones announced at Apple's September 2019 feature an A13 Bionic chip with a third-generation Neural Engine, an Apple U1 chip, spatial audio playback, a low light photo mode and an improved Face ID system.
On April 15, 2020, Apple announced a new second-generation iPhone SE. It replicates the iPhone 8 design - has a 4.7-inch screen, sizable bezels on the top and bottom, and a home button with Touch ID. Yet, the 2020 iPhone SE features A13 Bionic chip and a 12 MP rear wide camera, similarly to the iPhone 11 lineup.
On October 13, 2020, Apple introduced the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini feature flat sides, a design element seen with the iPhone 4 through the iPhone 5S, and is the first major major redesign since the iPhone X. The iPhone 12 Mini features a 5.4-inch display and a smaller design than the previous 4.7-inch iPhones. The new design also comes with a ceramic-hardened front glass, marketed as Ceramic Shield, while the back retains the previous generation Dual-Ion Exchange strengthened glass. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max retains most of the design features found on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini. On the back are the same three cameras used in iPhone 11 Pro, but with an added LiDAR scanner. The iPhone 12 Pro Max features the largest display on any iPhone to date, featuring a 6.7-inch screen.
On January 27, 2010, Apple introduced their much-anticipated media tablet, the iPad. It offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, e-books, photos, videos, music, word processing documents, video games, and most existing iPhone apps using a 9.7-inch screen. It also includes a mobile version of Safari for web browsing, as well as access to the App Store, iTunes Library, iBookstore, Contacts, and Notes. Content is downloadable via Wi-Fi and optional 3G service or synced through the user's computer. AT&T was initially the sole U.S. provider of 3G wireless access for the iPad.
On March 2, 2011, Apple introduced the iPad 2 with a faster processor and a camera on the front and back. It also added support for optional 3G service provided by Verizon in addition to AT&T. The availability of the iPad 2 was initially limited as a result of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011.
The third-generation iPad was released on March 7, 2012, and marketed as "the new iPad". It added LTE service from AT&T or Verizon, an upgraded A5X processor, and Retina display. The dimensions and form factor remained relatively unchanged, with the new iPad being a fraction thicker and heavier than the previous version and featuring minor positioning changes.
On October 23, 2012, Apple's fourth-generation iPad came out, marketed as the "iPad with Retina display". It added the upgraded A6X processor and replaced the traditional 30-pin dock connector with the all-digital Lightning connector. The iPad Mini was also introduced. It featured a reduced 7.9-inch display and much of the same internal specifications as the iPad 2.
Since its launch, iPad users have downloaded over three billion apps. The total number of App Store downloads, as of June 2015, is over 100 billion.
On September 9, 2015, Apple announced the iPad Pro, an iPad with a 12.9-inch display that supports two new accessories, the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. An updated IPad Mini 4 was announced at the same time. A 9.7-inch iPad Pro was announced on March 21, 2016. On June 5, 2017, Apple announced a new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch display to replace the 9.7 inch model and an updated 12.9-inch model.
The original Apple Watch smartwatch was announced by Tim Cook on September 9, 2014, being introduced as a product with health and fitness-tracking. It was released on April 24, 2015.
The second generation of Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 2, was released in September 2016, featuring greater water resistance, a faster processor, and brighter display. It was also released alongside a cheaper Series 1.
On September 10, 2019, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 5, featuring a new magnetometer, a faster processor, and a new always-on display. The Series 4 was discontinued.
On September 16, 2020, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 6, with an emphasis on fitness, featuring blood oxygen measurement and ECGs, among other fitness features. They also introduced the Apple Watch SE on the 18th of the same month.
At the 2007 Macworld conference, Jobs demonstrated the Apple TV (Jobs accidentally referred to the device as "iTV", its codename, while on stage), a set-top video device intended to bridge the sale of content from iTunes with high-definition televisions. The device, running a variant of Mac OS X, links up to a user's TV and syncs over the wireless or wired network with one computer's iTunes library and can stream content from an additional four. The Apple TV originally incorporated a 40 GB hard drive for storage, included outputs for HDMI and component video, and played video at a maximum resolution of 720p. On May 30, 2007, a 160 GB hard disk drive was released alongside the existing 40 GB model. A software update released on January 15, 2008, allowed media to be purchased directly from the Apple TV.
In September 2009, Apple discontinued the original 40 GB Apple TV but continued to produce and sell the 160 GB Apple TV. On September 1, 2010, Apple released a completely redesigned Apple TV running on an iOS variant and discontinued the older model, which ran on a Mac OS X variant. The new device is one-fourth the size, runs quieter, and replaces the need for a hard drive with media streaming from any iTunes library on the network along with 8 GB of flash memory to cache downloaded media. Like the iPad and the iPhone, Apple TV runs on an A4 processor. The memory included in the device is half of that in the iPhone 4 at 256 MB; the same as the iPad, iPhone 3GS, third and fourth-generation iPod Touch.
It has HDMI out as the only video output source. Features include access to the iTunes Store to rent movies and TV shows (purchasing has been discontinued), streaming from internet video sources, including YouTube and Netflix, and media streaming from an iTunes library. Apple also reduced the price of the device to $99. A third generation of the device was introduced at an Apple event on March 7, 2012, with new features such as higher resolution (1080p) and a new user interface.
At the September 9, 2015, event, Apple unveiled an overhauled Apple TV, which now runs a subsequent variant of iOS called tvOS, and contains 32 GB or 64 GB of NAND Flash to store games, programs, and to cache the current media playing. The release also coincided with the opening of a separate Apple TV App Store and a new Siri Remote with a glass touchpad, gyroscope, and microphone.
At the September 12, 2017, event, Apple released a new 4K Apple TV with the same form factor as the 4th Generation model. The 4K model is powered by the A10X SoC designed in-house that also powers their second-generation iPad Pro. The 4K model also has support for high dynamic range.
On March 25, 2019, Apple announced Apple TV+, their upcoming over-the-top subscription video on-demand web television service, will arrive Fall 2019. TV+ features exclusive original shows, movies, and documentaries. They also announced an update to the TV app with a new "Channels" feature and that the TV app will expand to macOS, numerous smart television models, Roku devices, and Amazon Fire TV devices later in 2019.
Apple's first smart speaker, the HomePod was released on February 9, 2018, after being delayed from its initial December 2017 release. It features seven tweeters in the base, a four-inch woofer in the top, and six microphones for voice control and acoustic optimization On September 12, 2018, Apple announced that HomePod is adding new features—search by lyrics, set multiple timers, make and receive phone calls, Find My iPhone, Siri Shortcuts—and Siri languages. In 2019, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Zigbee Alliance announced a partnership to make smart home products work together.
Apple develops its own operating systems to run on its devices, including macOS for Mac personal computers, iOS for its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch smartphones and tablets, watchOS for its Apple Watch smartwatches, and tvOS for its Apple TV digital media player.
For iOS and macOS, Apple also develops its own software titles, including Pages for writing, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations, as part of its iWork productivity suite. For macOS, it also offers iMovie and Final Cut Pro X for video editing, and GarageBand and Logic Pro X for music creation.
Apple's range of server software includes the operating system macOS Server; Apple Remote Desktop, a remote systems management application; and Xsan, a storage area network file system.
Apple also offers online services with iCloud, which provides cloud storage and synchronization for a wide range of user data, including documents, photos, music, device backups, and application data, and Apple Music, its music and video streaming service.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple wants to start producing an electric car with autonomous driving as soon as 2020. Apple has made efforts to recruit battery development engineers and other electric automobile engineers from A123 Systems, LG Chem, Samsung Electronics, Panasonic, Toshiba, Johnson Controls and Tesla Motors.