Apple is now a brand recognized worldwide, especially for its line of smartphones. But, would you believe me that this multi-billion-dollar company was started in a garage? The genius mind that created this computer was Steve Wozniak who manually built all the hardware and self-developed all the software and even the operational system.
Steve Wozniak was working at the time for Hewlett Packard where he gained a lot of knowledge about computer hardware production. Since his youth, he always dreamed of building his own computer from scratch. He would spend hours on end drawing designs and patens on paper of how his computer would look like, until the day he actually did it.
A Technological Revolution
Don’t be tricked by its wood casing, the computer was a technological innovation at the time due to how well the hardware was optimized for the software it was using. Wozniak wanted to make computers more portable and at the same time affordable for common people. During the 1970s computers were extremely expensive, hence why almost no one owned a computer.
Another point is that most computers built until that point were designed for specific tasks and that is why they were of no interest to a common person. The software developed by Wozniak allowed the interface to be more user-friendly and offer more usability to a common person such as the ability to write on a computer.
Wozniak was great with technology but that was about it, this is where Steve Jobs came into play who envisioned Apple and a powerful contestant for the computer market. Many people at the time didn’t understand exactly what a computer was. Most people saw it as a typewriter that you would connect to a tv. Jobs had the ability to translate the technical jargon to people in order to sell this computer to households.
At first, Wozniak didn’t like the idea of starting a company which was brought by Jobs as he only wanted to make a computer, but he soon got on board and that is how Apple was formed in 1976. The same way this computer got its name, Apple-1.
The First Apple
On the 1st of April 1976, Apple-1 was finished and fully functional. This computer changed the way people saw computers and technology overall. Most importantly, the computer helped make life easier with all of its features.
When the company was founded Wozniak and Jobs brought another friend on board by the name of Ronald Gerald Wayne. After 12 days he dropped out due to a fight with Wozniak over what chip to be used within the computer.
The First Contract
The team presented the computer to a local electronics shop with which they signed a contract for 50 computers worth $25,000 (with inflation today that would be $116,000). The problem was that due to the manual design, that sum would not be enough to produce 50 more. Therefore Wozniak sold his personal computer and Jobs sold his car to raise money to build all 50 Apple computers.
This still wasn’t enough as they needed another $15,000. A friend from college gave them $5,000. Jobs tried to take a bank loan to cover the rest but it was never approved. The team had to get whatever other parts they required on credit with the promise that they would pay within 30 days.
The 50 Apple-1 had been produced by 1977 and each of them sold for $666. When asked both Wozniak and Jobs admitted that the price does not have any satanic symbolism, but a marketing strategy of having the same number repeated in a price.
By September of 1977, another 200 Apple-1’s had been produced and sold. This brought enough revenue to Apple to pay off the debts and even make a small profit. Apple-1’s are so rare that they are sold to collectors for $200,000.
This first Apple computer was also the first computer opened to the public to purchase at an accessible price. The computer was for the first time seen as a very useful piece of technology by the 70s public who at the time were still a bit resistant towards such technology.