The untold story behind Apple’s early days

vintage apple mac

Apple is known as the first trillion-dollar company of the world – however, it was not born with a golden spoon into it’s mouth. Let’s take you back towards the early days of Apple.


The two Steves
At UC Berkeley, Steve Wozniak met Steve Jobs, thanks to a mutual friend and later, one of Apple’s earliest employees, Bill Fernandez. Both Steves loved tech & pranks and this made their friendship closer.

Both of Steves used to hang out at HCC – Homebrew Computer Club which was a gathering of computer hobbyists. Although Wozniak loved electronics, he was shy of making a company. He was almost pulling away, thinking he didn’t know much about the latest development of computers but Jobs recognized his talent of computer engineering and persuaded him. Jobs even sold his VW microbus and Wozniak sold his HP calculator.

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With money in the hand, both of them founded Apple on 1st April, 1976.

Apple I
Apple 1 was released on 11st April, 1976. It had an 8 bit processor and used MOS technology 6502. It had a 4kb standard memory and had a typewriter type keyboard.

The product was developed in the garage of Steve Jobs and Wozniak wanted to sell it for a little price more than they had obtained the initial parts but Jobs had bigger plans.

Jobs got a deal with Byte Shop. The deal consisted of supplying 50 computers at a price of $500 each. This meant that once the store got its commission, the Apple 1 would be sold at $666.66.

The challenge was that Steves didn’t have enough inventory to finance the orders. They were turned down by banks and although, Jobs was offered a loan of $5000 from a friend’s dad, it wasn’t enough.

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Jobs did something smart. He took the order of Byte Shop to Cramer Electronics and asked for parts. Upon verifying the order, he got a deal with Cramer Electronics that they would supply him computer parts on a thirty day credit. The sharpness of Jobs helped made Apple stand on its feet.

Apple II
Apple I was a success and so, Wozniak started working on Apple II and it was debuted in April 1977. It competed with rivals like Commodore PET. Apple II had color graphics and tape based storage. It supported a resolution of 280 x 192 (which was considered a high resolution in those days)

VisiCalc
Some months later, Apple got itself a killer app which took its growth to a newer level – VisiCalc.
VisiCalc was an app developed for Apple II, which worked as a digital spreadsheet. This may seem very common but back in those days, spreadsheets only existed in the form of paper.

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The combination of both of these took the world by storm and alone, selling of Apple II made the founding members of Apple, millionaires.

In 1983, Apple was worth $983 million on stock market.

Later glories
Those were the initial days of Apple. With grip over budget, the company was involved in heavy R & D, which led to development of Lisa and Macintosh. In 2001, iPod was released and on June 29, 2007 Apple released the first iPhone. Using the safari engine, Apple was able to third party applications.

The story of Apple’s success proves that where there is a will, there is way. Like Apple, you too can become successful by working hard, being confident and trying your best in the open market.


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About the Author: James Smith

Educated journalist and experienced technology freelance writer. Big Apple fan and a collector of vintage Macs.