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Sejarah Apple
Apple adalah sebuah perusahaan multinasional yang berpusat di Silicon Valley, California dan bergerak dalam bidang perancangan, pengembangan, dan penjualan barang-barang yang meliputi elektronik konsumen, perangkat lunak komputer, serta komputer pribadi. Apple Inc didirikan pada tanggal 1 April, 1976 dan diinkonporasikan menjadi Apple Computer, Inc. pada tanggal 3 Januari, 1977. Pada 9 Januari, 2007, kata "Computer" dihapus untuk mencerminkan fokus Apple terhadap bidang elektronik konsumen pascapeluncuran iPhone.
Apple dikenal akan jajaran produk perangkat lunak diantaranya sistem operasi OS X dan iOS, pemutar musik iTunes, dan perangkat keras diantaranya komputer meja iMac, komputer jinjing MacBook Pro, pemutar lagu iPod, serta telepon genggam iPhone.
Tahun-tahun pertama
Steve Jobs dan Steve Wozniak sudah berteman sejak lama. Bertemu pertama kali pada tahun 1971 ketika seorang teman memperkenalkan Wozniak yang saat itu berumur 21 tahun kepada Jobs yang saat itu baru berumur 16 tahun. Jobs berhasil membujuk Wozniak untuk membuat komputer dan menjualnya. Jobs mendekati sebuat toko komputer lokal The Byte Shop yang tertarik untuk membeli komputer tetapi hanya komputer yang sudah terpaket lengkap.
Komputer buatan Wozniak hanya memiliki beberapa kelebihan. Salah satunya dapat menggunakan TV sebagai monitor di mana saat itu banyak komputer tidak memiliki monitor sama sekali. Monitor ini bukanlah seperti monitor modern dan hanya menampilkan teks dengan kecepatan 60 karakter per detik. Komputer ini bernama Apple I dan memiliki kode bootstrap pada ROM-nya yang membuatnya lebih mudah untuk dihidupkan. Akhirnya Wozniak juga mendisain sebuah mekanisme kaset untuk membuka dan menyimpan program dengan kecepatan 1,200 bits/detik, sebuah kecepatan yang cukup tinggi pada saat itu.
Tapi Wozniak sudah lebih maju daripada Apple I. Banyak elemen design Apple I dibuat karena keterbatasan dana yang dimiliki oleh mereka untuk membuat sebuah prototype. Tapi dengan pendapatan dari penjualan Apple I, dia bisa memulai produksi komputer yang lebih canggih, Apple II. Apple II diperkenalkan kepada publik pada bulan April 1977.
Perbedaan utama dengan Apple I adalah tampilan TV yang didesign total, di mana tampilan disimpan di memori. Dengan cara ini monitor tidak hanya bisa menampilkan teks juga bisa menampilkan gambar dan pada akhirnya warna. Pada saat yang sama Jobs menekankan desain casing dan keyboard yang lebih baik dengan pemikiran bahwa komputer tersebut harus lengkap dan siap langsung dinyalakan. Apple I hampir bisa seperti itu namun pengguna masih harus memasang berbagai macam komponen dan menulis kode untuk menjalankan BASIC.
Perusahaan Apple Computer dibentuk pada 1 April 1976. Dengan dana dan desain bentuk yang baru, Apple II dilepas pada tahun 1977. Jutaan unit terjual sampai tahun 1980an. Berbagai jenis model Apple II diproduksi, termasuk Apple IIe dan Apple IIgs.
Apple III
Memasuki dekade 1980, Apple menghadapi kompetisi dalam bisnis komputer pribadi. Salah satu penantang besar adalah IBM, perusahaan ternama pertama di bidang komputer. Komputer IBM yang menggunakan sistem operasi DOS yang dilisensi oleh Microsoft meraih porsi yang besar dalam pangsa pasar komputer meja untuk perusahaan besar yang tergolong masih muda.
Apple merasa perlu mengeluarkan model baru yang lebih maju untuk bersaing di bidang komputer meja bagi perusahaan besar. Maka para perancang Apple III dipaksa untuk mengikuti keinginan Steve Jobs yang terlalu tinggi dan mustahil untuk dipenuhi. Salah satu diantaranya adalah menghilangkan kipas pendingin - yang menurut Steve Jobs tidak elegan. Mesin baru tersebut kemudian sangat sering mengalami overheating dan sebagian model awalnya harus ditarik dari pasaran. Apple III tergolong sangat mahal walaupun Apple berusaha mengeluarkan versi yang diperbaiki pada tahun 1983 yang juga gagal di pasaran.
Macintosh
Apple Macintosh diluncurkan pada tahun 1984. Walaupun ada kekhawatiran mengenai kurangnya piranti lunak yang tersedia, layar hitam putih dan arkitekturnya yang terutup, merek Macintosh pada akhirnya menjadi produk yang berhasil bagi Apple bahkan sampai hari ini. Banyak yang merasa bahwa kesuksesan itu seharusnya jauh lebih besar dari kenyataannya. Ketika Bill Gates pendiri dan sekarang pemimpin Microsoft mengunjungi kantor besar Apple, Steve Jobs menunjukkan sebuah prototipe dari antarmuka pengguna grafis untuk Macintosh. Pada tahun 1985 Microsoft meluncurkan Windows antarmuka pengguna grafis buatan mereka sendiri untuk komputer IBM. Walaupun Apple memberi lisensi untuk beberapa produk lainnya mereka tidak pernah memberikan izin perusahaan lain untuk membuat komputer yang kompatibel dengan Macintosh sehingga Microsoft bisa mendominasi pangsa pasar yang ada. Pada saat itu Apple sadar bahwa mereka sudah terlambat untuk merebut kembali kekuasaan pasar yang pernah mereka miliki. Komputer Macintosh kompatibel yang dijual pada tahun 1990an pun hanya meraih kesuksesan yang kecil. Walaupun Windows versi pertama sangat ketinggalan zaman dibanding Macintosh, piranti lunak tersebut dan komputer yang kompatibel dengan Windows bisa dibeli dengan harga yang jauh lebih murah dibanding sebuah Macintosh. Ditambah lagi perbaikan yang dilakukan Microsoft secara cepat mengejar ketinggalan mereka. Sekaligus juga karena keterbukaan yang dimiliki oleh komputer yang kompatibel dengan IBM menyebabkan lebih banyak piranti lunak tersedia untuk Windows dibanding Macintosh.
Keadaan sekarang
Setelah kegagalan Macintosh Portable pada tahun 1989 Apple mencoba memperkenalkan sebuah komputer portabel yang lebih populer PowerBook di awal dekade 1990. Generasi pertama produk ini dirancang bersama Sony dan memberikan layout untuk komputer portabel yang masih dipakai sampai saat ini. Namun merek PowerBook mengalami kegagalan setelah model PowerBook 5300 memiliki banyak masalah dalam kualitasnya seperti baterai yang gampang rusak, kerangka yang gampang keropos dan layar yang tidak bagus.
Setelah permasalahan kepemimpinan di dalam Apple dengan CEO baru di dekade 1980-an, Steve Jobs keluar dari Apple dan mendirikan perusahaan NeXT Inc., yang pada akhirnya gagal, sekalipun memiliki awal yang baik. Dikemudian hari, Dalam usaha Apple untuk menyelamatkan perusahaannya, mereka membeli NeXT sekaligus juga membawa kembali Steve Jobs ke dalam perusahaan yang didirikannya. Sata satu langkah pertama yang dia lakukan sebagai pemimpin sementara di Apple adalah mencetuskan ide untuk mengembangkan iMac, produk yang akan menyelamatkan Apple dari kehancurannya sekaligus memberikan waktu bagi mereka untuk merampingkan sistem operasi yang sudah ada.
Pada Januari 2007, Apple memasuki pasar telepon genggam dengan memperkenalkan iPhone, yang dirilis pada tanggal 29 Juni 2007 di AS. Pada saat yang sama, nama perusahaan juga akan dipangkas dengan menanggalkan kata "Computer" untuk mewakili diversifikasi produk perusahaan tersebut.

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