Below are 18 of the most cool and unusual facts about Apple Inc. The company began in a humble suburban garage in Los Altos, California, in 1976 and since then it has grown to be the beloved corporate juggernaut that it is. Along the way, a number of interesting, incredible, and silly things have happened. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. The very first apple computer ever built cost $666.66.
This evil number came about by adding 33% to the wholesale price of $500–not because Steve Jobs worshiped Satan. Although, it is just as hard to disprove something as it is to prove it.
2. Scientist Carl Sagan sued Apple for defamation, but lost.
In 1994 Power MacIntosh was being developed under the code name “Carl Sagan”. Sagan was not happy with this, stating that his endorsement is not for sale. The engineers on the project changed the code name to “BHA”, which meant, according the them, “Butt-Head Astronomer”. Apple’s lawyers made them change the name, so they chose “LAW”, which meant, according to them, “Lawyers Are Wimps”. Sagan took his case to the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, but was not successful.
The butt-head must’ve hired the wrong wimps.
3. Apple has the patent for ‘slide-to-unlock’.
Sliding our finger to unlock a glowing device has become a ritual for millions. Apple has turned its patent portfolio into a ravenous monster, and high-tech patent law has become a ridiculous circus in recent years. Apple sued Samsung for infringing on its slide-to-unlock patent, and for many other things as well. Apple also sued Google-owned Motorola for using the “slide-to-unlock”, even though their device used tapping instead of sliding. Apple argued, according to Judge Richard Posner, “that a tap is a zero-length swipe.”
Posner dismissed the case, saying “That’s silly. It’s like saying that a point is a zero-length line.” Philosophers and mathematicians have a special opportunity to stroke their beards over this one.
4. Fake Apple stores in China were so convincing that even their employees thought they were real.
In the Southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, 22 inauthentic Apple stores were found to be unlawfully using Apple’s brand and logo. They were discovered after an American expatriate wrote a blog post about one of the shops. According the the BBC, “Staff in the original fake shop believed they were working in a real Apple store.”
5. The top nine Apple executives make more money than 95,000 Apple factory workers in China.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the nine-person executive leadership team received $441 million in compensation, which is about the same as 95,000 workers in the Foxcann factory where Apple products are assembled. The 2012 findings were similar. According to a Fair Labor Association report, “64.3 percent of workers thought that their salary was not sufficient to cover their basic needs” despite working an average of 56 hours per week.
Apple’s Timothy Cook made $378 million in 2011.
6. Apple’s original logo was nothing like it is now.
The first apple logo was an old-timey, black-and-white crest which featured a drawing of Isaac Newton reading a book under an apple tree, with a single glowing apple suspended in the tree above his head–a drop of inspiration. This logo was designed by forgotten Apple co-founder Ronald Wayne.
7. Apple finally beat Microsoft.
Apple Inc. grossed $65 billion in revenue in 2011, while Microsoft earned $62 billion. It was a hard-fought battle that took decades, but Apple came out on top. Who would’ve guessed?
8. Microsoft spends way more than Apple does on research.
The Microsoft budget for research is at $8.7 billion per year, while Apple’s is only $1.7 billion. And yet there’s no lineups at the Microsoft Store!
9. Apple cannot market iPhones in Brazil because another company owns the trademark.
The Brazilian telecommunications company IGM Electronica owns the brand Gradiente, which filed for exclusive rights to the name “iPhone” in 2000, before Apple had produced its iPhone. It took seven years but eventually the rights were granted, and the G-Gradiente iPhone was launched in 2007.
The Gradiente iPhone runs on Android, not the Mac operating system.
10. Steve Jobs eliminated all corporate charity programs in 1997.
After resuming control of the company, Steve Jobs nixed all philanthropic initiatives by Apple Inc. Bill Gates, on the other hand, is known for giving so much of his wealth to charity. To Jobs’ credit, he later signed Apple Inc. up for the Project Red program which made them the largest contributor to the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
11. Steve Wozniak gave 80,000 of his own Apple shares to employees who would not otherwise have gotten any after the IPO.
Wozniak is often considered the conscience of Apple Inc. When the company was heating up, he felt that many employees received unfair portions of stock. To make up for this, Wozniak unloaded 80,000 of his own Apple shares at a price that was more than fair. Today these are worth billions, of course.
12. Apple had a third co-founder, Ronald Wayne, who sold his shares for $800 in 1977.
When Apple was incorporated, Wayne sold his shares back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800. His 10% of Apple would be worth somewhere around $35 billion today. According to Apple Confidential, Wayne stated: “I have never had the slightest pangs of regret, because I made the best decision with the information available to me at the time. My contribution was not so great that I felt I had been diddled with in any way.”
A truly noble figure: The man who cannot be diddled with.
13. Smoking near an Apple computer may void its warranty.
Apple users have claimed that their Applecare warranties were voided due to secondhand smoke, according to Consumerist, even though smoke damage is not mentioned specifically in the Applecare contract.
Apparently, nicotine is considered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administraion to be a hazardous substance, so Apple employees are not required to repair anything deemed hazardous to their health–including computers that have been smoked upon.
14. Apple’s Siri keeps your data for two years.
According to Wired, everything you’ve whispered into your Siri application is stored for two years. For the first six months the data is associated with your account; it then becomes dissociated from you but is stored for another 18 months for product testing and development.
Oh yeah, Apple Inc. can also track wherever your devices are at all times, to always know where you are and where you’ve been.
15. Apple once had more cash in the bank than the US Treasury had money to spend.
According the Financial Post, Apple Inc. grew richer than Uncle Sam, having more cash on hand than the entire U.S. had spending room. This was due to the debt ceiling crisis of July 2011. Apple Inc. boasted cash reserves of $75.88 billion while Washington had an operating balance of $73.77 billion. A major difference, however, is that Apple’s figure refers to its reserve of cash, the government’s value is the amount of spending room it has before reaching an arbitrary debt ceiling.
16. Apple now has the highest market value of any private company in the world.
Apple Inc. is sitting at $416.6 billion. Exxon-Mobile is second at $400.4 billion.
17. Apple Corps, a company founded by The Beatles, was engaged in a legal battle with Apple Inc. over trademark rights for 28 years.
In 1981, they reached a settlement: Apple would not to enter the music business, and Apple Corps would not to enter the computer business. When Apple added MIDI audio-recording capabilities to its computers, Apple Corps sued them again, claiming violation of their earlier agreement. This was devastating to then Apple Computer.
When iTunes exploded in the 2000s, Apple Corps again contended they were violating a previous agreement. It wasn’t until 2010 that Beatles songs were available on iTunes.
18. Apple puts new employees on fake projects to see if they can be trusted
According to Inside Apple by Adam Lashinky, new employees at Apple are put through a rigorous testing period to evaluate their trustworthiness. New hires have even been tasked with developing fake products during this probationary period. I wonder how that iHammer is coming along?
Thank you for reading the top 18 cool and unusual facts about Apple Inc.
By K. Elsner