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Project no. 5

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc., in January 1977, and sales of its computers, including the Apple II, grew quickly. Within a few years, Jobs and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, such as the original Macintosh in 1984, and Apple's marketing commercials for its products received widespread critical acclaim. However, the high price tag of its products and limited software titles caused problems, as did power struggles between executives at the company. In 1985, Wozniak stepped away from Apple, while Jobs resigned and founded a new company — NeXT — with former Apple employees.

As the market for personal computers increased, Apple's computers lost share to lower-priced products, particularly ones that ran the Microsoft Windows operating system. After more executive job shuffles, CEO Gil Amelio in 1997 bought NeXT to bring Jobs back. Jobs regained leadership within the company and became the new CEO shortly after. He began to rebuild Apple's status, opening Apple's own retail stores in 2001, acquiring numerous companies to create a portfolio of software titles, and changing some of the hardware used in its computers.

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