Apple is one of the most successful and profitable companies in the world, but there’s a lot many people don’t know about it. Did you know that the very first logo wasn’t an apple? Instead, it was a detailed almost artsy drawing of Isaac Newton, seated beneath a tree, right before the famous apple dropped onto his head. There are also a whole host of fake Apple stores in China that are so authentic employees themselves were fooled. Apple is well known for its secrecy, but the steps it takes to maintain this secrecy may seem a bit extreme. For example, it creates fake projects for employees to work on. If its leaked, they know who spilled the beans. They also have carpenters literally build walls around employee desks to prevent others from seeing what they’re working on. And the iPhone was so top secret while it was being developed that it had a spy like code name.
Apple has a whole lot of cash as well – it’s one of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., and even has more money than the U.S. Treasury. But not all of its products have been successful – the failed Lisa computers are allegedly in a landfill in Utah.
Keep reading for 15 shocking facts about Apple.
15. Its first logo was not an apple
Apple’s logo is almost more famous than the brand itself. But did you know that the logo wasn’t always the Apple? In fact, it was more of an artsy detailed logo featuring Sir Isaac Newton sitting right under a tree, before the famous apple dropped down onto his head. As creative and interesting as this was, it wasn’t an effective marketing brand, given the detailed design, so they changed things up. This was in 1976. After that, they redesigned it, hiring graphic designer Rob Janoff to come up with the now iconic brand for Apple, one which is recognized the world over.
14. It has fake stores in China
There are apparently loads of fake Apple stores in China. It is hard to tell the difference — they look almost identical to actual Apple stores, and they of course sell authentic Apple products. You’ll find Apple watches, iPads, iPhones and more. The staff even wears those recognizable blue T-shirts. In fact, there are over 30 in the Chinese town of Shenzhen. In Kunming, there is an eerily accurate one, so accurate that even the employees who worked there thought it was an actual Apple store. A young blogger by the name of Jessica Angelson discovered this authentically fake Apple store and made it public knowledge.
13. It creates fake projects
Apple is well known for its secrecy, and they take it as far as is necessary to prevent their projects from coming to light. One way they allegedly do this is by creating fake projects for employees to work on. Yep, you heard that right. But it is an effective way of keeping project details close to the cuff — if some detail about the project leaks, then they know who the rat is. So not only is it notoriously hard to get a job at Apple, you had better be well heeled at keeping your mouth shut about the cool new products Apple is developing as well.
12. It builds walls around employee desks for secrecy
Speaking of Apple’s secrecy, there is something else they do to maintain a well guarded veil around new projects. For employees working on new projects, they have a team of carpenters on hand. What do the carpenters do? They actually build walls around the employee’s desks to prevent nosy coworkers or visitors to the office see exactly what they’re working on. These walls are set up with transparent windows and even security doors. It is literally the employee’s own private workspace as he or she works on their top secret Apple product. This may be effective as Apple products are rarely — if ever — leaked.
11. It’s one of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S.
It’s no secret that Apple is a wildly successful company. How successful? It’s one of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., that’s how. It’s market cap is over $770 billion dollars. The share price is over $100 each, which is pretty impressive. Many investors can get in on the game and participate in Apple’s success if they invest wisely. One recent statistic places Apple’s market value at $774 billion dollars, which is more than double other U.S. Publicly traded company. For example Exxon Mobil is at over $300 billion — which is nothing to sneeze at.
10. The failed Lisa computers are buried in a landfill
Not every successful company has a stream of continually successful products, and Apple is certainly no exception. Back in 1983, it launched a computer called the Lisa. At the time, it was pioneering — it showcased for the first time mouse driven graphical user interface, which was a pretty big deal for personal computers at the time. In fact, the more successful Mac computer used a lot of the Lisa’s capabilities. But while the Mac soared, the Lisa fell. It was not a success, and eventually faded into obscurity. What happened to the Lisa? Allegedly over 2,000 are buried in a Utah landfill.
9. There’s a reason for the 9:41 time on ads
Have you ever noticed in the Apple product ads that the time displayed is 9:41? Well, that isn’t random, and it turns out there is a reason for it. Now, the time used to be 9:42. This time was on Apple’s website, commercials, print ads and so forth. This is because in Steve Job’s keynote address back in 2007, he announced the iPhone 42 minutes in. Hence, the 9:42 time. Why was is changed to 9:41? Because in 2010, the iPad was released, and revealed a different time, which was 9:41.
8. It has more money than the U.S. Treasury
Not only is Apple one of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., it also has more money than the U.S. Treasury. In fact, during the first fiscal quarter of 2014, it made more than Facebook, Amazon, and Google — all together. It has over $150 billion in excess capital. Just to put that in perspective, it could easily buy companies like Twitter, Netflix, Tesla and more. While the U.S. Government often struggles with debt, Apple has cash to spare. Again, it is no surprise that Apple is successful and profitable, but just how profitable is truly astonishing.
7. It failed at game consoles
But Apple doesn’t succeed at everything. Back in the ’90s, Apple attempted to step into the very lucrative console business, of which other companies like Sony and Nintendo were doing astonishingly well. The Apple Pippin was designed by Apple computer, and it was aimed at the also lucrative home market, targeting the stereo, audiovisual, and television areas. It was based on the Apple Macintosh platform. However, there were only 100,000 of these made… and reportedly only half were able to sale. So unfortunately for Apple, they were never able to latch onto the gaming console arena that other companies were able to thrive in.
6. Its logo is upside down in movies
If you caught an episode of HBO’s Sex and the City, you would have seen the series main character, played by Carrie Bradshaw, typing away on her Apple laptop. You may have also noticed that the Apple logo was oddly upside down whenever she had the lid opened. This was on purpose — the company believed the logo looked better this way. In fact, there were filmmakers who put Apple stickers on laptops to make the logo appear a certain way. This may seem like a small thing, but the Apple design group did a study of this in order to determine the very best way of positioning the logo.
5. It employs the population of a city
We all know that Apple is a ginormous company. But did you know just how many employees it has? Over 90,000, and given how lucrative it can be to work at Apple, that number is only growing. It basically employs the equivalent of a decent sized city. If you count affiliate shops, that would make even more employees. It makes sense that the company would employee such large numbers, given how much revenue each employee can potentially provide. And given that it apparently is not easy to get a job at Apple, the job is no doubt worthwhile to the employees as well.
4. The iPhone’s codename was M68
We all know by now about Apple’s secrecy. So one can only imagine what it must have been like when the very first iPhone was released. It was such a secret project that it had a codename beginning in 2004 when the company began to work on the project, and all the way until it was launched. The codename was M68. Sounds a little James Bond, no? Well, the secrecy level was worthy of a spy movie. Even the hardware/software teams didn’t know what the other was working on, it was so secretive. But it worked, and the iPhone launched to great success.
3. Its CEO is the only openly gay person in the Fortune 500
Tim Cook is the seventh Chief Executive Officer of Apple — and the first and only openly gay person in the Fortune 500. His title was previously Chief Operating Officer when he worked under Steve Jobs. He’s had a long history with the company — joining in March of 1998 as first senior vice president of international operation and then executive vice president of sales and operations. His tenure has always been successful, and he was made the Chief Executive back in August 2011. He has worn many hats as CEO, continuing the success that Jobs made for the company.
2. It was third choice for the iPod creator
Apple is pretty much synonymous with the iPod. But it almost wasn’t so. The creator of the iPod, Tony Fadell, actually went to two other companies before approaching Apple with the innovative product. He went to both Phillips and Real Networks, who both (foolishly) turned down the product. He then went to Apple, and well, the rest is history. Fadell went on to become an employee at Apple, serving as the Senior Vice President of the iPod division. Apple capitalized on the success of the iPod, going on to create other notable products that we all are familiar with today — the iPhone, iPad, and more.
1. Microsoft saved it from bankruptcy
It may be hard to believe with the success Apple has been enjoying, but Apple wasn’t always doing as well as it is now. In fact, in the ‘90s, it faced bankruptcy. An unlikely ally came to its aid — Bill Gates and Microsoft, the rival company to Apple. Gates invested $150 million, developing versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, and other products geared towards Macintosh. Well, the strategy worked, and Apple’s popularity increased. Money was made for both companies, and Apple was saved. It soon became the juggernaut we know today, all due to the assistance of its rival.
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