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Despite only being on this earth for a short period of times, technology mogul Steve Jobs took considerable action to further the availability and usage of technology by society as a whole. Born to a Syrian father and American mother, Jobs had the name Abdul Lateef Jandali given to him at birth. Shortly thereafter, though, he was adopted by a Catholic family that gave him the name he later made famous.
- From an early age, Jobs' adopted father involved him in hands-on activities, such as building cabinets and fences.
- By age ten, Jobs had become quite talented with electronics, and spent more time with engineers from his local community than with children of his own age.
- In high school, his focus on electronics deepened; he also became best friends with Steve Wozniak during these years. The two would collaborate on the marketing and dissemination of the Apple I, one of the first personal computers.
Jobs resigned from Apple Computer in 1985, but ultimately returned a little over a decade later when Apple Inc. purchased the company Jobs had transitioned to. Jobs soon became CEO of the corporation, and used his authority to eliminate the less-than-profitable technologies and elements of the corporation from its rolls. However, he was also responsible for revitalizing the company in the computer market, largely through the adoption of OSX and the iMac. Jobs would later take the computer company into new realms, working to make the iPod, iPhone, and iPad household names. Health problems plagued Jobs throughout the first decade of the new millennium, ultimately causing his resignation on August 24, 2011. He could continue to serve as chairman of the board, with Tim Cook as the CEO of the company, until his death less than two months later.
Following a stellar launch in the 1970's, Apple Computer has led a very unstable existence.At its founding, Apple Computer single-handedly created the personal computer industry with its highly popular Apple II computer.However, Apple lost its market dominance in the early 1980's following the entrance of corporate giant IBM to the market, and the company's losses were compounded by a number of strategic errors, including pricing computers far above what the mass market could tolerate and refusing to allow clones of their computers, limiting the incentive to software companies to create the same volume of software for Apple computers that they were creating for IBM computers.
Apple's troubles continued throughout the 1980's and 1990's, with continuously decreasing market share and three CEO firings between 1993 and 1997. With the return of founder Steve Jobs to the company's helm in 1997, Apple's fortunes began to change. Upon assuming his new position, Jobs eliminated unprofitable or unpromising products, such as the Newton PDA.He decided to refocus the company on a number of core products, and to launch products, such as the iMac, that would gain wide popularity in the mass market, reaching beyond Apple's traditional core publishing and educational clients.The iMac proved wildly successful, turning around Apple's fortunes, at least temporarily.
Despite Jobs's early successes, industry analysts remained unconvinced of the company's future success over the long term.Analysts have two basic fears about Apple.First, they fear that Apple now has a split focus between the mass market and its well-defined niche.Second, they fear that Apple may attempt to put too much effort into its mass-market effort, failing to reconcile "its megalomania with a practical reasoning of its own position."Though the company has launched a small number of highly successful products to the mass market, the Apple platform is unlikely to return to its status as a major competitor to the Wintel Platform of Microsoft and Intel.