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How Apple Opened Up...

…and Made a Fortune


Apple's first hit, the Apple II, takes off in large part due to the spreadsheet program VisiCalc. In the 1980s, thousands of programs such as Aldus' Pagemaker, for desktop publishing, make the Mac a hit.


Microsoft's focus on compatibility lures hordes of PC and software makers to support Windows. After Windows 95 sets off a PC boom, many software shops give up on the Mac altogether.


Apple's new iPod music player launches as a closed device that excludes non-Apple software. Apple exerts total control of the catalog and price of music on the iTunes Music Store and refuses to let purchased songs work on non-Apple devices.


Apple introduces the iPhone—with an iPod-like plan to say what users and software developers can do with it. Other than an on-board browser to let users access the Web, Apple expects customers mostly to use a few apps created with marquee partners.


After developers lobby to be able to write their own iPhone apps, Jobs opens an App Store. Apple is overrun with submission requests from developers that want to sell to the millions of iPhone customers. Within two months 100 million apps have been downloaded.


Apple streamlines developer requirements, speeding approval of thousands of apps every week. To promote sales, it runs "There's an App for That" TV ads and enhances technology so developers can sell songs, game upgrades, and such from within an app.


The iPad era begins. Rather than control distribution of music, newspapers, and other content through iTunes, Apple lets developers create apps to make money as they see fit. In June, Apple will launch iAd, a way advertisers can create ads to run within apps.

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