Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Cupertino, California that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software and personal computers. Its best-known hardware products are the Mac line of computers, the iPod music player, the iPhone smartphone, and the iPad tablet computer. Its software includes the OS X and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media browser, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and production suites. The company was founded on April 1, 1976, and incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977. The word "Computer" was removed from its name on January 9, 2007, reflecting its shifted focus towards consumer electronics after the introduction of the iPhone.
Apple is the world's second-largest information technology company by revenue after Samsung Electronics, and the world's third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2012. However, the company has received criticism for its contractors' labor practices, and for Apple's own environmental and business practices.
As of May 2013, Apple maintains 406 retail stores in fourteen countries as well as the online Apple Store and iTunes Store. It is the second-largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, with an estimated value of US$414 billion as of January 2013. As of September 29, 2012, the company had 72,800 permanent full-time employees and 3,300 temporary full-time employees worldwide. Its worldwide annual revenue in 2012 totalled $156 billion. In May 2013, Apple had made it to the top ten of the Fortune 500 list of companies for the first time, taking the 6 position, 11 places up from the previous year.
At the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the long-anticipated iPhone, a convergence of an Internet-enabled smartphone and iPod. The original iPhone was released on June 29, 2007 for $499 (4 GB) and $599 (8 GB) with an AT&T contract. On February 5, 2008, it was updated to have 16 GB of memory, in addition to the 8 GB and 4 GB models. It combined a 2.5G quad band GSM and EDGE cellular phone with features found in handheld devices, running scaled-down versions of Apple's Mac OS X (dubbed iPhone OS, later renamed iOS), with various Mac OS X applications such as Safari and Mail. It also includes web-based and Dashboard apps such as Google Maps and Weather. The iPhone features a 3.5-inch (89 mm) touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (both "b" and "g").
At Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 9, 2008, Apple announced the iPhone 3G. It was released on July 11, 2008, with a reduced price of $199 for the 8 GB version, and $299 for the 16 GB version. This version added support for 3G networking and assisted-GPS navigation. The flat silver back and large antenna square of the original model were eliminated in favor of a curved glossy black or white back. Following customer complaints, the previously-recessed headphone jack was changed to a flush jack for compatibility with more styles of headphones. Software capabilities were improved with the release of the App Store, providing applications for download that were compatible with the iPhone. On April 24, 2009, the App Store surpassed one billion downloads. At WWDC on June 8, 2009, Apple announced the iPhone 3GS. It provided an incremental update to the device, including faster internal components, support for faster 3G speeds, video recording capbility, and voice control.
At WWDC on June 7, 2010, Apple announced the iPhone 4, which the company describes as the "biggest leap we've taken" since the original model. It features an all-new design, a 960x640 display, the Apple A4 processor also used in the iPad, a gyroscope for enhanced gaming, 5MP camera with LED flash, front-facing VGA camera and FaceTime video calling. Shortly after its release, reception issues were discovered by consumers, due to the stainless steel band around the edge of the device, which also serves as the phone's cellular signal and Wi-Fi antenna. The issue was corrected by a "Bumper Case" distributed by Apple for free to all owners for a few months. In June 2011, Apple overtook Nokia to become the world's biggest smartphone maker by volume.
On October 4, 2011, Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, which was released in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan on October 14, 2011, with other countries set to follow later in the year. It features the Apple A5 processor, and is the first model offered by Sprint (joining AT&T and Verizon Wireless as the United States carriers offering iPhone models). On October 19, 2011, Apple announced an agreement with C Spire Wireless to sell the iPhone 4S with that carrier in the near future, marking the first time the iPhone was officially supported on a regional carrier's network. Another notable feature of the iPhone 4S was Siri voice assistant technology, which Apple had acquired in 2010, as well as other features, including an updated 8MP camera with new optics. Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S phones in the first three days of availability, making it the most successful launch of any mobile phone to date.
On September 12, 2012, Apple introduced the sixth-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5. It added a 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity, and the upgraded Apple A6 chip, among several other improvements. Two million iPhones were sold in the first twenty-four hours of pre-ordering and over 5 million handsets were sold in the first 3 days of its launch.