11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Apple

The company behind the ubiquitous iPhone and iPad is famously secretive, but there a few little known facts about the California-based company.

1) Steve Jobs was adopted and half Syrian

Apple’s legendary co-founder and chief executive died in October 2011, but while heading up the company Steve Jobs revealed that he was actually adopted and half Syrian. His biological parents, Joanne Schieble and Syrian immigrant Abdulfattah Jandali met as 23-year-old students at the University of Wisconsin.

Jobs was put up for adoption in 1955, through pressure from Schieble’s parents. Schieble and Jandali later married and had a daughter, Jobs’ biological sister.

2 Apple’s first computer was satanically priced

Apple’s first computer, the Apple I, was priced at $666.66. Steve Wozniak apparently priced it without realising that the triple-six configuration had Satanic connotations, instead pricing it at one-third over the wholesale price of $500, and preferring one repeating digit over 667 because it was “easier to type”.

3) Apple ships everything by air, not sea

Apple is Cathay Pacific’s biggest freight customer, as it prefers to move most of its stock by air instead of boat. The benefit is being able to move stock quickly rather than cheaply, with stock moved from China to the US in 15 hours instead of 30 days. It means that less money is tied up in stock (normally on credit) before it can be sold on.

It also means that phones, tablets and computers all worth in excess of £500 each are not sitting in a container at sea which might sink or get hijacked.

4) A Macintosh is an apple variety

The Apple Macintosh is so called because the macintosh was Jef Raskin’s favourite variety of Apple.

At the time it was just a codename, which Steve Jobs reportedly tried to change to “bicycle” while Raskin was out of the office, but Macintosh stuck until the end of product development and made it onto the box.

5) Apple’s hero shots aren’t computer generated

The big, glossy super-high-resolution photos of Apple’s latest products in adverts and on its site are not computer generated. Instead, they are a painstaking blend of hundreds of high resolution, super-close up photos all with narrow depths of field.

The individual images are stitched together, in a similar way to high dynamic range photography which blends photos with different exposures, into one massive, ultra-high-resolution image entirely in focus.

6) Steve Wozniak is still an Apple employee

Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak set up the company in 1976 with Steve Jobs in his garage. He no longer actively works for Apple, but is still officially an Apple employee and receives a stipend estimated to be worth $120,000 a year.

7) “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Steve Jobs’ last words were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow” while looking over the shoulders of his family, according to his sister Mona Simpson, who allowed the eulogy she gave at Jobs‘ memorial service to be published in the New York Times.

8) Apple had three founders

Apple was founded in 1976 by three people, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.

Ronald drew the first Apple logo, wrote the original partnership agreement and the Apple I computer manual, but sold his 10% stake two weeks in for just $800 because of concerns over debt.

That same stake would have been worth over $35bn today.

9) Thank Ive for the white iPod

Steve Jobs was opposed to the idea of white products initially, but was convinced to use white as Apple’s primary colour for its products by Apple’s designer Sir Jony Ive.

In Ive’s recent biography, former Apple designer Doug Satzger has said that Jobs was only won over by white when shown a different shade called “moon grey”.

Ive’s love for white originated long before he joined Apple, right back to the work he produced while still a design student at Newcastle.

10) Packaging obsession

Apple pays as much attention to its packaging as it does to its products. So much so, that it has a dedicated secret packaging room within its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Packaging designers spend countless hours opening boxes within this special room, attempting to elicit the correct emotional response in customers opening new products for the first time. In his book, Inside Apple, Adam Lashinsky describes the level of obsession and attention to detail Apple commits to packaging:

“One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colours, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer’s obsession.”

11) Balls

In his recent unauthorised biography of Jony Ive, author Leander Kahney included a photo of an iMac G4 inside its box. The stem connecting the screen to the domed base is encased in polystyrene, with the two ball-shaped speakers carefully and very deliberately placed either side of the shaft. The idea of arranging them to look like male genitals was apparently the idea of the design team.