Jobs liked to call some of his products “magical.” While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, there’s no doubt he and the people he oversaw at Apple changed the way people interact with computers. One of Jobs’ biggest notions was the idea of building a device focused on the needs of a user and not just building technology for the sake of it. He oversaw the creation of the world’s single most popular portable music player and smartphone.
Here are 10 important products Steve Jobs brought to the world while at Apple:
Launched in June 1977, the Apple II was the first successful mass-market PC. Jobs and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak designed the Apple II, and it changed computing around the world. The first Apple II had specs you would laugh at now, but they were quite good for the time: a 1-MHz processor, 4KB of RAM and an audio cassette interface for programs and data storage. The machine had an external 5.25-inch floppy disk drive as well. The Apple II and its successors would later pave the way for business and consumer PCs.
While Apple’s 1983 Lisa computer was a failure of sorts because of its $10, 000 price tag, it did introduce many computing features that continue to drive computing innovation. The Lisa was one of the first computers to offer multitasking, a document-based graphical user interface, an optional hard drive and bundled office software. The Lisa is arguably the least important item on this list, and if that’s the case, you can see just how notable Jobs’ contribution to technology products are to today’s society.
The original Macintosh computer was advertised during the Super Bowl in 1984 and famously decried the status quo of personal computing with imagery related to George Orwell’s 1984. The Macintosh redefined PCs and was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a graphical user interface and a mouse. The Macintosh line faltered in the early 90s but began to regain steam again with the iMac.
A year after Jobs returned to the helm at Apple in 1997, the company launched the distinctive (and divisive) first-generation iMac. The design was a radical departure from the Macs of old and helped Apple regain its footing with high-minded consumers. Designer Jonathan Ive, with oversight from Jobs, led the design team in the creation of the iMac, and he later helped design most of the products you see below.
The iPod MP3 player looked a little wacky when it first hit the scene in 2001. Outside of the Walkman, there really wasn’t a single portable music device that changed music so drastically. The first iPod retailed for $400 with 5GB of storage, but now there’s a host of iPod devices ranging from the tiny iPod shuffle to the feature-filled iPod touch, each with its own purpose. The iPod line has had the best-selling music players in the world for several years, and you can count on it staying that way for some time.