Editor's Choice

Happy Birthday To Apple

Mark is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Jan. 3, 2013 is the 36th anniversary of the official beginning of the world's most valuable company and manufacturer of some of the most innovative and best-selling products in history.

Say happy birthday to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Although the IPO of the stock wasn't held for about another four years, the iconic tech giant was incorporated on Jan. 3, 1977.

Some things have changed since then.

For one, the company has a new name. It was known as Apple Computer, Inc. until 2007. Some say the name was based upon the late co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs once working at an apple orchard.

The stock price certainly is different, now at about $550, increasing by 6,290% or an average of 14% annually. Over the same period the S&P500 has gained 564% (6.1% per year). A $1,000 share investment on Dec. 12, 1980 is now valued at $62,900.

Some have not.

Apple's key success factors, its innovation and simplicity, are still there. Although not the actual inventor of the technology, the company was one of the first to successfully use one of the most important aspects of modern computing in their products: the mouse. Over the last decade Apple has introduced many other products and services that have also changed the world.

The iPod ("1,000 songs in your pocket") was originally released in 2001. Along with the related iTunes program, it dramatically altered how people buy and listen to music (and other content). An individual now has digital music available wherever they go. A consumer can buy a song or entire album from the comfort of their living room or home office. Gone are most music stores. Whatever happened to the Sony Walkman?

The iPhone was first announced in 2007 by Steve Jobs when he famously said "Every now and then you get to work on a revolutionary product. First, the Macintosh. Then the iPod. I am lucky to introduce not one more, but three new revolutionary products -- a new iPod, a new phone and an Internet communicator". And he pulled the new iPhone out of his pocket. It has sold over 85 million units in the U.S. alone.

<img src="/media/images/user_13402/iphone_large.jpg" />

The iPad tablet was sold beginning in 2010. People didn't realize that they needed another type of personal digital device (somewhere in the middle of a laptop and a smartphone). Apple has sold 34 million of them and still controls more than 50% of the market today. As a result the PC industry is shrinking rapidly.

Rumors are flying about the next product that Apple will develop. Will the "iTV" be released soon? It has the potential to affect the way we watch the "telly" and order entertainment.

Another company that was launched in 1977 is Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). The IPO for the database software and computer company was held on March 12, 1986. The stock has appreciated 5,940% since then, averaging a gain of 16.4% per year, easily beating the overall market.

Founder and CEO Larry Ellison, and one of Steve Jobs' best friends, recently made headlines when he bought most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for the tidy sum of about $500 million.

Oracle has made many technical innovations, primarily in relational databases, over the years and is one of the most recognizable names in that business. After acquiring Sun Microsystems about 3 years ago the company is now heavily involved in the hardware world as well.

Today, one of the tech and business world's greatest companies is blowing out 36 candles on its birthday cake. Many investors around the world are celebrating with them as they reap the benefits of innovation and successful business practices. I am one of them.








Mathman6577 owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Oracle. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

blog comments powered by Disqus