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Apple: They Didn't Build That!

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Apple: They Didn't Build That - Ideas Apple Bought, Borrowed and Stole

Apple may be the most successful tech company ever. The Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad have revolutionized the way people communicate with each other and the world around them. The question is, did Apple really devise these devices, or were they "acquired" from other sources?


>14% peak market share

>66% for computers more than $1K

>$17+ billion in sales from 2005-2010

>16.8 million units sold in 2011

1963: Mouse invented by Stanford Research Institute's Doug Englebart.

1970: Englebart patented the mouse.

1979: Steve Jobs visited Xerox engineers at Palo Alto Research Center, taking inspiration for his mouse and window interface.

Apple has taken ideas for the Mac OS from MS Windows:

  • Finder Sidebar
  • Mac Path Bar
  • Back and Forward Buttons
  • Screen Sharing
  • ALT+TAB through open applications

Icon Dock for managing applications was first used in OS X, 2001... 14 years after the Arthur OS, Unix, Linux, RISC OS, Amiga OS and OS/2 all incorporated docks.


>World's most successful portable media player

>300+ million sold

>74% market share peak in 2005

>Over $41 billion in revenue to date

  • Similar to the radio designed by Braun in the '50s and '60s
  • Apple admitted stealing the iPod concept from Britain's Kane Kramer, who invented a similar device in 1979, but Apple refused to pay him anything for it.
  • Audio Highway's "Listen Up" and the "MPMan" by Saehan Information Systems also predate iPod
  • The click-wheel browsing interface was ripped from Creative's NOMAD Jukebox, which debuted over a year before iPod's release


>Largest music vendor on Earth

>Worth $6+ billion in 2011

>Projected to generate +$13 billion in 2013

>16+ billion songs sold

>400 million active users

>70% of download market

Based on SoundJam by Jeff Robbin and Bill Kincaid.

1999: Released by Casady & Greene

2000: Bought by Apple was the first online music store, debuting in 1998.

-Had many of the same functional features as iTunes.

-First to contract with major music distributors.


>250 million sold

>$150+ billion in revenue to date

>24% smartphone market share 1Q 2012

>Half of Apple's revenue comes from iPhone sales

Samsung F700 phone was released almost simultaneously with the iPhone 3.

-Designs and interfaces suspiciously similar

-Touchscreen technology was actually invented in 1965

Multitouch was pioneered by FingerWorks, founded in 1998 and bought by Apple in 2005.

-Samsung claims that Apple stole its "pinch to zoom" feature from Diamond Touch, shown to a group of Apple engineers in 2003

-Apple took the idea, name, and logo for iOS5 wireless syncing app Wi-Fi Sync from developer Greg Hughes... after rejecting it for the iTunes App Store!


>84 million sold to date

>$9.2 billion 3Q 2012

>Now exceeds Mac in sales and revenue

>70% share of tablet market in 2011

  • Microsoft developed and sold the MS Tablet PC in 2002, years before the iPad
  • Roger Fidler of digital publishing at University of Missouri claims Apple engineers saw prototypes for a tablet computer he had begun designing in 1981
  • Japanese Fujitsu built a touch screen device they called "iPad," but Mag-Tek already had a number-encrypting device of the same name
  • Both preceded Apple's device by a decade!

So there you have it... imitation is either the highest form of flattery, or the lowest form of competition.

Apple's Ideas