In part 1 of the History of Steve Jobs and his company, we looked at the enthusiastic Jobs trying to talk to the stubborn Wozniak Jobs to agree to his business ideas. And the request Steve makes to Wayne after their meeting to talk sense into Woz. In this second part, we continue and have a look at what inspired the name.
Inspiration of the name
The name in later years caused Apple problems because it was closely related to Apple Corps, but the genesis was a genuine one.
In December 1984, Woz credited Jobs for the idea. He said that Steve worked in the orchards up in Oregon. “I thought that it might be because there were apples in the orchard.” He said that probably the word just occurred to him. They would later on try to come up with other better names but they could not think of any after mentioning of Apple.
Selling of Apple I
Woz used his hands to build each computer although he thought of selling them slightly more than the cost of their parts – Jobs had different bigger ideas.
He set the price of Apple I at $666.66 and made a deal with Byte Shop in Mountain View to sell them 50 computers at $500 each. Byte Shop was going out on a limb: The Apple I didn’t exist in greater numbers and the nascent Apple Computer Inc didn’t have the resources to fulfill the order. It could not even get them. A bank declined him a lone while his workplace, Atari, required cash for any components sold to him. As much as a friend had offered $5,000 that was not sufficient.
Byte Shop’s purchase order sealed the deal. Steve approached Cramer Electronics and he was able to convince Cramer’s manager to call Paul Tarell, owner of Byte Shop, and verify the order.
“Terrell was at a conference when he heard over a loudspeaker that he had an emergency call (Jobs had been persistent). The Cramer manager told him that two scruffy kids had just walked in waving an order from the Byte Shop. Was it real? Terrell confirmed that it was, and the store agreed to front Jobs the parts on thirty-day credit.”
Jobs put himself in a tough risk. He was to produce enough working computers within an allocated time interval and settle the debt. This is what ultimately saw Wayne duck out.
While speaking to NextShark in 2013, Wayne said that Jobs and Woz did not have “two nickels to rub together.” In any case, if everything went wrong, then it is him who would take the whole responsibility because he was reachable.
Friends and family would sit at kitchen table to solder the parts. After completion, Jobs shipped them to Byte Shop and Terrell was surprised by his findings.
Michael Moritz says in Return to the Little Kingdom that “Some energetic intervention was required before the boards could be made to do anything. Terrell couldn’t even test the board without buying two transformers… Since the Apple didn’t have a keyboard or a television, no data could be funneled in or out of the computer. Once a keyboard had been hooked to the machine it still couldn’t be programmed without somebody laboriously typing in the code for BASIC since Wozniak and Jobs hadn’t provided the language on a cassette tape or in a ROM chip… finally the computer was naked. It had no case.”
Terrell agreed to take the machines and paid. The gamble had worked in favor of Jobs and Woz. The production of Apple I continued from April 1976 till Sept 1977. A total 200 units were produced.
In tomorrow’s feature, we will look at the jump from Apple I to Apple II. Be sure to remain tuned in.
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