Apple Inc. (previously Apple Computer, Inc.) is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company’s best-known hardware products include the Macintosh computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes the Mac OS X operating system; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Aperture, a professional photography package; Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products; and Logic Studio, a suite of audio tools. As of January 2010, the company operates 284 retail stores in ten countries, and an online store where hardware and software products are sold.
Established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, and incorporated January 3, 1977, the company was previously named Apple Computer, Inc. for its first 30 years, but removed the word “Computer” on January 9, 2007, to reflect the company’s ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers. As of September 26, 2009, Apple had 34,300 full time employees and 2,500 temporary full time employees worldwide and had worldwide annual sales of .91 billion in its fiscal year ending September 26, 2009.
For reasons as various as its philosophy of comprehensive aesthetic design to its distinctive advertising campaigns, Apple has established a unique reputation in the consumer electronics industry. This includes a customer base that is devoted to the company and its brand, particularly in the United States. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010. In May 2010, Apple’s market cap exceeded that of Microsoft for the first time since 1989.
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