Jobs to Take Leave of Absence from Apple

More Stories in this Series

Jobs Has Been an Extraordinary Spokesman

2001: Say Hello to the iPod

The iPod's unveiling was a rather low-key affair--a small press gathering on Apple's campus in Cupertino, California. And at the time, the iPod seemed a relatively inconsequential product that was at first available only for Mac users. Tech-news site Slashdot infamously quipped, "No wireless. Less space than a nomad [sic]. Lame." Seven years and tens of millions of iPods later, Apple's digital music player is by far the most popular one on the market today, and it has spawned an entire cottage industry for cases and accessories.

2002: Apple Bids Farewell to Mac OS 9

For Apple, 2002 was a time of transition, of sorts. Mac OS X was brand-new, and the company was having some difficulty getting users and software developers to hop on the bandwagon. To drive home the point that Apple was moving on, Jobs staged a mock funeral at the year's Worldwide Developers Conference for the old operating system, Mac OS 9.

2005: Apple Moves to Intel

Speaking of transitions, at the Worldwide Developers Conference in 2005, Apple announced that it was switching from PowerPC processors to Intel processors. The news came as a shock to many Mac users, and some were worried about how well the transition would work. Apple's first Intel-based Macs shipped in January 2006. Three and a half years after Apple dropped the bombshell, the Mac is more popular than ever, due in part to its ability to run Windows.

2007: The iPhone Debuts

At Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Jobs stood onstage to showcase the iPhone, a device that he said at the time was years ahead of anything else--and one that has altered the smart-phone landscape ever since. This was arguably Jobs's finest keynote: He had a hot new product to demonstrate, and his charismatic aura was in overdrive.

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