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Regarded as one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Apple has long been famous for its amazing product lineup. Be it the design, technology, hardware, or software, Apple has been sweeping floors with its astounding innovations. What started as a computer company inside a small garage in 1976 became one of the biggest tech giants in the world, even hitting a record-breaking $3 Trillion market cap.

Apple ignites sparks in the industry with all-new game-changing products as well as its ability to toke an existing product in the market and completely reinvent it. Back in the ’70s when Apple started selling computers, it brought a revolution in that space. The same happened during the first decade of this century when the tech giant entered the league of smartphones. During all this time, Apple has introduced many products with groundbreaking technology and has made significant breakthroughs. Here are the 10 best product innovations designed by Apple.

Apple II

Apple II

Way before diving into smartphones and portable media devices, Apple was initially invested in making the most advanced personal computer systems. Launched in 1977, the Apple II was the world’s first mass-produced home computing system. It was an updated version of Apple 1– the first computer system co-developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. While Apple 1 was sold in a kit form that had to be assembled, Apple II was designed as a complete ready-to-use computer system with circuit machinery, a keyboard, permanent memory, and a power source.

The Apple II had a central processing unit that was based on MOS 6502 CPU and was offered with 4 KB of RAM, History Computer notes, although it could be increased up to 64 KB if required. A BASIC language processor that could support graphics and a colored monitor. The computer was first introduced with an external cassette storage system but was later replaced with an external floppy disk drive.

The motherboard of the Apple II even allowed expansion and had eight card slots for the user to expand the system with chips from Apple or any other third-party manufacturer. The Apple II sparked a huge demand for personal computers in the late ’70s, and quickly became a hot selling product because of its advanced features and user-friendly interface. Apple produced around 6 million units of the Apple II till 1993.

iPhone

the orignal iPhone

It has been a decade and a half since the first iPhone was unveiled to the world and although it was not the first smartphone in the market, it was definitely the most innovative and advanced one yet. Pitched as a mobile phone, music player, and internet device all in one, the iPhone was a big leap forward in the global smartphone community.

Until the release of the first iPhone in 2007, one had to have a computer system to access the internet and its applications. All of this changed with the original iPhone. Not only did it put the internet in everyone’s pocket, but it also made applications such as sending emails and browsing the internet much easier to use. The full-touch QWERTY keyboard on the iPhone made the experience even better.

Apart from the internet, the iPhone made a major breakthrough in the domain of mobile photography. It was equipped with a 2MP high-quality back camera and along with the high-efficient photo management system, photography became a daily habit instead of just a hobby. All the subsequent iPhones released had significantly improved camera systems and today the iPhone is regarded as the best camera smartphone out there. iPhones have now become a tool for creative professionals and its premium design and advanced technology is appraised worldwide. Undoubtedly, it is the most revolutionary Apple product that has helped the company to become the biggest tech giant in the world.

iPad

iPad in Space Gray

Like many new things, this too was frowned upon when iPads were introduced in 2010. While people made a lot of jokes about the name and how iPads were basically low-quality laptops, Apple had the last laugh when it sold $67.7 billion worth of the product. iPads worked as a space between a laptop and a smartphone by being a not-so-little but valuable device for streaming, surfing the web, making notes, and reading e-books (via Business Insider).

Apple redefined the concept of tablets with its confident designs and refined minimalism. Bringing the computing experience to an iPad is what separates Apple from other brands. Providing a strong battery life without the bulk weight made these products the best in the game. The original iPad offered an aluminum build with square edges and 64GB storage capacity. The iPad Pro (2021) came with a Liquid Retina XDR display and a 2TB storage option (via The Verge).

Apple clearly stepped up and changed the game with its sleek design and new upgrades throughout the years. From hotel staff to children studying through online learning, iPads have made a significant impact on daily lives and have made online learning, reading, and streaming more fun and simple.

iPod

iPod

Out of all the innovative products Apple has launched throughout the years, iPod paved the way to success for Apple in 2001. A revolutionary product of its time, the iPod beat out the 90s MP3 players with its incredible ability to hold 1,000 songs in your pocket. It revolutionized the world of music and beat out all of its competitors (the Sony Walkman didn’t stand a chance).

The iPod expanded the experience of listening beyond anything mankind had experienced in that era and allowed people to enjoy music anytime, anywhere, just by plugging their headphones. From introducing a brand new colored screen to the iPod touch, Jobs covered many horizons of technological advancements. In 2007, 48% of Apple’s revenue came from the sale of iPods which is why over the next seven years, many changes and upgrades were made to the iPod (via The Guardian).

What made the iPod such a huge success was its design. The non-touch iPod models sported the revolutionary click wheel that used a combination of touch and buttons to navigate through the device. The iPod Touch introduced in 2007 was the biggest level-up in the history of iPods. It was basically an iPhone with a 3.5-inch touch screen and carried out all its functions, except for telecommunication. iPod Touch even featured, for the first time, Wi-Fi connectivity and could carry all the internet applications such as web browsing and music streaming on services like YouTube.

AirPods

AirPods first gen

Back in 2016 when Apple released the iPhone 7 lineup, there was a significant omission in the body of the phones — the 3.5mm headphone jack was gone. The whole world was shocked by the move but to everyone’s surprise, Apple introduced something that not only compensated for the removal of the headphone jack but started a whole new revolution in the headphone industry. Apple released the AirPods, the first truly wireless earphones.

AirPods was a massive breakthrough considering the revolutionary design and innovative technology. It was similar to the earlier wired earphones offered by the company except for the fact that it was completely wireless and used Bluetooth technology to pair with any existing media device such as a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. A case magnetically held the AirPods together when not in use as well as charged them at the same time. Pairing them with an Apple device was a doddle — one just had to open the charging case in front of the device and an automatic popup would occur on the screen telling that the AirPods have been paired.

The entire pairing process takes only a few seconds thanks to Apple’s highly efficient W1 chip. The AirPods were also equipped with groundbreaking optical sensors that could identify whether the headphones were inside the ears of a person or not and could play/pause the music accordingly. Almost every phone manufacturer followed this suit and today leading headphone manufacturers have truly wireless headphones in their lineup.

MacBook

macbook in space gray

The MacBook has made productivity enjoyable, a gamechanger for creative professionals and students. After its debut in 1991, the MacBook line came a long way from its first-ever laptop, PowerBook 100 to the MacBook Air 2022, with features people could only imagine in the 90s. After all the redesigns and improvements, the PowerBook G4 came in a slim design and was considered ahead of its time. This led to Apple’s famous slim design for all the MacBook models.

The MacBook lineup consists of two variants, Air and Pro, and while both are designed to offer ultimate performance, their target audience is different. The MacBook Air packs all the industry-leading specs into the thinnest physical body and is best suited for students and people who mildly use the system for work. The Pro model is much more aggressive in terms of specs and offers better performance and graphic output specially made for working professionals such as studio artists and sound engineers.

Today, the MacBook has become the industry standard for laptops and has gained the spotlight when it comes to high-end notebooks, and has considerably contributed to the revenue share of the brand.

AirTag

AirTag with Find My Phone App

Perhaps the most unique product in Apple’s ecosystem, AirTag is a revolutionary tracking device built to act as a key finder for physical objects such as keys or bags and can be even used as a pet tracking device. It’s a round-shaped wireless tracker small enough to fit in your denim’s smallest pocket.

AirTag works with the iPhone’s built-in iOS app Find My Phone over Bluetooth connectivity. Pairing an AirTag is as simple as pairing AirPods, just bring an AirTag in front of an iPhone and it will automatically detect the device and set it up. It has a built-in U1 chip that allows precise location and tracking and gives accurate directions and distance between the AirTag and iPhone. There is even a small built-in speaker that generates beep sounds for locating the AirTag whenever it goes out of range (via Apple)

If an AirTag is lost, users can put it into the ‘Lost Mode’ where the app will automatically detect and notify the owner about its location whenever the AirTag is in range. If it is found by anyone else, they can connect the AirTag with any NFC-capable device and they will directly be taken to a unique website with the credentials of the owner. Any tracking device can be used for unethical tracking and stalking and to prevent this, AirTags can alert anyone through beep sounds that it has been traveling with them and a notification would go to the nearest NFC device in range.

Apple Watch

heart-beat monitoring with the Apple Watch

In 2014, Apple released the most personal accessory in its product lineup — the Apple Watch. Pitched as a smartwatch with dedicated health and fitness features, Apple did not have the first mover’s advantage, as smartwatches were already a thing by then. But what Apple did was far more amazing than introducing a whole new product — it delivered the most advanced specs in an ultimate design that went on to disrupt the watch industry. Interestingly in 2019, Apple watch outsold the whole Swiss-watch market which is regarded as one of the most reputation watch industries globally (via CNBC).

What made the Apple Watch stand out from the crowd was the fact that it could fit so many advanced sensors along with advanced technology in such a small form factor. Basically, you get a supercomputer right on your wrist that can track all your fitness and health-related data along with all the connected features of a smartwatch such as instant notifications, receiving calls, quick access to the photo library, and much more.

While other fitness watchmakers could merely collect data related to the body’s calorie burnout and steps walked throughout the day, the Apple Watch’s advanced sensors could measure your heart rate. Eventually, further iterations of the Apple Watch came with much more advanced systems that can now measure a person’s ECG and even Oxygen levels. All the data collected could simply be downloaded in a PDF report.

Siri

Siri activated

It’s no surprise to hear the voice of an AI in almost all gadgets in 2022. Introduced as a built-in system in iOS in 2011, Siri has been through quite the evolution in the last decade. From AI being used in movies as a love interest to its growth to "human-like" qualities. Siri became the first virtual assistant with a voice and made interaction with gadgets more "human-like."

Using Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing, Siri became a useful tool and could be operated orally with a two-word wakeup call "Hey Siri." Since its launch, Siri has evolved and can answer all questions related to the information found on the internet. It can also be used to launch apps and navigate through settings and can carry out tasks like setting an alarm or calling a person. There have been impressive upgrades to Siri–from language translation, speech personalization, and faster processing, there is always room for advancement considering how AI is an ever-growing area.

The AI virtual voice assistant industry was ignited by Apple’s Siri during the launch of the iPhone 4s and since then, the technology has risen high in the sky. Siri paved the way for many more players in this domain, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant – two renowned AI voice assistants that currently rival Apple’s Siri.

Mac Pro

Mac Pro at launch event

Apple’s products have been renowned as tools for creative professionals and in 2019, the company took the brand statement to a whole new level by launching the Mac Pro — an ultimate machine designed specifically for professional workstations. The Mac Pro is essentially a central processing unit that pushes all the limits and abilities of a MacBook and even an iMac.

The Mac Pro has been specifically crafted for ultimate performance and is designed for optimum expansion and configuration according to the user’s needs. It features the industry-leading Xeon processor with up to 28 cores and 8 PCI expansion slots onboard. Furthermore, it sports an industry-leading graphic architecture for best editing purposes and has the game-changing accelerator card- Apple Afterburner that can play back up to 3 different 8K ProRes Raw videos simultaneously! (via Apple)

It also features a programmable ASIC that can efficiently decode high-resolution videos at 6.5-billion pixels per second. For people working on advanced and extensive projects that include massive data, the Mac Pro features a multi-channel memory architecture with 1.5-TB of internal storage and 12 physical DIMM slots. The entire MacPro is enclosed by a stainless-steel frame that can be removed easily to get a 360-degree view and access each part of the machine.