Apple Inc. (commonly known as Apple) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Its best-known hardware products are the Mac personal computers, the iPod portable media player, theiPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, and the Apple Watch smartwatch. Apple’s consumer software includes the OS X and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife andiWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, and iCloud.
Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976, to develop and sell personal computers. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977, and was renamed as Apple Inc. on January 9, 2007, to reflect its shifted focus towards consumer electronics. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average on March 19, 2015.
Apple is the world’s second-largest information technology company by revenue after Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest technology company by total assets, and the world’s third-largest mobile phone manufacturer. On November 25, 2014, in addition to being the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalisation, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$700 billion. As of July 2015, Apple employs 115,000 permanent full-time employees; maintains 453 retail stores in sixteen countries; and operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world’s largest music retailer.
Apple’s worldwide annual revenue in 2014 totaled $182 billion for the fiscal year ending in October 2014. The company enjoys a high level of brand loyalty and, according to the 2014 edition of the Interbrand Best Global Brands report, is the world’s most valuable brand with a valuation of $118.9 billion. By the end of 2014, the corporation continued to receive significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors and its environmental and business practices, including the origins of source materials.