Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL; NYSE: AAPL; 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 line of 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; Logic Studio, a suite of music production tools; the Safari web browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system. As of October 2010, the company operates 317 retail stores in ten countries, and an online store where hardware and software products are sold. As of August 2011, Apple is one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization and the most valuable technology company in the world, ahead of Microsoft. On August 9, 2011, Apple briefly surpassed ExxonMobil to become the world's most valuable company.
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 2010, Apple had 46,600 full time employees and 2,800 temporary full time employees worldwide and had worldwide annual sales of $65.23 billion.
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....