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Many consider Apple devices to be something magical and incomprehensible. However, in reality, they are constructed using both ordinary components and specialized parts for apple that are readily available to other manufacturers as well. Let’s dispel the aura of mystery and delve into what truly lies inside gadgets bearing the iconic bitten apple logo.

The History of Apple’s First Computers

The first Apple computers were created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the mid-1970s in a California garage. These were the Apple I and Apple II:

  • The Apple I was introduced in 1976. Its architecture was based on an 8-bit microprocessor, the MOS 6502, which was commonly used by many computer manufacturers at the time. It had a mere 4 KB of RAM, and an ordinary audio cassette served as its data storage.
  • The motherboard of the Apple I was standard and didn’t differ from those of other computers of that era. The PC had a rather minimalist appearance, consisting of a bare printed circuit board without a casing. This computer was targeted at enthusiasts and was hand-assembled, with around 200 units produced in total.
  • The Apple II was introduced in 1977. Its architecture remained similar, but several improvements were made:
    • the RAM was increased to 48 KB, with the option for expansion to 64 KB;
    • an improved motherboard was used;
    • graphics and sound controllers were added;
    • it included a casing and a keyboard.

Thanks to these enhancements and a vibrant plastic shell, the second generation of Apple PCs gained popularity in the home computer segment. They were actively used for gaming and programming education. Numerous educational programs and games were developed for the Apple II, contributing to the spread of computer literacy.

In 1978, the Apple II Plus was introduced with 64 KB of memory and new peripheral connectivity options. In 1979, based on it, the Apple II Europlus model was created for the European market. In total, approximately 6 million Apple II computers of all variations were sold.

Modern Components in Apple Devices

Modern Apple smartphones, tablets, and laptops are built using the same components as similar devices from other brands. Let’s take the MacBook lineup as an example:

  1. Starting from 2020, these devices use Apple’s ARM-based chips. This architecture is the same as that used in processors for iPhones and Android smartphones. It originated from the British company ARM Holdings, which developed the RISC architecture for mobile device processors. The physical production is handled by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer by order.
  2. RAM and flash storage for iPhones are supplied by the same companies as for devices from other brands, like Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba, and Kioxia.
  3. Displays are most commonly produced by LG Display and Japan Display Inc.

A similar situation applies to iPads. They are equipped with the same Apple processors as iPhones, and their memory and storage components are also sourced from the same manufacturers.

Design and Usability: What Sets Apple Apart

If the components are the same from different manufacturers, why is Apple’s technology considered the best? Ultimately, it’s about design and functionality. This is where Apple excels more than others.

Mac OS, iPadOS, and iOS are characterized by their simplicity, thoughtfulness, and ease of use. The applications feature clean designs, with all control elements meticulously crafted for ergonomics.

As a result, even novices can easily navigate and operate Apple devices within minutes. Everything is logical and intuitively understandable. This is the outcome of extensive work by designers and engineers who meticulously study user behavior and consider their needs during the design process.

Another prime example is the touchpad on Apple laptops, which is rightfully considered the standard. It stands out for its precision, smooth cursor movement, and support for various gestures. The touch-sensitive surface has consistently outperformed competitors from other manufacturers for many years and has set industry standards.

While most computer manufacturers source input devices from third-party companies such as Elan, Synaptics, and ALPS, Apple developed its own Force Touch technology, allowing the touchpad to detect varying levels of pressure. This innovation opened up new possibilities for interaction.

Attention to detail is evident in every aspect, from the convenience of connectors to the quality of the Retina display. Apple doesn’t invent entirely new components but refines existing ones to perfection.

Why Apple Succeeds in Creating Such Design and Usability

Apple’s success is largely driven by its unique corporate culture and approach to product development.

  1. The company has assembled a team of talented designers from around the world, led by experienced team leaders who are experts in their fields. This enables a meticulous approach to designing all of the company’s hardware products, down to the smallest details.
  2. Apple does not chase technical specifications for the sake of it. The company focuses on real user needs. All decisions are empirically tested through numerous trials.
  3. Apple maintains strict secrecy and control over information leaks. This enables the company to concentrate on developing and releasing truly innovative and polished products.

Finally, Apple carefully controls the entire product development cycle, from concept to implementation. Hardware and software are developed in close integration.

There Is No Secret, Just Consistency

As you may have gathered, there is no magic inside Apple devices. The components they are made of are not fundamentally different from those of other manufacturers.

The key difference with Apple lies in attention to detail and a focus on the user experience. This is what makes using the company’s products so enjoyable. They demonstrate how technology should serve people, not the other way around.

Let’s appreciate Apple for its ergonomics and ease of use, rather than for marketing myths and brand status. After all, the most important thing is our positive user experience, which is formed from many small but significant details.

 

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