Apple often gets credit for its ingenuity. Others argue that marketing has driven its success. Beast Master recently published an infographic documenting the history of several Apple “innovations” – you may be surprised to learn that most of Apple’s “ideas” originated outside the company. Here are some quick bulleted facts regarding those origins.
In 1996, Steve Jobs said:
“Picasso had a saying. Good artists copy. Great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”
- In 1963, the mouse was invented by Doug Englebart of Stanford Research Institute. He patented the mouse in 1970
- Steve Jobs visited the Palo Alto Research Center where Xerox engineers demonstrated a windowing system driven by mouse navigation
- Ideas that Jobs took from MS Windws: Finder Sidebar, Mac Path Bar, Back and Forward buttons, ALT+TAB to switch between open applications
- Arthur OS, Unix, Linux, Acorn, RISC OS, Amiga OS and OS/2 all incorporated icon docks 14 years before it was added to the Macintosh in 2001
- Very simliar to the Braun radio of the 50’s and 60’s
- Apple admitted stealing the iPod concept from Britain’s Kane Kramer, who invented a similar device in 1979, but Apple refused to pay him royalties.
- Audio Highway’s “Listen Up” and “MPMan” predated the iPod
- Click-wheel browsing appeared earlier in Creative’s NOMAD Jukebox.
- Ritmoteca.com debuted in 1998.
- Jeff Robbin and Bill Kincaid introduced SoundJam in 1999. Apple purchased the company in 2000.
- Touchscreen technology invented in 1965.
- Multitouch invented by Finger Works in 1998. They were purchased by Apple in 2005.
- Samsung claims that Apple stole its “pinch to zoom” feature from Diamond Touch, shown to a group of Apple engineers in 2003
- Apple took the idea, name, and logo for iOS5 wireless syncing app Wi-Fi Sync from developer Greg Hughes… after rejecting it for the iTunes App Store
- Microsoft debuted the MS Tablet PC in 2002
- Roger Fidler at the University of Missouri claims Apple saw his design in 1981.
- Fujitsu built a touch screen device they called “iPad” in the early 2000’s.