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The company was established in Cupertino, California on April 1, 1976, and incorporated January 3, 1977, was known as "Apple Computer, Inc." for its first 30 years. On January 9, 2007, the company dropped "Computer" from its corporate name, reflecting the company's ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers.
Apple employs over 20,000 permanent and temporary workers worldwide and had worldwide annual sales in its fiscal year 2007 (ending September 29, 2007) of US $24.01 billion. For a variety of reasons, ranging from its philosophy of comprehensive aesthetic design to its distinctive advertising campaigns, Apple has engendered a unique reputation in the consumer electronics industry. This includes a customer base, particularly in the United States, that is unusually devoted to the company and its brand.
Apple started with its 8-bit computer line which reached a pinnacle with the Apple IIe and continued on to success with the Macintosh line in 1984 which it still sells today. Not every product has met with success however with the Apple Lisa, Apple III, and Apple Newton as a couple of bumps along the companies road to success.