20 years of Apple: J Glenn Künzler

As part of the celebrations for our 20th anniversary, we asked some of our friends to tell us what Apple has meant to them over the 20 years we’ve been here to cover it. Don’t forget that as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, you can win an iPad mini by voting in our poll to select the best Apple products of the last two decades, and download our very first issue from 1993, enhanced with optional text, audio and video interviews, completely free inside our award-winning app edition!

J Glenn Künzler is the managing editor at MacTrast, and unlike lots of today’s Apple commentators, he actually knows about pre-iPhone Apple:

“Any magazine that can manage to remain popular for a full two decades (while continuing to grow in popularity) is clearly a force to be reckoned with. In 20 years of operation, MacFormat has seen and covered a whole lot of history regarding the world’s favorite ‘fruit company.’

“Apple has evolved tremendously in those 20 years, transitioning from a hopeless, seemingly doomed company on the brink of destruction to arguably the single most profitable business on the face of the planet. So, what changed in those 20 years? The most important factor was the return of Steve Jobs in 1996 (after being ousted in 1985 during a corporate power struggle).

“With the return of Apple’s chief visionary came a new era at Apple: First came the release of OS X – the future of the Mac operating system, based on Steve Jobs’ NeXTSTEP operating system which he developed while he was away from Apple. This would revolutionize Apple’s place in the computer market once again, and for many years to come. Next came the launch of the iPod – the most successful MP3 player of all time, and the product that is almost single-handedly responsible for saving Apple from certain doom.

“While Apple was slowly being reshaped into the monolithic institution of technology that it is today, technology was also evolving at a breakneck speed. For instance, storage devices started being measured in gigabytes rather than megabytes – and then in terabytes rather than gigabytes in most cases. Prices for computers and consumer electronics became much more affordable, and as more people purchased personal electronics, Apple took advantage of the market, bringing their stock from a low of $6.06 per share on May 3, 1983 to today’s value of well over $400 per share (down from a high of $700 per share in September 2012).

“There can be no doubt that Apple’s last 20 years represented the most radically transformative era that Apple has ever seen – and MacFormat has been there through it all. What will the next 20 years bring? No one can say for sure – but if Apple’s last two decades are anything to go by, we’re in for the ride of a lifetime.”