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What Is Apple Inc.?

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: 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 and its iOS Mobile Operating System. As of August 2010, the company operates 301 retail stores[7] in ten countries,[8] and an online store where hardware and software products are sold.

Established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, and incorporated January 3, 1977,[9] the company was previously named Apple Computer, Inc., for its first 30 years, but removed the word "Computer" on January 9, 2007,[10] to reflect the company's ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers.[11] As of September 26, 2009, Apple had 34,300 full time employees and 2,500 temporary full time employees worldwide[12] and had worldwide annual sales of $42.91 billion in its fiscal year ending September 26, 2009.[5]

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.[13] Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010.[14][15][16] The company has also received widespread criticism for its contractors' labor, environmental, and business practices.[17][18]

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