As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved throughout the 1990s, Apple lost considerable market share to the lower-priced duopoly of the Microsoft Windows operating system on Intel-powered PC clones (also known as “Wintel“). In 1997, weeks away from bankruptcy, the company bought NeXT to resolve Apple’s unsuccessful operating system strategy and entice Jobs back to the company. Over the next decade, Jobs guided Apple back to profitability through a number of tactics including introducing the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad to critical acclaim, launching the “Think different” campaign and other memorable advertising campaigns, opening the Apple Store retail chain, and acquiring numerous companies to broaden the company’s product portfolio. When Jobs resigned in 2011 for health reasons, and died two months later, he was succeeded as CEO by Tim Cook.
Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion in August 2018, then at $2 trillion in August 2020, and at $3 trillion in January 2022. As of April 2023, it was valued at around $2.6 trillion. The company receives criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices, and its business ethics, including anti-competitive practices and materials sourcing. Nevertheless, the company has a large following and enjoys a high level of brand loyalty. It has also been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most valuable brands.