Apple was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The first computers the sold was the Apple I which was $666.66 and they were hand-built in the garage of Steve Job's parents.
The next model they created was called the Apple II. This was introduced on April 16, 1977 and became the market leader. It was also the first computer to use the 5 1/4 inch floppy disk. This became the most popular computer for many businesses.
Apple then struggled with Microsoft's release as well as IBM's. In the early 80's, IBM & Microsoft continued to gain market share at Apple's expence in the Personal Computer industry.
By the mid-90s, Apple realized that it had to reinvent the Macintosh in order to stay competitive in the market. The needs of both computer users and computer programs were becoming, for a variety of technical reasons, harder for the existing hardware and operating system to address.
They fell behind for a while, but just recently released a new line of Mac's running off of the new Intel Core Duo processors. The computers that use these processors are the Macbook, Macbook Pro, iMac G5, Mac-Mini, and the Mac Pro.
Click here for the intel based Macs.