This week marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s announcement that it has agreed to acquire NeXT for $ 400 million. The remarkable move brought Steve Jobs back to Apple over a decade after leaving the company following an internal power struggle.
“The acquisition of NeXT is the beginning of a new chapter in Apple’s history and represents a milestone in our transformation as a company,” said former Apple CEO Gil Amelio, when the deal was announced on the 20th. December 1996. “Today Apple once again welcomed its most talented visionary Steve Jobs, someone who can inspire a new generation of customers and software developers and prove that Apple remains the industry home for innovation and enthusiasm.”
One of the main reasons Apple acquired NeXT was to gain access to its Unix-based NeXTSTEP operating system, which served as the foundation for Mac OS X.
“With this merger, NeXT’s advanced software will be married to Apple’s ultra-high-volume hardware platforms and marketing channels to create another breakthrough, bypassing existing platforms and fueling Apple and the imitator industry for the next ten years. and beyond, ”Jobs said. “I still have very deep feelings for Apple and it gives me great joy to play a role in the architecture of Apple’s future.”
Jobs initially returned to Apple as a consultant, making his first appearance at Macworld in San Francisco in January 1997 to announce details of how Apple planned to incorporate NeXT technology into future versions of Mac OS. Jobs went on to replace Amelio as the company’s interim CEO just nine months later, and ended up relinquishing the interim title and remaining CEO until he resigned in August 2011 due to health problems.
Under Jobs’ leadership, Apple went from near-bankruptcy to becoming the world’s most valuable company, introducing iconic products like iPods, iPhones, and iPads along the way. Without acquiring NeXT, Apple’s fate may have been very different.