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How much did Apple pay to acquire the domain Apple.com ?

Apple.com is the quintessential matching .com domain of Apple.

The multi-billion dollar valuation company was founded on April 1st, 1976 and about 11 years later, in 1987, acquired the domain Apple.com.

At the time, domain names were issued one at a time, primarily to companies, and the process was 100% manual.

It’s quite clear that Apple, like everyone else until 1995, paid zero dollars to acquire their premium .com domain.

Further acknowledgement of the fact comes in the form of a testimonial by Eric Fair, a former engineer at Apple, Inc.

Says Fair:

“The apple.com domain name was already registered & operating when I joined Apple in July 1988 to become their postmaster, hostmaster, and all-around Internet guy. I think Johan Strandberg (my predecessor) registered the domain name.

I was the one who moved the authoritative name server to the host apple.com (a DEC VAX-11/780 running 4.3 BSD Unix in Mariani 1, shortly thereafter upgraded to a VAX-8650) from CSNET in Boston (Apple’s primary Internet Service Provider at the time), and I managed the zone and Apple’s Internet connectivity for the next half-decade or so.”

But did Steve Jobs register Apple.com ?

At the time that the domain was registered, on February 19, 1987, Steve Jobs was not with Apple, having left in 1985 to start NeXT computers and Pixar. Jobs did not return to Apple until 1997, after the acquisition of NeXT by Apple for $429 million dollars.

We can safely say that Steve Jobs had nothing to do with the domain name’s registration.

In comparison, Next.com was registered in 1994, proving that the Internet and domain names at the time that Apple.com was registered, was a concept completely hidden even from geniuses such as Steve Jobs.

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2 Responses to “How much did Apple pay to acquire the domain Apple.com ?”
  1. Wish I could have had the foresight to register my one word all encompassing domain(s) in 1995…😀

  2. Eric Lyon says:

    Maybe they got it for free as beta testers since the whole industry was brand new at that time and the registry needed help promoting it? :p

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