by Jason Snell
Jobs and Woz’s first product: Blue Boxes
Stephen Hackett talked to Kristen Gallerneaux, curator at the Henry Ford Museum, about the unheralded first Jobs-Wozniak collaboration, an illegal Blue Box used for phone phreaking:
I think Jobs’s business and marketing mind really took flight with the Apple 1 in 1976, but the blue box was the foundation for that in 1972. It was the origin point for Woz and Jobs working together on a commercial product, and to learn about one another’s working style. Jobs saw potential to monetize the blue box-I believe they cost around $40 to produce, and were marked up to around $150. To meet sales demands, a few helpers were brought in to help out with assembly for large orders.
This was all spectacularly illegal, but they never got caught—and a few years later they were selling Apple I computers instead.