In less than three years, this story of Steve Jobs and his meteoric rise to the forefront of technological history was re-told by Danny Boyle in Steve Jobs (2015), with Michael Fassbender in the titular role, and released to much wider critical acclaim.
In the scene in which it is revealed Jobs sold his stock from the merger, he is listening to "Walk on the Ocean" by the band Toad the Wet Sprocket. However, while the original recording of the song was released at the time, the recording used in the film was released in April 2011, 6 months before his death.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the scene where Woz confronts Jobs and leaves Apple, a Bob Dylan song plays in the background in the beginning of the scene. Jobs was an avid Dylan fan. The song playing in the scene is "Boots of Spanish Leather" from the album "The Times They Are A-Changin'". The same album contains Jobs' favorite Bob Dylan song, "One Too Many Mornings".
The portrayal of computer engineer Rod Holt (who arrives at Jobs' house on a motorcycle, wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses, and is portrayed by actor Ron Eldard) was intentionally exaggerated as an in-joke, since he was a fan of dirt bikes. In reality, he was not an actual biker and he didn't wear leather jackets. There's another little nod to Rod's interests later when Jobs enters Rod's office. On the wall behind Rod a banner of The Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a far-left political organization in the United States, can be seen for a brief moment. In real life, Rod Holt was an outspoken socialist and their big supporter. He even became the chairman of the Ohio campaign committee for the SWP, as well as the editor of a socialist newspaper.
The movie implies that Steve Wozniak is a big Star Trek fan. This is true. The movie also shows a scene in which Jobs carelessly parks his car in the handicapped parking space. This was also true. It was one of Jobs' infamous eccentricities.
In 2013, Steve Wozniak, Daniel Kottke (he's played in the movie by Lukas Haas and he was Jobs' college friend and later an Apple employee, who also served as the script consultant during the early stages of the script development) and Andy Hertzfeld (one of the lead developers in the Apple Macintosh team) were guests on a local television show called "John Wants Answers", that airs on KMVT 15 in Mountain View, California and is hosted by another former Apple employee, John A. Vink. The full show is available on Youtube. They were all asked to comment on the authenticity of every scene in the movie and they found many inaccuracies. For instance, Jobs' college girlfriend in the movie, Julie, doesn't exist and she was just a character made up for the movie. Wozniak did help Jobs with his ATARI game (the game in question was the popular "Breakout") and Jobs did lie to him about the amount of money that they'll get for it, but it took several exhausting days without sleep to finish the game, not one night, and both Steves got mononucleosis afterwards, because they shared some drink at one point during their work on the game. Wozniak was actually also a huge Bob Dylan fan, not a Beatles fan, and it was in fact him who introduced Jobs to most of Dylan's work. It was Wozniak, not Jobs, who first saw the potential in personal computers. Wozniak turned his home-made personal terminal into a functioning computer and presented it to his peers at Homebrew Computer Club, where he already had a fan following. He even gave the schematics for his computer to other computer engineers and educators there for free, since he wanted for everyone to use his invention as a tool that will further the development of education and engineering. Wozniak then invited Jobs to one of these presentations and Jobs realized that Wozniak's computer had great financial potential as well, so Jobs came up with the idea for the two of them to make and sell PC boards that would improve Wozniak's computers. This was the basis for them to found their own company, Apple. Jobs accepted on the spot the investment deal that Mike Markkula (the investor, played by Dermot Mulroney, who visits Jobs in his parents' house and agrees to invest in his company) offered to him and he did not negotiate with him further. Markkula was a financial expert, so he proceeded to take care of the company's finances. Steve Jobs never made the big speech at the science fair that the movie shows. Jobs did in fact fire one of his developers from his Apple Lisa project for not sharing his vision. However, the man was fired not because of his protest over fonts, but because of his protest that the mouse is an irrelevant component and that the team is wasting time with their development of mouse support. By this time, Jobs had cut his ties to Daniel Kottke and he did refuse to see him, but he never asked Kottke to meet him at a restaurant just to intentionally ditch him afterwards, like the movie depicts. Markkula didn't tell Jobs about the Macintosh project. Jobs was aware of it since the beginning and immediately moved on to that project after he got fired from the Apple Lisa team. The humorous scene where Bill Fernandez asks Jobs what's a Macintosh is fictitious, since Fernandez was in Japan at the time of Jobs' recruitment for the Macintosh team. Jobs was actually fired for several combined reasons. First, the Macintosh just wasn't selling enough. Second, Jobs refused to let the developers work on the much needed hardware updates for the then-7-years-old Apple II (such as adding the hardware support for Sony's 3½-inch floppy disks) instead, even though it was the only Apple product that still made money. Jobs saw Apple II as the past and desperately wanted for the company to move on. The third and final reason was that after the initial poor sales of Macintosh, Jobs decided to immediately shift his focus on the next big thing - Mac II, even though it was another risky investment and it would take a considerable amount of time and money to finish its development. Another inaccuracy in the movie is the portrayal of Arthur Rock, who was in reality actually quite supportive of Jobs. The CEO that Jobs did clash with often was Michael Scott, but he was not portrayed in the movie. Wozniak never had the big talk with Jobs about him (Woz) leaving Apple. In fact, Wozniak actually technically never left Apple. Under his contract with Apple, Wozniak would remain their paid employee indefinitely (and he still is to this very day) as long as he guarantees that he won't join or start a company that would be an Apple's competitor in any way. He started his own company CL 9 in 1985 and went on to create the first programmable universal remote controller in 1987, although he didn't achieve the huge success he was hoping for with this product. Mike Markkula never promised his support to Jobs before the faithful board meeting where Jobs got fired from Apple. In fact, he warned Jobs that he will vote in favor of Jobs being fired, because he saw Jobs uncompromising behavior as a threat to the future of the company.
Steve Wozniak believes that Steve Jobs was initially so angry at his pregnant girlfriend Chrisann Brennan after she refused to have an abortion, because Jobs was suspecting that her pregnancy is just a ploy of hers to get to his money. Jobs cold treatment of her and her daughter later had a negative effect on his business and image, when Time Magazine considered to put Jobs on its front page as the Person of the Year 1983. Eventually, however, the magazine decided to shift the focus of their article to Jobs and Brennan's toxic relationship instead. They also dropped the "Person of the Year" title and portrayed a sculpture of a generic computer instead under their new title "The Computer, Machine of the Year". Jobs and Brennan's relationship eventually slightly improved and he finally recognized her daughter Lisa as his own. In fact, Jobs even named one of his less known Apple computer models Lisa, even though he claimed at the time that the name had nothing to do with Brennan's daughter.
At the end of the movie, Jobs records his voiceover for Apple's popular "Be Different" commercial. However, his voice was eventually replaced with the voice of Richard Dreyfuss, when the commercial premiered. During Jobs' funeral, the original version of the ad with Jobs' voice was played for the mourners in his honor.
Investor Larry Ellison, who's not portrayed in the movie, became one of Jobs' close friends, after he left Apple. He even offered Jobs to buy failing Apple for him while Jobs was heading NeXT, but Jobs respectfully refused stating that he wants Apple to turn to him for help first. When later Jobs became the CEO of Apple again, he asked Larry to be on the board of directors. Larry agreed, but never showed up for the meetings. Jobs jokingly ordered a cardboard cutout of Ellison and placed it next to Larry's empty chair during the boardroom meetings.
The movie omits several things that marked the career of Steve Jobs and the history of Apple. For instance, the movie never mentions how Jobs got his job at Atari, the famous game development company. Wozniak had built a home-made Pong game for fun. Jobs saw potential in this and went to Atari to show it to them. They loved it so much that they hired Jobs on the spot. Wozniak himself mentions this during his guest appearance on "John Wants Answers", a show that was exploring the authenticity of the movie Jobs. The movie also doesn't mention that Wozniak had built another computer for Apple between Apple 1 and Apple II. It was called PC '76, but it never attracted any investors and it got immediately overshadowed by Apple II. The same thing happened to Apple III, which came out between Apple II and Apple Lisa and also failed to make an impact. One of the most important aspects of Apple history that the movie omits is the impact that technical developments at Xerox company had on Apple. While Apple Lisa was being developed, Jobs heard that Xerox engineers were developing graphic user interface and mouse support for computers, but the heads of Xerox didn't see any use for that. Therefore, Apple immediately made a deal with Xerox and implemented these new technologies into Apple Lisa. Unfortunately, Apple Lisa was a flop on the market, in the end. However, Bill Gates also found out about these innovations at Xerox, so he offered a partnership to Apple, and then copied these new technologies from them without Apple's knowledge and implemented them successfully into Microsoft's new revolutionary computer operating system, Windows. The movie also never mentions Wozniak's infamous plane crash. His private jet, that he himself was piloting at the time, crashed and left him badly hurt and with temporary amnesia and short term memory loss. It took.5 weeks of therapy for him to get his memory back. The movie barely mentions one of Jobs' most trusted employees, his "work wife" Joanna Hoffman, a marketing expert, who became his confidant and top adviser. The movie also skips the NeXT phase of Jobs' career. After leaving Apple when Macintosh failed to bring a profit, he created his own new company "NeXT" and developed a new computer there, the infamous "Black Cube", a stylistic achievement which was meant to be sold to schools and used in education. This project didn't quite work out and the company failed to turn much of a profit in the end. However, Apple was also failing, so Apple eventually offered to buy NeXT and bring NeXT's experienced employees and leaders over to help Apple. Another important moment in Jobs' life that the movie omits is his involvement with the founding of Pixar. The movie also doesn't mention what happened after Jobs refused to give a small cut of the company's stocks to the handful of his original employees, including Kottke. When Wozniak found out about this, he considered it extremely unfair, so he gave some of his own Apple stocks to these people and then put aside another share of Apple stocks for other former Apple employees in order to give them the chance to buy them for reasonable price if they wish. Some, who had nothing to do with the company but knew its value, abused this option by hiring former Apple employees to buy some of these special stocks for them. Josh Gad, who once said he had read Wozniak's autobiographical book three times and plays Steve Wozniak in the movie, asked the filmmakers to include this and other subplots about Wozniak in the script, but they refused, since the movie was "about Jobs".
Steve Wozniak was not a fan of the movie, since in his opinion the script portrayed too many people and events inaccurately.and "missed the point". His former Apple colleague Daniel Kottke, who worked for a time as a consultant on the movie, suggested that the problem might be in the fact that the script was written by a first time scriptwriter, whose father produced the movie. On the other hand, Wozniak quite enjoyed the TV movie from 1999, "Pirates of Silicon Valley", about the founding of Microsoft and Apple. He also kind of liked "Steve Jobs", the 2015 movie, on which he served as a consultant at one point, because the movie in his opinion fictionalized everything, but nailed the personalities of most of those depicted.
Steve Wozniak believes that Macintosh failed to sell because of Jobs' lack of patience to wait for the market to develop and open for their new product. Wozniak added that it took many professional marketing experts promoting the new Apple computer all over the country for Macintosh to hit the sales numbers they needed. He also thinks that while designing the original Macintosh, Jobs never predicted the impact that networking and the Internet would eventually have, so Jobs never bothered to build a system that can successfully support such innovations. This in turn sabotaged Mac II, because it's system was basically an upgrade of Macintosh's. However, Wozniak also blames the Internet Explorer for Macintosh's frequent crashes that many users often complained about. One day, he let his son play with his Macintosh computer and became quite intrigued when the computer's system didn't crash after a while, even though his son was using it to surf the Internet. He then realized that his son had been using a different Internet browser and that everyone who used browsers other than the default Internet Explorer experienced no system crashes.