What an year its been for Apple. From being hailed as the most valuable company to the infamous Apple Maps Fiasco, its been an exciting ride for the Cupertino based behemoth. Even with the occasional setback, Apple proved once again why it’s widely regarded as one of the industry’s best innovators. Lets take a look at the most prominent events for Apple in 2012.
1) Tim Cook at the helm
After the tragic death of company’s visionary founder Steve Jobs last October, following his long battle with pancreatic cancer, Tim Cook has taken over for more than a year, and he sure has been busy. Cook has outed new versions of the iPhone, iPad, and iMac, as well the completely new iPad Mini in addition to fighting a long drawn court battle with Samsung. Having recently bagged the runner-up to Time magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year, Things are definitely looking good for Mr Cook.
2) The most valuable company ever.
Close on the heels of becoming the most valuable traded company in the world last year, Apple hit $620B in market cap in August, becoming the most valuable company in history in terms of market capitalization.. However, it must be noted that this figure is not adjusted for inflation. Microsoft still maintains a lead with a value of $850M in the December of 1999.
3) Retina MacBook Pro
Apple released the Retina MacBook Pro models in 15″ and later, a 13″ version, bringing the much-lauded Retina display on to a MacBook for the very first time. The MacBook line was crying out for a major overhaul for a long time now, and Apple finally delivered.
4) Three iPads released (You heard that right!)
Apple have always taken their time in announcing the next iteration of the world’s best-selling Tablet. So it came as a surprise when the Cupertino based company released not one or two, but three iPad models virtually back to back. The New iPad was quickly succeeded by the iPad mini and later by the iPad 4, The iPad mini emerging as almost the unanimous winner amongst the lot.
5) iPhone 5
Putting an end to the innumerable speculations surrounding its release, Apple announced the iPhone with a larger 4″ screen, 4G LTE connectivity, Apple’s A6 chip with 2x faster CPU and 2X faster graphics capabilities, improved battery life, wideband audio and a faster, 8MP camera. Despite a significant backlash from certain quarters who thought Apple had skipped innovation the second time in two years and come up with a ‘boring’ design, the phone has been a massive success.
6) iOS 6
2012 also saw Apple usher in iOS 6, the latest version of its iOS operating system. It included more integration with iCloud and other services like Facebook, along with improvements to Siri, making it a minor, but useful upgrade. What was prominent was Apple’s conscious effort to distance itself from arch rival Google. The YouTube app was removed from the home screen. In the same beat, Apple also removed Google Maps from iOS and replaced it with its own version. Unfortunately, Apple underestimated the task and came up with a service that was far from reliable. This led to unpleasant consequences often dubbed ‘The Apple Map Fiasco’
7) The Apple Map Fiasco
In a move to distance itself from Google, Apple released its homegrown mapping service Apple Maps. Although having decent mechanics, the point-of-interest data specifically had some major issues. There were several cases reported of commuters being left stranded due to incorrect information being provided by the app. This was one major reason why many iPhone users held back from upgrading to iOS 6, that is until Apple restored Google maps back. Though Google recently released an updated version of its maps on iOS, the Apple maps incident has left users with a sore taste in their mouth.
8) Mountain Lion released
Mountain Lion, the latest version of its OS X software for Macs was released earlier this year. Mountain Lion was a minor upgrade, though, and served to integrate many iCloud features and iOS standbys to take advantage of the iDevice halo.
9) iPod touch
Soon after the launch of the iPhone, Apple also announced The next generation iPod Touch. The larger screen and the addition of Siri were two of the more obvious changes, and it now came with the faster A5 processor and just 6.1mm thickness. The camera could now shoot full 1080p HD video.
10) Apple vs Samsung
Apple spend most of the year in court with Samsung over alleged Patent infringement lawsuits. This culminated into a major victory for Apple in August when the Judge found Samsung guilty and ordered it to cough up over $1B in damages. Although no means the end of the legal war between these arch rivals, it’s still a monumental decision in Apple’s favor, and may pave the way for more such victories.