December 28, 2011
2011 – The Year Of The Apple
2011 was a year in Apple's history that saw a legend become immortalized and innovation keep expanding beyond our imaginations.
Apple started off the year hot, with the release of its Mac App Store and the announcement of the Verizon iPhone 4. The company had an exclusive agreement with AT&T, and Verizon became the first company to break that trend and offer the iPhone on its own network.Just two weeks into the year, Apple's co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs took another medical leave of absence to keep battling a health condition that had plagued him since October 2003.
With Tim Cook as the man left to run Apple's day-to-day operations, the company pressed on with their fearless leader in the background, continuing to push technology past the concept of limitless.
Jobs made an appearance during a media event on March 2 to give everyone a peak at the iPad 2. This device broke boundaries laid out by the original iPad with its size and speed, while introducing FaceTime video conferencing.
The iPad 2 went on sale in the U.S. on March 11, 2011, later taking over 83 percent of the tablet computing market in the U.S. for the year.
The Apple tablet has become such an industry-accepted device, that even the Federal Aviation Administration approved it for in-cockpit use to cut down on the paper consumption. Alaska Airlines become the first airline to replace pilots' paper manuals with iPads in 2011, and since then over a dozen airlines have followed suit.
The release of the iPad 2 happened to also coincide with the devastating Japan tsunami and earthquake. Not only did this event cause a confirmed 15,842 deaths, but it also led to many delays in product announcements and releases in the technology industry, including Apple's annual summer iPhone release.
Instead of its usual early-summer iPhone announcement, Apple announced a more detailed look into its latest operating system Lion and its iOS 5 smartphone software at WWDC 2011.
Its new Mac operating system was released on July 20, which saw over 1 million sales that day. As of October 2011, the latest and greatest OS system by the world's largest tech-company had seen six million downloads through its Mac App Store.
Apple advertises it as the "world's most advanced OS" and says that it comes equipped with over 250 new features.
Jobs took the stage again during the event to announce iCloud, the company's first step into the cloud computer industry. ICloud was released alongside iOS 5, but the software just gives a glimpse into how Apple plans on utilizing itself in a brand new way in the future.
Just a month later, the company that has seemed to have had an unlimited amount of success reached yet another feat by becoming the world's most valuable company. Apple's stock surpassed Exxon Mobile to grab the title on August 9.
However, as this news began to set in and the future of Apple started to look more plump than ever, Jobs resigned his position as CEO of the company.
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple´s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come." These famous words would be the last comments made to the Apple community by their notorious leader.
Apple's stock price dropped five percent over night in after-hours trading following the announcement, but gained momentum as talk about a new iPhone started to persist weeks later.
Invitations for Apple's "Let's Talk iPhone" event were sent out to media for October 4, 2011 in Cupertino, California.
It was at this event that the company's new CEO, Tim Cook, made his first product announcement without Apple's co-founder by his side.
Cook unveiled a device that sold over a million units within just the first 24 hours of pre-orders.
The 16-month delay between iPhones had finally come, but the biggest news of the year, and of the company's history, hit just 24-hours after this announcement.
Jobs´ 8-year battle with pancreatic cancer ended on October 5, leaving behind a legendary reputation in the tech-world, but a hole in the hearts of many fans.
For the rest of the year, Apple saw continued success with all of its products, and its stock price has risen nearly $80.
Apple dominated Google's Zeitgeist in 2011, with nearly every category either having Steve Jobs and/or various products sitting in top 10 spots throughout the lists.
Rumors continue to circulate about what products Apple may bring to the table in 2012, including a television, an iPad 3 and an iPhone 5 featuring a larger screen. However, one thing remains clear in the face of the uncertainty of the company's future, and that is 2011 was the year of the Apple.
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