This year was exceptionally interesting for Apple in many ways. For starters, this was the first full year under CEO Tim Cook and there were many big announcements, any in themselves enough to highlight a year. With Apple, when is one ever enough? Here's a highlight reel of what the company brought to the technology landscape and the challenges it faced in 2012.
One Year Later with Tim Cook
2012 saw the first full year of Tim Cook in his tenure as Apple CEO. He had to deal with internal problems, software issues, and lacklustre hardware, something of a rarity for his predecessor Steve Jobs. One of his biggest challenges to date was dealing with the internal struggle between design visionary Jony Ive and the headstrong Scott Forstall.
Apple Loses Its Way with Maps
One of the biggest surprises of Apple's 2012 was the failure and lackluster performance of iOS6 Maps. People were losing their way, roads led straight into oceans, and buildings sprouted in the middle of a freeway. The fallout was so quick that Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for Apple's Maps, promising to fix them and suggesting alternatives in the meantime.
2012 saw the tension between Jony Ive and Scot Forstall come to a head. Tim Cook decisively played his card and reshuffled the corporate deck. When the cards were settled, Forstall was on the outside looking in and Sir Jony Ive was the undisputed head of design. Along with Forstall, Cook later removed Roger Williamson as well. On the positive side, SVP Eddie Cue was added to Ferrari's Board of Directors.
Apple released the latest version of its iPhone in the form of the widely anticipated iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 was not without its problems however, spawning backlash from users across the globe and prompting Apple to usher its replacement, the iPhone 5S, into early production.
Apple "shocked" the world upon the release of the all new iPad Mini. Going back, this was the size of tablet the late Steve Jobs said Apple would never make. After lackluster launch sales figures, the Mini slowly started to take off, making it THE must have Apple gift under the tree during the holiday season.
Retina, Retina, Retina
2012 was the year of the Retina Display from Apple. We first saw it with the release of the iPhone 4. This year we get it in the iPad, 13" Macbook Pro, and the all new iMacs. I don't expect it will be long before every Apple product sports an incredibly clear Retina Display.
You Win Some, You Lose Some
One of the biggest lawsuits in the history of technology drew to a close this year with a jury in the US awarding Apple a $1.05 Billion settlement against Samsung for infringing on their design patents. The case may soon go to appeal as Samsung and Apple have both learned that the USPTO has ruled Apple's "Pinch to Zoom" claim to be invalid. What a year 2013 will be in the courtroom.