This year 2011 has been sounded for Apple . There has been a lot of important news, and even events that have marked a before and after for the history of the company. New iPad, new iPhone, new iPod, Siri, iCloud, iTunes Match, the new Apple Store, the death of Steve Jobs… it has certainly been a busy year. And we at Apple have noticed.
Of all this news and events, what can we keep? What is the most important? It doesn’t hurt to select a list of the most important memories for Apple in 2011. After the jump you can read that list, which for me consists of seven key events (the last one of them more focused on Spain), that make this 2011 a very special year for good and bad. Here we go.
The disappearance of Xserve
Apple’s decision to stop selling its professional server along with the lack of Mac pro updates prompted consumers of the platform to launch one of the most widely heard criticisms this year: Is Apple forgetting about the professional market in favour of the large mass of users?
The company responded that it stopped selling Xserves because they simply weren’t selling (and from Steve Jobs himself), but the commotion that formed when they disappeared was not exactly discreet. Still, other Mac OS X-ready servers took over. Apple launched other servers, too, but left the professional field to adapt Mac mini and Mac Pro. OS X Lion Server has also been dramatically reduced in price by taking advantage of the Mac App Store.
The appearance of the Mac App Store
And while we’re on the subject of the Mac App Store… almost a year ago we were able to use it for the first time as a gift of kings in OS X Snow Leopard. This store marked the beginning of the disappearance of physical media for software, at least for Apple, and proof of this is the new versions of Final Cut and Logic leaving the installation DVD. At the same time, more and more Macs are being redesigned to do away with the optical drive reader.
The Mac App Store has recently made headlines in the media, precisely because it reached 100 million downloads in less than a year. If things keep going this way, Apple will be able to boast another record-breaking online software store in addition to the App Store.
The launch of the iPad 2 and the confirmation of the Post-PC era
Apple was very clear when it announced the keynote: 2011 was going to be the year of the iPad 2 for many Android tablets called iPad-killer that the competition would bring out. And so it has been: the second generation of the Apple tablet has ended up occupying 95% of the tablet market, a share that even the success of the iPhone has not achieved. With the third generation of the iPad approaching, Apple has a promising path ahead of it.
The launch of Siri
Siri starred in the launch of the new iPhone 4S, becoming the main attraction of the new phone. Many have considered it as the first voice assistant that can be used efficiently, without absurd misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the voice. Who hasn’t wanted to try it out just by having an iPhone 4S in their hands?
One sign that Apple may have scored another with Siri is that the competition has been quick to imitate it, with Tellme from Microsoft and Majel from Android. For the moment, it’s not that they’re working too well, so they’re back in the lead with Cupertino. And the future looks good, with that rumoured TV that could be controlled by our voice.
The launch of iCloud
iCloud represents Apple’s definitive step to enter the cloud as all companies have already done. We have to apply again what was already said in a keynote: “We are late, but we are the best”. No streaming, no spending weeks uploading content to servers. Goodbye to synchronization, goodbye to cables.
Best of all, very few apps are yet realizing the full potential of iCloud (Downcast is one of them), and 2012 promises to be a year in which many apps will adopt the Apple cloud as a place to keep all our content in sync, plus Mac apps themselves may undergo exciting changes to accommodate this new mode of synchronization.
The death of Steve Jobs
One of the toughest news stories of the year globally, and in the world of Mac users perhaps one of the toughest they’ve ever heard: Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, left us one afternoon on October 5th with his wife and children as his legacy. We still remember those days with pain.
Apple honored its CEO for weeks on its official website with the messages that the crews were leaving, in addition to holding a special event for the employees on Cupertino’s campus. There was also no lack of phrases and tributes flooding the windows of Apple stores around the world, including the two in Spain.
Apple’s future without Steve Jobs has always been uncertain for more than one fan of the company’s products and services, but with a Tim Cook sitting on the CEO’s throne and all the experience gained from years of working side by side with Steve, all indications are that the co-founder was right when he said “Apple’s best days are yet to come.
The Apple Store Boom in the UK
In 2010 we saw, in just one week of difference, the birth of the first two Spanish Apple Stores in Barcelona and Madrid. These two openings marked the end of an era where everyone thought that the Apple Store was a matter for the Americans and a few other luckier countries.
However, the company’s expansion has meant that this 2011 we will see not only the opening of three more stores in Madrid, Marbella and Valencia; but also that the world of news about Apple’s emblematic stores will flourish in Spain. We have news of more stores under construction in Barcelona, Madrid (with complications in the licensing of buildings and everything) and Murcia. And what we still don’t know, of course: I’m sure Apple is already studying locations for more and more stores.
And what does the future hold? New products of all kinds, more evolution, more Apple Stores… in a global economy where everything is going down Apple continues to break records of profits and success. Let’s hope it continues to do so in 2012 and for many years to come.
Vasile Cotovanu, Peter Alfred Hess y Brandon Carson