Apple’s 2011 in Pictures
- January 4th, 2012
- WoA Feature Articles
- Alex Brooks
2011 was a truly momentous year for Apple in many ways, during the year that has just passed the company released an unprecedented number of products in terms of both hardware and software cementing its place as the world’s most popular consumer electronics company. Apple also continued to rake in huge profits, at times climbing to be the most valuable public trading company in the United States.
Apple also suffered personnel changes with the loss of a number of key members of senior management, most notably Bertrand Serlet earlier in the year and Ron Johnson towards the end, both of these departures were of course hugely outweighed by the death of co-ounder and CEO Steve Jobs in October.
To mark such a great year for Apple I’m going to recap a number of key events with a series of images, so let’s start right at the beginning of the year.
Apple kicked off the year with big ambitions, after initially announcing its intentions to release an App Store for the Mac the company finally made the software available on January 6, 2011. Whilst initially only available for Snow Leopard the software was a key feature of OS X Lion which was released later in the year.
January also marked a massive milestone for the original App Store with over 10 billion apps being downloaded as of January 22nd. By October 2011 this number had climbed to 18 billion downloads and showed no sign of slowing. The App Store was initially made available for the iPhone in July 2008 and later the iPad in early 2010.
February saw the biggest shake up in the US mobile market since the original release of the iPhone in 2007. Ever since the release of the iPhone in June 2007 it was only available on AT&T in the US, February saw this exclusivity end and Apple released a CDMA compatible handset which worked on Verizon. By the end of 2011 AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all sold the iPhone in the US.
Steve Jobs was granted his third medical leave as CEO of Apple early in January 2011 and as ever his health was shrouded in mystery, his first public appearance since the announcement of his medical leave was this photo released by the White House on February 17 which showed the back of Jobs’ head whilst joining a dinner attended by President Barack Obama and technology leaders.
Despite his medical leave Steve Jobs took to the stage on March 2 to unveil the second-generation iPad. Shipping on March 11 the iPad 2 was markably thinner than the original and packed many improved technologies.
Apple released its first Macs with Thunderbolt in 2010 but 2011 saw the ultra-fast connection technology come to Apple’s desktop based iMac for the first time. During the rest of 2011 the Thunderbolt made it into every consumer Mac, but the Mac Pro remains notably left out not seeing a single update during 2011.
June saw Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference kick off in San Francisco. Unlike previous years the 2011 WWDC keynote unveiled no hardware which moved Apple away from its annual iPhone release schedule. Instead Steve Jobs and other Apple executives took to the stage and showed off iOS 5, iCloud and OS X Lion.
The day after the WWDC 2011 keynote Steve Jobs appeared at a Cupertino City Council meeting to unveil the company’s plans to build a brand new headquarters down the road from its current main building; Apple originally announced its intentions to build the new headquarters in 2006.The headquarters which have yet to be fully approved by Cupertino City Council look a lot like a spaceship and will house 13,000 Apple employees across the four-storied building.
On July 20 the next major version of Apple’s Mac operating system was made available to the public. The release marked a major shift in the distribution of software as it was only available via Apple’s Mac App Store and required an up-to-date version of Snow Leopard to be installed first. Apple also dropped the Mac from the operating system’s name with the official name listed as ‘OS X Lion’.
On August 24 Steve Jobs announced his immediate resignation as Apple CEO. He was appointed chairman of the board and Tim Cook who was already acting CEO became the seventh CEO of Apple.
Steve Jobs, August 24 2011:
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.
On October 4 Tim Cook took to the stage and unveiled the iPhone 4S in-front of a crowd of invited media in Cupertino. The iPhone 4S went on sale in seven countries on October 14. The headline feature of the iPhone 4S was Siri an automated voice control system but the handset also included Apple’s updated A5 processor as well as a redesigned antenna and packing both CDMA and GSM chips making the 4S the first “world phone” from Apple.
Just one day after Tim Cook announced the new iPhone 4S on October 5, Apple released a statement stating that co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs had died. The news of Jobs’ death spread around the globe with a visible outpouring of grief from many walks of life. Apple Stores all had flowers, candles and half bitten Apple’s left outside and Jobs’ house and Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters were engulfed in flowers and messages of grief and sadness.
Tim Cook, October 5 2011:
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
October 12 saw the public release of iOS 5 and iCloud. iOS 5 was one of the biggest software releases Apple has ever endeavoured upon and packed over 200 new features most notably iMessage, Notification Center, Newsstand, PC-free syncing and iCloud integration. The release of iCloud also saw Apple make another big stride into the cloud offering a number of key features including Photo Stream, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match and iOS device backup and restore. iCloud was said to be in use by over 20 million users in under a week of becoming available.
Despite Apple head of retail Ron Johnson departing to JC Penney in November, Apple continued to open magnificent stores around the world. 2011 saw major external changes to Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store with the glass-cube being disassembled and rebuilt with fewer pieces of glass. Apple also opened another Manhattan based store, this time in Grand Central Terminal.
2011 ended on a high with the Queen of the United Kingdom announcing that veteran Apple chief of design Jonathan Ive would be knighted as part of the annual honours list. The British designer joined Apple in 1997 and is the name behind many iconic designs such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Looking forward to 2012 it seems that Apple shows no sign of letting up. Apple is set to report another record breaking quarter of financials later this month and within the calendar quarter will release a new iPad. As the year progresses Apple will most continue to updates its Macs, software and iOS device hardware offerings. Rumours also suggest that Apple may make further endeavours into television, books and publications.