2010: Year of the Apple
What was once Microsoft’s publicly endorsed title now belongs to Apple as the company has really pushed its limit this year. Year 2010, year of the apple, saw Apple CEO Steve Jobs coming back from the dark carrying gleaming devices that has brought the company back on the map.
The launching of Apple’s touchscreen iPad tablet computer and the latest iPhone 4 no doubt has earned the respectful title “world’s most valuable technology company in 2010″, dethroning the Redmond, Washington based Microsoft Corporation.
In didn’t come as a surprise to many when Britain’s Financial Times last week named Jobs its Person of the Year”, after all he was responsible for the company’s resurgence these past few years. His appearance on a San Francisco stage in January to unveil the iPad was hailed by the prestigious newspaper as “the most remarkable comeback in modern business history.”
“It wasn’t simply a matter of the illness that had sidelined him for half the year before, leaving him severely emaciated and eventually requiring a liver transplant,” the FT wrote. “Little more than a decade earlier, both Mr. Jobs’ career and Apple, the company he had co-founded, were widely considered washed up, their relevance to the future of technology written off,” it said.
Even US President Barack Obama has joined in the adulation and praised the 55-year-old chief executive of the Cupertino, California-based gadget-maker, citing him as an perfect exemplar of the virtues of the “free market” at a White House news conference on Wednesday.
“We celebrate somebody like a Steve Jobs, who has created two or three different revolutionary products,” the president said. “We expect that person to be rich, and that’s a good thing.”
The company’s rising fame is not just plain economics as Meeschaert New York analyst Gregori Volokhine told AFP that “Apple’s more than just a company. It’s become a cultural phenomenon. The hard part now will be not to disappoint.”
The iPhone, first introduced back in 2007, was an instant hit but competitors followed suit and began to make touchscreen smartphone as well. The competition was stiff for a while but with the latest version of the touchscreen smartphone, iPhone 4, Apple has regain the market dominance, selling 14.1 million units in the quarter which ended in September, up 91 percent over the same quarter a year earlier.
Meanwhile, iPhone’s sister the iPad also generated a huge percent of the company’s revenue. Hitting the stores in April, Apple has reported to sell more than eight million of this device at the end of September.
So far, other technology firms are trying to catch up with the company’s iconic tablet computer. South Korea’s Samsung released the Galaxy Tab this year, Canada’s Research In Motion, maker of the Blackberry, is also cooking up their own recipe, and US computer giants Hewlett-Packard and Dell is not conceding.
But none has yet to prove capable of preventing Apple from establishing the same dominance over the tablet computer market that it exercises over the MP3 music player scene with the ubiquitous iPod, introduced in 2001.