Special: 2007: The Wrapup

Posted on December 28, 2007

2007:The Wrapup
Three things defined 2007 in the world of Apple: The iPhone, Leopard, and the Apple TV. All three had different impacts on the company, pop-culture, and consumers, but those were the big stories. This also caused Apple’s stock to rise to new levels, people to try new things, and of course, some people to be annoyed with things. However, this was a pretty good year to be a Mac user (or iPod user).

January – March

The year started off at Macworld San Francisco with a keynote where the main focus was one product and one product only—the iPhone. The Apple TV was also unveiled, but only got a little bit of face time as opposed to its Cingular AT&T-only-enabled sibling. No doubt both devices were pretty revolutionary, but the iPhone created more questions than answers since it wouldn’t be available until June 29. Still, the idea of having OS X on a pocket-sized device and iPod features and Wi-Fi and that gorgeous screen made it a shoe-in for gadget of the year. The Apple TV was a bit of a disappointment, as it was only usable on HDTVs and it was a bit more expensive than many had hoped. January also saw the iPod shuffle gain new colors. Not much happened in February or March, as people were waiting for both the iPhone and the Apple TV to ship.

April – June

April was another huge month in that a matter of two weeks, iTunes offered DRM-free music, Leopard was delayed, and 100 million iPod were sold.

Besides a refresh here and a refresh there, there wasn’t much lovin’ from Apple on the computer front during the first half of the year.

June saw the addition of YouTube content on the Apple TV and the release of the much-anticipated iPhone. Somewhere in there, there was another keynote about Leopard, and Windows users got Safari. As for the iPhone going on sale, people were lining up and camping out for a few days before to get their hands on the gadget first.

July – September

The second quarter was all about the Mac, starting off on August 7th with the iMac being redesigned a bit to look like an overgrown iPhone on a desk stand (no touchscreen though), iLife ’08 and iWork ’08 introduced (some say 6 months late), and .Mac made slightly more useful. iWork was now a certified Office competitor with the inclusion of Numbers, a spreadsheet program that could also make pretty awesome charts.

iPhone…Apple TV…Mac…something’s missing…that other side of Apple…iPods and iTunes! On August 31, after a tiff with NBC Universal, Apple announced that NBC shows would not be sold on iTunes anymore. This also meant USA Network and Sci-Fi shows, as well. In an event in September, Apple introduced a new iPod nano that was essentially a shrunken video iPod. Also introduced was a new “regular” iPod, now known as the iPod classic, which features a aluminum face and more storage. Also, the iPod and iPhone lines got a bit closer with the iPod touch, what many consider to be a stripped-down phone-less iPhone that is primarily an iPod, but with Safari and Wi-Fi. It can even buy songs on the go, especially with a partnership with Starbucks pimping iTunes songs. Finally, that pesky iPhone dropped in price and Apple gave early adopters the $200 difference back. How nice.

October – December

October meant (finally!) the release of Mac OS X Leopard, and it sold two million copies in the first weekend. Much of the early press was positive and although there have been a few bugs here and there, it’s like any other Mac OS update—new features, same old design.

There was a bit of controversy. First, the menu bar is translucent on machines with good graphics cards, causing some things to be hard to read. The Dock got a weird 3D perspective and the “Stacks” feature was actually less useful than the old way of dealing with folders in the Dock. However, there have been plenty of third-party hacks to fix this.

December was a quiet month for Apple, as well, with the big news being that it won the war on blogs and the value of the stock is going through the roof. The UK, Germany, and France now have iPhones thanks to O2, T-Mobile, and Orange.

No matter how you slice it, 2007 was the best year for Mac users since, well 2006. Now that Apple has expanded its product range and kept things interesting, 2007 might be a hard act to follow, but with the rumors that are circulating about, 2008’s looking pretty good.

See you in 2008.

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