It’s been a busy, bumpy year for Apple since Steve Jobs passed away last October 5. On the up side, the company won a massive jury award against Samsung for patent infringement, and in April it became arguably the most valuable company in history when its market capitalization passed $600 billion for the first time. At the same time, Apple made some rare U-turns in response to flaps over the EPEAT environmental standard and the mapping software on its newest iPhone.
Here are the ten biggest things that happened in the world of Apple over the past 12 months.
October 10, 2011: iPhone 4S flies out the gate
Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S hit one million on the first day, according to Apple, breaking the record set by the iPhone 4. More than four million units are sold over the first three days. Some customers complain that the battery drains too fast,; Apple tackles the issue with a software update.
December 12, 2011: eBook price cartel?
Regulators in Europe accuse Apple and five book publishers of colluding to set prices for e-books. The U.S. files a similar complaint a few months later. In September, Apple and four of the publishers offers to end the dispute in Europe by allowing Amazon.com and other retailers to resume discounts and promotions for at least two years. In the U.S., Apple is expected to go to court over the matter next year.
January 26, 2012: Trouble at the mill
Apple comes under fire when The New York Times publishes a story describing poor working conditions at factories in China, where its products are made. The issue dogs Apple throughout the year, with a subsequent investigation calling out unsafe conditions and worker abuse. A labor group later says that conditions are now improving.
A jury awards Apple $1.05 billion in damages after it wins a massive patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung. The Korean firm has since appealed, claiming juror misconduct. It’s one of numerous court battles Apple is waging against makers of Android smartphones worldwide, including one with Motorola Mobility.
September 12, 2012: Five million iPhone 5s
Apple announces the iPhone 5 with a larger display and support for LTE networking. The reviews are mixed, with some disappointed the phone does not have NFC, but Apple still sells five million iPhone 5s over the first weekend. Soon after, customers start finding inaccuracies in Apple’s mapping software, which replaced Google Maps in iOS 6.
September 28, 2012: Apple Maps loses its way
In an about-face, CEO Tim Cook apologizes for the mapping software problems and Apple posts instructions for how users can access other map services from their device, including Google Maps.