Posted by Karen Haslam 17 December 2014
Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014
I was recently asked to come up with an event, trend or new product that was particularly significant in 2014. Being the editor of Macworld makes Apple my specialist subject, and there is never a shortage of events and breakthroughs in the Apple world, so it's kind of difficult to choose the most significant. I've managed to get it down to three things.
What do you think were the most significant tech-related events or trends to have happened in 2014? Tell us in the comments.
Read what we think the biggest Apple news in 2015 will be here.
1. Throughout 2014 Apple reduced prices across its range of Macs. Then in its final quarter financial results the company reported more revenue from Mac sales than iPad sales. What’s really interesting is the fact that while Apple was selling more and more Macs, the rest of the PC industry was seeing declining sales. While everyone is fixated on slowing tablet sales, Apple is bucking the trend and selling more Macs. Perhaps the personal computer isn’t dead yet.
Going further to ensure that Macs remain popular, Apple has added a number of new features to iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that benefit those customers who own products across the whole ecosystem. If you own a Mac, iPhone and iPad then you are able to enjoy Continuity features such as Handoff, which allows better integration of apps on your different devices. Yet another reason to buy a Mac.
2. In October Tim Cook wrote a column for Bloomberg Businessweek publicly announcing that he is gay. This made him the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but what was most significant was his motivation for coming out. He wrote: "If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy."
Apple’s aspiration for equal opportunities doesn’t stop here though - this year Apple also announced a scheme where it would allow its female staff to freeze their eggs. While some people have reacted negatively, suggesting that this means that Apple is encouraging women to put off motherhood, the real effect is likely to allow those women who would naturally have put off motherhood to further their careers, to parent their own children. By encouraging egg freezing Apple is raising awareness of the fact that no matter how young and healthy a women appears to be, over a certain age her eggs will not be as viable as they would have been earlier in her life.
3. For a couple of years now Apple has been criticized for the fact that, while Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers were selling larger phablet-style phones, Apple was still insisting that the 4in iPhone was the perfect size. In 2014 Apple changed its tune, selling not only the 4.7in iPhone 6, but also adding the iPhone 6 Plus, at a hand-dwarfing 5.6in, to the line up. In my opinion the iPhone 6 Plus is too big – although perhaps it’s the perfect size for some people who found the iPad mini too big.
As for the iPhone 6, I’m not completely convinced that the bigger size is a benefit, and I’ve been suffering from a bit of RSI since I’ve been using it, but if Gartner’s figures are correct, Apple’s sales have been growing since the launch, and that growth has been at the expense of Samsung.