Apples Year in Review: iPhone 3GS, Snow Leopard, Jobs Comeback

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Apples Year in Review: iPhone 3GS, Snow Leopard, Jobs Comeback

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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Apple's 2009 kicked off with a pair of open letters from CEO Steve Jobs, the first declaring that he was suffering from a "hormone imbalance," and the second that he was taking six months off. Rampant speculation as to his health—and the health of Apple as a company—exploded.

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Throughout the year, Apple continued to have a strong seller in the smartphone market with the iPhone. The iPhone 3GS, shown here, sold more than a million units within its first three days of release in June.

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Apple refreshed many of its product lines throughout the year, including "Snow Leopard," an update to the company's OS that included many under-the-hood improvements such as a boost in application speed.

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During the course of 2009, Apple's App Store expanded to more than 100,000 mobile applications, with the company claiming some 2 billion downloads. Outsiders have recently called for a more transparent and stringent review process for developers.

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Apple also refreshed its iPod line, adding an FM radio and video camera to the iPod Nano. Despite rising sales of Macs and iPhones, the iPod line saw a decline in units shipped by the end of 2009, thanks to what the company called "cannibalization" of its traditional iPod line by the iPod Touch and the iPhone.

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Despite its reputation as a consumer-oriented tech company, Apple attempted to make inroads with businesses in 2009, offering functionality such as Snow Leopard support for Microsoft Exchange Server. A number of business-centric apps also found their way into the App Store.

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Steve Jobs made his first post-illness public appearance on Sept. 9, taking the stage during an Apple event to announce new features for the iPod and iTunes. During the summer, Jobs had undergone a liver transplant in Tennessee.

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Phil Schiller demonstrates Apple's positioning of the iPod Touch during the September presentation. In addition to updating its product lines, Apple is rumored to be developing a tablet PC for release in 2010.

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In addition to aesthetics, Apple concentrated in 2009 on boosting the processing power of its machines. Seen here is the 27-inch iMac, the processor options for which include a 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.

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Apple's hardware releases in 2009 included the Magic Mouse, a wireless multitouch mouse that lets the user interface with a PC through gestures such as finger swipes.

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Apple also released Safari 4, its newest browser update.

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Apple expanded its retail footprint in 2009, and plans to continue that trend in 2010 with between 40 and 50 new stores scheduled to open worldwide. Shown here is Apple's store on Manhattan's Upper West Side, which opened in November.

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