Jobs was not named Person of the Year by the Financial Times for nothing. There was no market at all for a tablet computer until Jobs pushed one through this year; now, the tablet marketplace is huge and Apple owns it. And despite Antenna-gate, the only mis-step Apple has made (if it was real) in years, the iPhone 4 passed the already amazing records of previous iPhones, going on to pass RIM in the smartphone marketplace and to do more business than all of the more than 100 Android phones put together. By any measure, this was a stellar year for Apple, easily surpassing the excellent year past.
Listen to a little of what the Financial Times had to say about Steve Jobs: “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. 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.” That’s rich praise, well deserved, from one of the most influential financial arbiters in the world.
As noted in a RedOrbit story, the big guns of the tech manufacturing world, like Sony, Samsung, RIM, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell are trying, and failing, to wrest a meaningful chunk of the tablet marketplace away from Apple, Even the hordes of Android iPad clones can’t make a dent. Android has had better luck in the Smartphone market, but it has still taken over 100 Android models to equal the sales of the lone iPhone. That’s why, one supposes, a share of Apple stock rose on price from $10 in 2003 to $320 in 2010. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the success that has made Apple rivals testy indeed, though it has not pushed them to produce even a shadow of the innovation of Apple.