While most of us were having a horrible year, with lives and jobs up-ended by the global pandemic, tech companies sailed through 2020, buoyed by a stock market completely divorced from reality and consumers in need of products and software to do work and school at home. Apple was one such company, breaking its own revenue record for the year ($274.5 billion) and becoming the first American company to hit a $2 trillion market cap. Forbes named the company the most valuable in the world for 2020, and according to Bloomberg, Apple was the “best performer among the largest technology stocks” this year. The company could’ve coasted on the fact that many of its products, like Macs and iPads, have become essential for people working and schooling at home and simply cashed its checks. But 2020 was also a game-changer for the company’s products: a year in which it consolidated its Mac stack in-house, built out its services, made its cheaper products better than ever, and rounded out its lineup of core devices with accessories people actually want.
That’s not to say 2020 was a complete success. Apple also found itself in a legal tussle with Epic Games over its App Store commission, in the crosshairs of regulators due to antitrust allegations, and in a fight with Facebook over new privacy policies in iOS.
Here are Apple’s biggest hits and most cringeworthy moments of 2020.
So, So Many Products
While the rest of us were hanging on by a thread, trying to make sense of a senseless pandemic, Apple adapted to 2020 with aplomb. In-person events canceled? No problem; pre-record and stream product launches for everyone to watch. Retail stores closed? That’s OK; online shopping is a way of life now. Supply chain disruptions? Hell, those just contributed to the iPhone 12 hype even as they pushed the lineup’s launch back and caused the company to take a revenue hit in Q4. (We won’t know how many iPhones 12 Apple sold until its Q1 earnings report in January.)
But Apple began the year with a trickle of announcements. We saw a new…