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Christmas Gift Guide

MacBook heir

In Jobs' shadow

Cook's big wins

Exploring new worlds?

Big screen, big profits

Play something new

Green Apple

Not the iPhone

Pushing for privacy

What's next?

Under tremendous pressure to continue the innovative performance record forged by Steve Jobs, Tim Cook officially took over as CEO of Apple five years ago, with looming questions about his ability to deliver.

As Cook celebrates his fifth anniversary as chief, questions still linger.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

At the end of his reign, Steve Jobs prophesized that "Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it."

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Yes, Cook has had some successes -- the larger iPhone 6, for one. The device propelled Apple to record profits. The company is also more vocal about causes like the environment and gay rights.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

But what Cook has primarily done is make refinements to products and services, like Apple TV and the iPad. While those tweaks are appreciated, the company hasn't exactly broken new ground.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin

Cook's biggest win has been Apple's old big win: the iPhone. The company has expanded the lineup and now offers three new iPhones each year: the 4.7-inch iPhone, the 5.5-inch Plus and the 4-inch SE. Getting into bigger devices with the iPhone 6 in 2014 helped Apple become the most profitable company in the world.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Cook has pushed Apple into new services, including Apple Pay for mobile payments and the Apple Music streaming service. But Apple Music has had a bumpy introduction.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Apple has moved to make itself "greener" too, with the goal of running all its operations on renewable energy (it hit 93 percent in 2015).

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Perhaps Cook's splashiest endeavor, the Apple Watch has nevertheless been slow out of the gate, at least when compared with famous Apple products such as the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Presenting Apple as a privacy guardian, Cook took a stand against the FBI when the bureau insisted the company crack into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

He said Apple has "no sympathy for terrorists," but he called the use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to try to force Apple's hand an "overreach" by the US government.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

For now Apple's livelihood is tied to the iPhone. This year the company's overall sales may well dip as iPhone sales decline for the first time ever. A bad sign? Or just a minor bump in the road?

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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