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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Culture

Year in review: Apple's harvest

In 2002, the company took chances with an all-in-one computer design, brought its iPod to Windows and unleashed a new version of Mac OS X. But it wasn't immune to the overall PC malaise.

 







From iMac to Jaguar

Apple unveils new products, struggles with sales.


Ever bold and innovative, Apple Computer started the year with the introduction of the iMac, an all-in-one computer with a flat-panel screen.

With equal audacity, the company was forced to raise prices for the machine--even as sales began to sag--and then cut them again, despite higher costs for memory and LCD (liquid-crystal display) panels.

Apple's iPod music player, introduced late in 2001, experienced a crescendo in 2002 as the company unveiled devices with more memory, as well as a Windows-compatible version. Even Dell Computer, a bitter rival in the education market, started selling the slick MP3-playing device.

Apple expanded beyond its typical markets, launching its first rack-mounted server. The company's retail store effort came into its own, with more than 50 outlets opened by the end of the year.

On the software front, the company unveiled Jaguar, a new version of Mac OS X. The software included a number of new features such as iChat instant messaging, an improved e-mail program and handwriting-recognition technology.

Customers cried out, however, when the company announced plans to start charging for its iTools service, which it renamed .Mac. Even as consumers rallied to sign a petition protesting the decision, Apple said it managed to attract 180,000 subscribers as of October.

Nevertheless, the Mac maker was not immune to the overall PC malaise, cutting jobs in small numbers during the year. The company did manage to acquire several small businesses, however, mostly in the graphics arena.

--Ian Fried


Fancy iMac for $100 more
Citing the rising cost of flat panels and memory, Apple raises the price of its flat-panel iMac by $100. The unique design doesn't win a lot of fans, however.

March 20, 2002

Steve Jobs sings praises of MPEG-4
The CEO sits down with News.com to talk about Apple's plans for the video technology and what's next for QuickTime.

June 5, 2002

"Real People" ad seeks PC crowd
The overall advertising campaign, Jobs says, was intended to show consumers that they wouldn't get stranded on a technology island if they switch to Apple.

June 9, 2002

Are Mac users smarter?
A research firm finds that the Apple faithful are more Web-savvy and tend to buy more goods online. PC companies frown on the findings.

July 12, 2002

First .Net, then .Mac
The company's iTools Web services now come with a price tag. Mac fans say the offering isn't worth the cash. Apple admits it's taking a chance.

July 17, 2002

Jaguar software set to prowl
Apple envisions Mac OS X 10.2 winning Windows users over to the Mac, but that goal may not be an easy one to reach. In too many ways, analysts say, the operating system upgrade plays catch-up with Windows XP.

August 23, 2002

Macworld's return to Boston sours Apple
What's Macworld without Apple? One bruised fruit, apparently. The company says, however, that it will participate in Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

October 17, 2002

Dell to begin selling iPod
The draw of Dell's online store for Apple, and the lure of the iPod for Dell, were enough to convince the bitter rivals to set aside their differences.

October 30, 2002

 


• Jobs: Flat-panel iMacs on the way
• All-in-one eMac introduced
• Apple serves up rack-mounted server
• Steve Jobs: Rolling with the punches
• Are iMac sales flattening out?
 
• Apple nabs another video software firm
• Apple aims for Uncle Sam connection
• Microsoft regrets Mac-to-PC ad
• Xserve storage unit delayed
• Nine lives for Mac OS 9