Apple's lows of 2010
Not everything went well for Apple in 2010. Here's our pick of the year's biggest Apple blunders and failures.
1.Gizmodo and the 'lost' iPhone
If you're an Apple employee, leaving your pre-release iPhone 4 in a bar isn't a great idea when there are slightly shifty people lurking. Cue: Gizmodo 'acquiring' the device and amazingly not noticing half the new tech, Apple lawyers getting astonishingly angry, police doing 'policey' things, and a general feeling that Apple had turned into the Big Brother it derided back in 1984.
Apple thought it had made an iPhone with a much-improved antenna. But there was a problem.Other smartphones have similar issues, but they're not so high-profile. Antennagate didn't stop iPhone 4 being huge, but it arguably took the shine off the device and gave Apple's rivals a huge PR victory.
3.The white iPhone
The iPhone 4: in any colour as long as you're a fan of black or white—and don't want a white one. Comically delayed several times, the white iPhone 4 abruptly disappeared from Apple's marketing material towards the end of 2010, with Apple having previously cited manufacturing challenges (although rumours still cling to the belief it'll appear 'soon'). Apple should just officially shoot it in the head and tell fans of white to wait for iPhone 5.
Don't hold your breath waiting for a white iPhone 4, or you'll expire.
The social network that isn't social and is trapped inside the lumbering beast that is iTunes, Ping never stood a chance. No-one cared, no-one really knew what it was for, and even its recent hook-up with Twitter has merely turned Ping into a Twitter spamming service, not an essential for social networking nuts.
We made up a name for this one, but, yes, we really are saying that Apple changing the iPad screen orientation lock to a pointless 'mute some noises but not others' switch is a 2010 low for the company. The reason: Apple took something usable and great, then removed it on a whim, and even though the change was made in software there's no setting to revert it. This shows the arrogant side of Apple is always bubbling under the surface, ready to strike.
The revamped Apple TV is tiny, affordable and filled with iOS unicorns. Sadly, said unicorns are nailed to a fence, so you can't install apps on the headless iPod touch; additionally, the new Apple TV pushes a rental-only model (bar streaming from a computer), and offers few TV shows to rent. (If you're outside of the US, 'few' means 'none at all', along with 'and by the way, no Netflix or equivalent either'). Expect Apple TV to be a 'high' of 2011, but for now it's a damp squib.
7.Lower Apple margins
Due to the nature of the products Apple's selling and it making the likes of the iPad more affordable than everyone expected, the company announced its margins had again dropped in 2010. This is a low only in the sense that it was widely misreported as 'Apple is doomed' by lots of clueless analysts, ignoring Apple's insanely high profits. Margins will drop again in 2011—expect analysts to claim Steve Jobs will be working in a fast-food outlet by 2012.
Best filed under 'maybe they'll fix it later', iOS 4.2's AirPrint devolved from a must-have feature to a near-disaster. In late betas, you could print from any shared printer; in the final release, only a tiny handful of HP printers were compatible.
Without doubt the saddest Apple-related story in 2010 was a spate of suicides at Foxconn, the Chinese company that manufactures many Apple products. Arguments raged about working conditions and cheap labour, and many were quick to note that Foxconn customers include other high-profile names, such as HP and Sony. However, the press mostly associates Foxconn with Apple, and despite Foxconn raising wages its and Apple's reputations were tarnished from the more than dozen suicides.
10.Steve Jobs is not a ninja
With his penchant for black (turtlenecks), we did wonder if Steve Jobs was a ninja, and stories about him sneaking shuriken out of Japan seemed to support this idea. Sadly, Apple later stated that the incident was "pure fiction".