It’s been a busy year for Apple.
For those who follow Apple and buy up the company’s products with each new release, 2017 was a hallmark year. Those folks got their hands on the “next generation” of Apple iPhones, have had the opportunity to buy the most powerful Mac ever released, and have seen the spaceship campus that will play host to its creations for the next few decades. Apple also ended the year with promises for big things in 2018, including a new smart home speaker and a Mac Pro that could outperform its new iMac Pro.
But it wasn’t all good news for Apple (AAPL) itself. Some analysts are concerned about iPhone sales and China is still proving a problem. Apple might be a dominant force in tech, but not even the mighty iPhone maker could sidestep a hefty tax bill in Europe. And as nice as Apple Music might be, its top competitor Spotify is showing no signs of slowing down.
Here’s a quick look back at the biggest Apple events of 2017:
A New Generation of iPhones
Apple ended the year making good on its promise of delivering a “next generation iPhone” with help from the iPhone X. Apple’s device is the first smartphone from the company to ditch the physical home button and offer a face scanner to verify a person’s identity. But at $1,000 to start, it caught the ire of some who say Apple products are still too expensive.
Some Mac Improvements
Apple offered modest Mac upgrades this year, but its biggest launch was the iMac Pro. The computer is the “most powerful Mac ever,” according to Apple, but comes at a price: $5,000 to start. And if you want the most powerful option, it’ll cost you more than $13,000.
Hello, HomePod. See You Soon, HomePod?
The tech giant touted a smart home speaker called HomePod this year as an alternative to devices like Sonos and Amazon Echo. It even promised a December launch. But that didn’t happen and now Apple says it will release the HomePod next year. Let’s hope so.
A Soaring Services Business
Apple’s Services division, which includes Apple Music, App Store, and iTunes, saw its star rise this year. It’s now generating billions of dollars each quarter and might be the most important Apple division going forward.
A New Home
The new Apple campus, called Apple Park, opened this year. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s expensive. Sounds like an Apple kind of place, right?
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China, China, China
Apple’s China division suffered some setbacks this year, with sales declining year over year. But Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter suggested things are turning around and now Apple is bullish about its China operation. Whether it’ll last remains to be seen.
An iPad Rebirth?
Although the iPad has suffered declining sales in recent years, it ended the year strong and started to regain its pulse. If Apple can deliver a big iPad update in 2018, as it’s rumored to be considering, the iPad could make a triumphant return.
Apple Car, Anyone?
Well, it’s official: Apple isn’t building a car. Instead, the company is working on self-driving car technology that could be bundled in other vehicles. Then again, Apple could decide to build a car again next year. Who knows?
Pay Your Taxes
Apple was slapped with a $14.5 billion tax bill this year by the European Commission after the regulator said the company didn’t pay its fair share of taxes. Tim Cook called the levy “total political crap” and has vowed to fight it. Ireland’s on Apple’s side, but will collect the sum and hold it in an escrow account while the parties battle it out.
The Political Apple
Apple has always been political, but 2017 saw the company taking a bigger role in politics. Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized President Donald Trump on multiple occasions on everything from his stance on immigration to climate change. Looking ahead, expect Apple to take a bigger role in the political conversation.