Apple Talk: Good times, bad times for Apple in 2010

All the pyrotechnics from the iPad sky rocket to the Ping damp squib…

From the highs of the iPad and iPhone 4 launches to the lows of Antennagate and the amazing vanishing white smartphone, Seb Janacek looks back over the events that made 2010 such a memorable year for Apple.

One of the slides in Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote presentation in January featured an illustration of Moses and the caption: "Last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it."

The tech world, and a large proportion of the rest of the world's press, had that month descended on San Francisco to witness the unveiling of the most anticipated consumer tech launch in recent times.

There was no point in Steve Jobs being coy about it and doing a big reveal. In fact, if he hadn't got quickly to the point, the masses would have taken to the stage and torn him apart, such was the eagerness to see the semi-mythical Mac tablet - the iPad.

"A magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price," trumpeted Apple's press release. The iPad was unveiled on 27 January and is already having a profound effect on consumer and corporate technology sectors.

Steve Jobs at the iPad launch

With the Apple iPad, Steve Jobs unveiled one of the most eagerly awaited products of recent times
(Photo credit: James Martin/CNET)

The iPad ran the same touch-based operating system as the iPhone and many of the same apps, but some people thought it disappointing, however. It lacked essential tablet features, such as two cameras and multitasking and all the other things proper tablets needed to have to qualify as proper geek-love candy. But then geeks weren't really Apple's quarry.

The iPad launched in the US in April and - due to delays caused by demand - in the UK and other territories at the end of May. An Apple media advisory stated: "Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted... Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May."

I managed to play with an iPad before the May launch and, despite earlier reservations, I was impressed: 30 minutes of playing with the iPad left me wondering whether it was a new way of computing.

When it went on sale in the US April, it sold more than 300,000 units on the first day and half a million within the first week. It passed the two million mark within two months and has totally dominated the tablet market. In its first quarter alone it became Apple's third biggest revenue stream behind the iPhone and the Mac, easily passing the iPod.

February marked another milestone with the 10 billionth track bought from iTunes. For the record, it was Guess Things Happen That Way by Johnny Cash.

March opened on a sombre note with the death of Apple director Jerry York who joined the board at about the same time as...