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Inside Apple's 2011: Steve Jobs' achievements, battles and crises

Jobs unveils new Apple campus

The next day after his early June WWDC appearance, Jobs made a third appearance at the Cupertino City Council to outline his plans for Apple Campus 2, a project to convert HP's abandoned Pruneridge campus into a tree covered green space surrounding a circular building larger than the Pentagon, capable of housing more than 12,000 workers.

Apple land Cupertino

Apple headquarters 2.0 rendering

Apple campus rendering

Apple campus rendering

Apple loses Steve Jobs, continues his vision

While Apple's most blockbuster year ever, in 2011 the company lost its co-founder at the peak of his accomplishments. Just two weeks after Apple surpassed the market capitalization of Exxon Mobil to become the most valuable public company, Jobs announced he could "no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO," and recommended that Tim Cook serve as his replacement.

Jobs continued to sit on Apple's board as Chairman until October 5, when the company announced Jobs had passed away, just one day after announcing his final product to see released at Apple, the iPhone 4S packing the Siri technology he had presided over the development of through the past year.

Two as yet unreleased projects Jobs also oversaw that have not yet been fully released as products involve two other acquisitions Apple made in 2011. The first, C3 Technologies of Sweden, is a 3D mapping company Apple acquired in August, and the third map-related firm the company has bought up recently.

In 2009, Apple purchased Placebase, a Google Maps competitor, sparking speculation that it was looking to decrease its dependance on Google technology for the Maps application on the iPhone. Last year, it acquired Web-based map company Poly 9, which had developed a "cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe" product. Apple also began using its own databases for location-based services, and posted positions throughout the year looking for applicants to help "radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services."

A second major acquisition by Apple was finalized in December, involving Israeli firm Anobit. While involving the company's "Memory Signal Processing" technology for optimizing the reliability, performance, efficiency and endurance of flash memory, the purchase appears to dovetail into a series of acquisitions Apple has made in the past half decade involving chip design, including Intrinsity in 2010 and P.A. Semi in 2008. Those acquisitions appear to have contributed to the development of Apple's A5, which were used to power this year's iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

Chipworks 3

Apple under Tim Cook

Apple continues under Cook, who Jobs recommended as chief executive after serving Apple for 13 years as its chief operations officer. Cook turned around the company's operational mess and turned Apple into a brutally competitive machine, making key, billion dollar investments in components and technologies. Cook's deft handling of Apple's operations, while also managing portions of Jobs' executive role throughout the year as his health worsened, enabled Apple to weather such storms as the earthquakes and tsunamis that devastated Japan and shut down key component manufacturing there.

Cook also managed Apple's operations through flooding in Thailand that disrupted the manufacture of hard drives (although many of Apple's key products now use sold state memory rather than conventional disks) and targeted the handling of regional crises such as Hurricane Irene, which shut down retail stores on the East Coast.

Cook's Apple itself has disrupted the global market, shifting demand away from disk drives and DRAM and toward NAND flash memory while features such as the company's aluminum unibody designs have left "Ultrabook" competitors incapable of delivering competitive products.

A report by the Wall Street Journal described Cook as molding Apple with a more streamlined operating structure with improved internal communication, and Cook has expressed a strong regard for the principles of supplier responsibility in labor and human rights, health and safety, the environment, ethics, and management commitment among the companies Apple does business with, promising to perpetuate the culture Jobs instilled in the company he crafted.

Inside Apple's 2011: Mac hardware and Mac OS X
Inside Apple's 2011: iPod, iPhone & iPad
Inside Apple's 2011: iOS, Apps & iCloud