Mac.Ars, the Mac-focused section of acclaimed PC site Ars Technica, has published an interesting article on the Top 10 Apple stories of 2004. Calling 2004 the year of the iPod, Mac.Ars compiles the remainder of its top 10 list:
- Xserve G5 - With the faster processor, Virginia Techis powerful cluster, and competitive pricing, Apple truly broke into the server space in 2004. Products like Xsan and Xserve RAID only help further.
- Security - Worms, viruses, and spyware garnered much attention on the PC side of things in 2004, but tales of woe were absent for Mac users.
- iBook Repair Program - After some negative publicity from a group of outspoken iBook users who reported similar flaws in their systems, Apple extended a repair program to iBooks out of warranty to correct issues with the logic board.
- Appleis Financial Performance - Shares of Apple soared over 200 percents as revenues jumped accordingly on hot sales of iPods.
- FairPlay and Harmony - FairPlay, Appleis proprietary digital rights management system that it has yet to license to anyone else, became a hot issue for competitors as the iTunes Music Store continued to extend its lead in the online music business. Real fired back with Harmony, a format that worked on iPods (when it comes to DRM, only FairPlay tracks play on the iPod). Months later, an iPod update "broke" Harmony compatibility with the iPod.
- iMac - A delay in the iMac G5 caused Apple to run out of older iMac G4 models, prompting the company to announce the iMac G5 months before it shipped while the computer maker waited almost three months for sales of iMacs to return.
- OMG NEW TOWARS - Mac.Ars uses this mention to note the long delays between Power Mac G5 product updates. Not only was there a long delay, the systems never reached 3GHz as Apple CEO Steve Jobs had promised the year before.
- Component Availability Problems - Parts for Power Macs to iPods were hard to find at various points in the year, creating long waiting lists for some items.
- iTunes Music Store - Between the Pepsi 100 million song giveaway, Appleis own giveaway towards its 100 millionth sold song, and Apple breaking 200 million songs towards the end of the year, the iTunes Music Store was a bright spot in the music industry.
- iPod - Need anyone say more?
For 2005, Mac.Ars predicts Apple will continue to focus on the iPod and music, the emergence of dual-core Power Mac G5s, and the PowerBook G5.