As the year draws to a close we look back at what Apple did in December 2013.
You can read about what Apple did during the rest of 2013 here.
There was news that the iPhone 5c was proving to be more popular than at first thought. While the iPhone 5s continues to be the phone of choice for many existing iPhone users, almost half of iPhone 5c owners switched from competitor brands, take that Android!
It wasn’t only the iPhones that were proving popular. A survey showed that a third of all Macs were running OS X Mavericks within weeks of its introduction. According to web analytics company Net Applications, Mavericks' accounted for 32% of all versions of OS X used in November, a record one-month jump of 21 percentage points. Mavericks' adoption after its first full month of availability was nearly double that of OS X Mountain Lion.
News broke that Apple had acquired Topsy, a social media analytics company that analyzes a range of data from Twitter. The company provides a range of tools to make sense of data across the social web and use it to divine consumer sentiment. As yet nobody knows what Apple plans to do with the $200 million acquisition.
There were suggestions that China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, would soon announce that it had signed a deal with Apple. The deal would give Apple access to as many as 700 million potential new customers in the world's most populous country. Later in the month China Mobile even started taking iPhone 5s preorders and advertising the phone on its website. However, by the end of the month no deal had been announced.
iBeacon was rolled out to Apple Stores in the US. Apple's iBeacon location services technology can be used to gather more information about shoppers in stores to serve them hyper-targeted deals or other product information. The integration marks Apple's large-scale entrance into the hot, emerging known location- or place-based marketing field, although Apple does not store any personal information through iBeacon, a spokesman said. The iBeacon software was included in Apple's recent iOS 7 update.
Apple announced on its developer website that iOS 7 was already on three out of four iOS devices. According to Apple, 74% of the devices tapping the App Store for seven days prior to 1 December ran iOS 7, more than three times the next-most-popular edition, last year's iOS 6.
There was anticipation that the Mac Pro would soon launch, with Apple having promised a launch in December. So when on 9 December Apple briefly started selling the Sharp 4K monitor on its online store many expected the Mac Pro to start shipping. However, the monitor was quickly removed from sale and there was no Mac Pro related announcement... For now...
New channels were added to the Apple TV. In the US Apple added four new channels to the Apple TV's offerings including financial channel Bloomberg TV, Korean network KOR TV, and on-demand provider Crackle. Here in the UK we gained access to Sky TV Sports Day Pass via the Now TV streaming service. Sports fans in the UK will now be able to buy the 24-hour pass for £9.99 using their iTunes account, which will give them unlimited access to Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, 4, Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports News for one day.
There was good news for Apple in the Apple versus Samsung battle when a South Korea court denies Samsung a ban on Apple's iPhone and iPad. The South Korean court ruled against Samsung Electronics in a lawsuit that threatened to ban older iPhone and iPad models in the country for alleged patent infringement.
There was controversy as the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asked whether children should be giving the electronic tablets to their children as gifts. A focal point of the debate: Fisher-Price’s Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad, which displays the iPad right in front of a very young (and mostly immobile) child.
In mid December, Chinese analysts C Technology claimed that the iWatch would launch in October 2014 alongside the iPhone 6. C Technology claims that sources have said Apple is testing two prototypes of the wearable device.
There were claims that ‘father of the iPad’ Tony Fadell had bought Apple design guru Jonathan Ive’s Red Mac Pro in an auction for the Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Photographer Kevin Abosch tweeted images of the Podfather holding the one-off red Mac Pro and gold EarPods. However Fadell later denied that he had bought the devices, which sold for $977,000 (£602,529) for the red Mac Pro and $461,000 (£284,000) for the solid gold Apple EarPods. Fadell tweeted: "To be clear, I'm not the owner of either. The real owner will reveal themselves if they so choose.” A total of 44 items went under the hammer in the special auction on 23 November, curated by Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson at New York's Sotheby's auction house. In total, the 44 items sold for a sum of $12.8 million (£8 million).
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered an inspiring speech on equality and human rights at the United Nations. Cook spoke about issues including racism, equality and human rights, highlighting Apple's concern about the important matters. "Growing up in Alabama in the 1960s, I saw the devastating acts of discrimination," said Cook. "Remarkable people were denied opportunities and treated without basic human dignity, solely because of the colour of their skin.” You can watch a video of the presentation here.
Apple’s moving Christmas ad was either a tear jerker, or a disaster depending on your outlook. For many the ad showed a sweet story of a boy making a Christmas video for his family, while others companied that the boy had the phone in portrait mode the whole time. Our take: the boy was editing the movie in iMovie in portrait mode. Watch Apple’s Christmas ad and decide for yourself.
Apple announced its 'Best of 2013' iTunes winners, setting forth what it believes are the best songs, movies, TV shows, books, and apps of the last twelve months. When it comes to music, Apple picked London Grammar's 'If You Wait (Deluxe Version)' as its Album of the Year, while Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' scored the title of Song of the Year.Apple named Arctic Monkeys the Artist of the Year and gave HAIM the Breakthrough Artist Editors Choice award. The top selling albums of the year include compilation album 'Now That's What I Call Music! 85', Bastille's 'All This Bad Blood' and Emeli Sande's 'Our Version of Events’. The top selling song of 2013 was Robin Thicke's catchy 'Blurred Lines', while 'Wake Me Up' by Avicii and Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' were runners up. The best apps, films, and books are listed here.
Researchers claimed older Mac webcams can spy without activating warning light. The researchers from Johns Hopkins University created an application that can disable the LED on first-generation iSight cameras while in use.
Finally on 18 December Apple announced that the Mac Pro would go on sale on 19 December, appearing to keep its promise of shipping the Mac Pro before the end of the year. However, as it became available to order online, shipping dates almost immediately slipped to February, irritating customers who have been awaiting the new Mac Pro. We’ve been lucky enough to get one in the office, check out our Mac Pro photography here.
Apple also released an update to Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro X 10.1 received dozens of new and updated features. Among those improvements are support for 4K content and video monitoring, project snapshots, single-step retiming and replacing, and more. In addition, the app has also been optimized to take advantage of the new Mac Pro’s dual-GPU configurations when rendering and manipulating video.