One way to look back at 2010 is to observe the stories that gained the most page impressions on the Macworld UK website. Gathered together they certainly tell a tale, while there are some surprising inclusions, it does give some indication as to what information people were seeking in the year that bought us the iPad, iPhone 4, and iOS 4.0.
Over the next few days we will examine the top 20 stories, be sure to come back tomorrow to find out what else had us clicking this year.
Back in January 2010 Apple announced the iPad would launching in March, at the time the company only revealed US pricing, so our story making an educated guess at the UK pricing was a hit. It was our most popular story of 2010.
At the time there was a lot of fuzzy maths in the newspapers, with the worst cases translating the US price directly, somehow assuming that VAT no longer applies in the UK. We at Macworld know the best way to estimate the price of an Apple product here in the UK. Our best rule of thumb is to take a product on the US store that matches the US price you're looking at, then find the same product on the UK store and see how much it is. The more recent the product the more accurate the price.
Want to know how we faired? Based on the exchange rate at the time, Macworld estimated the following UK pricing for the iPad at launch:
iPad Wi-Fi: £417 (16GB); £500 (32GB); £584 (64GB)
Wi-Fi + 3G: £526 (16GB); £610 (32GB); £693 (64GB)
iPad Wi-Fi: £429 (16GB); £499 (32GB); £599 (64GB)
Wi-Fi + 3G: £529 (16GB); £599 (32GB); £699 (64GB)
We weren't far off...
Our second most popular news story of 2011 was news that the BBC had launched a beta version of its iPlayer for iPad. The news broke back in May.
The desktop version of iPlayer uses Adobe Flash technology, but due to Apple's reluctance to allow Flash on the iPhone, the BBC created an iPhone compatible version of iPlayer that uses QuickTime. The announcement of iPlayer for iPad came as no big surprise, as the BBC has committed to bringing the service to as many platforms as possible. That said, the iPad version of iPlayer is still in beta seven months later...
In third place amongst the most popular stories of 2010 on Macworld UK was our live feed of the iPhone 4 press conference in July at which Apple CEO Steve Jobs admitted that "We're not perfect and phones aren't perfect either".
Streaming live from San Francisco, Macworld's Jason Snell bought us the news and commentary as it happened. From Jobs claim that the bars showing signal strength were wrong, to his assertion that all mobiles suffer signal degradation, to finally, his announcement that Apple would give all iPhone 4 owners who wanted one a Bumper case to cover the antenna and thereby solve the problem.
Back in June what everybody wanted was an iPhone 4, so when Vodafone became the first UK carrier to reveal it's pricing deals for the new phone, everyone rushed to read all about it, making this story the fourth most popular news story at Macworld UK in 2010.
The company announced it would be charging £189 for the 16GB model, and £280 for the 32GB model on contract. Customers would have to take out a contract starting at either a £25-per-month for two years, or £30-per-month for 18 months.
The fifth most popular story in 2010 was actually a story from 2009. It was however, a subject close to the hearts of Mac users – and proof that in a year dominated by the iPhone and iPad, we were all still interested in the Mac.
At the end of August 2009 Apple had released Snow Leopard, a £25 upgrade for users already running Leopard, or £129 for those still running earlier versions of the Mac OS on their Mac. The big secret was that even Mac users running earlier versions of Mac OS X could still install Snow Leopard from the £25 disc. The snag? Doing so breaks Apple's end user licence agreement (EULA), as Alan Eyzaguire, director of software product marketing at Apple Europe told The Guardian.
"Technically, yes, it would upgrade a Tiger install," Eyzaguire told The Guardian's Charles Arthur, "but in the licensing, no."
Judging from the popularity of the story on Macworld UK, many readers opted for the legally-questionable cheaper option once they had read the confirmation that it was possible to upgrade for £25.
Tune in tomorrow for more of 2010's top stories.