Steve Jobs is no longer running Apple, but our obsession with its gadgets soared to new heights in 2012, just like its stock price.
In the first full year under CEO Tim Cook, Apple accelerated its product launches, shook up its management team, and briefly became the most valuable publicly traded company in history.
Along the way, Cook also seemed to chart his own course, softening Apple's image a bit by agreeing to increased audits of labor conditions in its supply chain, digging into its massive treasure chest to deliver a dividend to shareholders, and announcing that it would start building Macs in the U.S. again.
From Apple Maps to record-breaking stock prices to new products like the iPad Mini and the iPhone 5, 2012 has been a roller-coaster year for Apple.
Here we take a look at the year in Apple -- the highs and the lows -- in timeline form.
Jan. 3: Apple stock closes at 407.61 to start the year.
Jan. 6: "This American Life" radio shows airs “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory.”
Jan. 13: Apple joins Fair Labor Assn., third-party watch group that will conduct inspections of supply chain partners.
Jan. 25: New York Times story paints critical picture of Apple manufacturing partners in China.
Jan. 30: Apple hires John Browett to oversee retail and Apple stores.
Feb. 13: Fair Labor begins inspections of Foxconn plants.
March 5: Apple App Store downloads pass 25 billion.
March 7: Apple launches “new” iPad, but doesn’t call it iPad 3.
March 16: "This American Life" broadcasts “Retraction,” a whole episode dedicated to retracting the Mike Daisey report after it could not confirm portions.
March 19: Apple announced it will give investors a dividend of $2.65 per share and buy back $10 billion in shares over three years.
March 29: Apple CEO Tim Cook visits plants in China that manufacture its products after reports critical of its contracting practices.
June 28: Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, announces retirement.
July 25: Mountain Lion operating system available.
Aug. 24: A federal jury awards Apple $1.05 billion in its patent lawsuit against Samsung.
Sept. 12: Apple unveils the iPhone 5. Also notes that Google Maps will be replaced with Apple Maps.
Sept. 21: iPhone 5 goes on sale.
Sept. 21: Apple stock peaks at $702.10
Sept. 28: Apple issues letter apologizing for Maps: “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment.”
Oct. 13: Apple introduces the iPad Mini.
Oct. 29: Apple announces that senior, Scott Forstall, vice president of iOS software, and John Browett, head of retail are out. Memo cites need for more collaborative environment. Bob Mansfield un-retires and returns to company.
Nov. 10: Apple settles patent litigation with HTC.
Nov. 15: Apple stock closes at $525.62.
Dec. 6: In a pair of national interviews, Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the company will begin manufacturing some Macs in the U.S. again.
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