NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Apple (AAPL) - Get Report has had a product timeline unlike almost any other company. Every year since 2001, Apple has released a product that the masses end up wanting and clamoring for.
While next year is set to be a little different -- Apple must cope without the leadership of its visionary founder -- rumors of an
Apple TV set launch
have given some tech enthusiasts hope. When word came out from his biography that Jobs had "finally cracked" the problem of building a TV set with a simple user interface, analysts, including Ticonderoga Securities, have speculated this could be a huge revenue driver for Apple.
Here is Apple's product timeline since the launch of the first iPod in 2001 to the present day.
Apple introduced iTunes in January 2001, a digital jukebox of sorts. It allowed you to store all your songs on your computer in one place.
In October, Apple changed the world, by introducing consumers to the iPod. It was described as being able to have a "thousand songs in your pocket."
Apple also released a new operating system for its Macintosh line of computers, OS X, as well as opening its first retail store in MacLean, Va.
Apple introduced the second version of the iPod in July 2002, and announced it has sold over 600,000 iPods since the MP3 player first went on sale.
Apple also released the iMac G4, which replaced the iMac G3. The computer had a new design, a 15 inch, LCD, and featured the flexibility of a lamp, allowing for the monitor to swivel around.
2003 was a light year in terms of product releases, with Apple launching the iTunes Store and the third version of the iPod. The iTunes Store allowed users to buy and download music, audiobooks, movies and TV shows online, and launched with 200,000 songs at 99¢ each.
The third iteration of the iPod held 7,500 songs and was lighter and thinner than two CDs, according to Apple's website.
Later in the year, the company also announced that the iTunes Music Store would be available to Windows users.
2004 would mark the beginning of the iPod line of product, with the launch of the iPod Mini. It was available in five colors, smaller than the original iPod, and was launched with a 4 GB size.
also announced that its audio system would be the firs to be integrated with an iPod.
Apple also launched the iMac G5, which replaced the iMac G4.
2005 was a big year for Apple, with the launch of a slew of new products. In January, Apple launched the iPod shuffle. In September, the iPod Nano would replace the iPod Mini, and become the "best-selling music player ever," according to
October saw the addition of TV shows and music videos to iTunes, and Apple also released the fifth version of the iPod, which had the capability of not only playing music, but also being able to view photos and watch videos.
Apple also announced an alliance with
to begin putting Intel's chips into Apple's computers for the first time ever.
Apple began to see the fruits of its relationship with Intel, with the release of the iMac Core Duo, the first Apple computer to run on Intel processors. In addition, the MacBook was launched, which replaced the iBook and PowerBook laptops. MacBooks also run on Intel processors.
A relationship with
was forged, with Nike + iPod being launched. This allowed the consumer to track their workout on their iPod Nano through an in-shoe sensor.
February marked the release of the Mac Mini, a 7.7" computer with no monitor. This was Apple's first computer to include an HDMI video port to allow users to connect it to a television.
September was a busy month for the Cupertino-based company. iTunes began selling feature length films, the iPod Nano got an aluminum case available in five colors, and the iPod shuffle was redesigned with a clip to wear on clothing. In October, Apple announced the iPod Nano Red, to help benefit a cure for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Apple introduced the iPhone in January on
network and set a new standard in smartphone design and functionality, according to technorati. iTunes also proved to be a massive success, with over 3 billion songs sold by the end of year.
Apple launched its set top box, Apple TV in March, which Steve Jobs refered to as a "hobby."
Apple announced it had sold over 141 million iPods through 2007, including the new iPod Touch, which launched in September.
2008 was another banner year for Apple, as it opened the App Store. This allowed small applications to add functionality to the iPhone and iPod Touch. The App Store would later come to Apple computers.
Apple launched the MacBook Air, in addition to its annual iPod refresh. In July, Apple launched the iPhone 3G, the second version the phone. iTunes now included HD TV shows for purchase, with shows from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.
Apple announced the iPhone 3GS, launching it with 16 and 32 GB versions. It also announced the newest version of OS X, aptly named Snow Leopard, in addition to the traditional iPod refresh in September. The third version of the iPod Shuffle and iPod Touch, the fifth version of the iPod Nano, and the iPod Classic (the original iPod) were all released in September.
Customers were given the ability to rent HD TV shows from iTunes, in addition to buying them.
In April Apple announced the iPad, which breathed new life into an ailing market that no other tech company had been able to successfully crack. According to
via iSuppli, 12.9 million iPads were shipped as of December 10, 2010.
June was the announcement of the iPhone 4, a radically different design from the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.
Some of the important product refreshes in 2010 were new versions of the iPod Touch, iPod Nano, Apple TV, and MacBook Air lines.
Apple announced the iPad 2 in March, and it continues to dominate the tablet market.
February saw the iPhone 4 come
. Previously, the iPhone had only been available on AT&T.
October was a busy month for Apple, both good and bad. There was plenty of good in October, with Apple announcing a new operating system for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 5, the launch of iCloud, and the launch of the iPhone 4S.
became the third U.S. carrier to have the iPhone.
October also marked the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly seven years.
Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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