Apple 2010: 5 Key Events

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- 2010 has been a busy year for Apple ( AAPL), which saw the launch of the iPad, the new iPhone 4, and in a rare moment of bad publicity, a press conference to deal with Antennagate.

Apple's iPhone antenna problems, however, proved to be little more than a speed bump for Steve Jobs and Co. Apple is still seeing an influx of love, both on Main Street and Wall Street. Seemingly untouched by the unease that has crept into other parts of the tech sector, Apple hit a new 52-week high last week and is enjoying big demand for its latest offerings.
Apple

Coming off of all this news, Apple has seen an almost 40% hike in its share price this year. If there's one thing that's consistent with the way to play Apple, it's this: Wise investors get into the company's stock well ahead of actual events and product announcements.

Here's a look back at the key moments in Apple's year -- and the impact they had on the company's share price.

iPad Launch

Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched the iPad on Jan. 27, proudly proclaiming the touchscreen tablet as a "magical and revolutionary device." Investors, however, were initially underwhelmed. Apple's stock gained a little under 1% on the day of the launch event at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center, and continued to slip more than 4% in the following day's trading.

iPads Hits Shelves

A little under three months after its launch, iPads hit consumers' hands on Saturday, April 3. Apple's stock rose 1% on the next trading day.

iPhone Launch

The air of mystery surrounding the launch of Apple's iPhone 4 was punctured somewhat when a prototype of the device was left in a bar, although the latest iPhone still generated plenty of buzz when it was unveiled on June 7. Apple's shares, however, slipped 2% on launch day.

Antennagate

Reports of iPhone antenna problems resulted in a rare invite-only press conference to discuss what quickly became known as Antennagate. Steve Jobs nixed the possibility of a product recall at the July 16 event, instead offering free bumpers and refunds to unhappy iPhone customers. Concern over the antenna issues forced Apple's stock down 11% prior to Jobs' public explanation; on the day he spoke, it was down about 1%.

iPod Launch

Though the event hardly matched the scale of the earlier iPad and iPhone launches, Apple took the wraps off new iPods on Sep. 1. It also announced a refreshed iTunes and another attempt at Apple TV. Investor reaction to the announcements was markedly upbeat, with Apple shares gaining 3% on the day of the event at the Yerba Buena Center.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

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