Then, there's groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology, started with the MacBook Pro update in February, then new iMac in May, followed by Mac mini and MacBook Air in July. All before the release of Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) in late July. Apple discontinued Xserve in late January, Apple recommend Mac Pro or Mac mini Server instead. Speaking about Mac Pro, it is the only product line not being updated in 2011.
Software-wise, the launch of OS X Lion in July marks the first major OS X release in digital distribution. For those who do not have broadband connection, Apple later released the OS X Lion available in USB drive, and many Apple boxed software are moved to digital distribution on Mac App Store only.
Apple launched iPad 2 in early March, thinner, lighter and faster than the original iPad. iPad 2 added camera, and introduced Smart Cover. Later in October, Apple released iPhone 4S, featuring Siri. The sale of iPhone 4S was not just extreme popular, but Apple also rolled it out worldwide faster than previous iPhones. On the release of iPhone 4S, Apple also launched iCloud, replacing MobileMe service.
Unfortunately, just the day after the announcement of iPhone 4, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away on 5th October 2011. Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple in late August, passing the title to Tim Cook. Within a week of Steve Jobs' death, UNIX co-creator and C language designer Denis Ritchie also passed away. Both Jobs and Ritchie made significant influences to our technology.
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