Fortune’s headline last week read: “2014: The year Apple came roaring back”, accompanied by an image showing Apple’s stock up 42.30% for the year, beating the S&P 500 by an impressive 29% and bold text stating, “Apple was doomed at the start of the year. Now, it can do no wrong. What the hell happened?”
This presents a great question. Indeed, for a large part of 2013 and 2014, Apple was widely regarded as “doomed,” mainly by click-bait media outlets. This impression was sustained by some strong arguments largely surrounding a lack of innovation and corresponding weak stock performance. So, what was different about 2014 for Apple?