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Apple in 2020: The Six Colors Report Card

By most metrics, 2020 was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year that had many people muttering “I think I’ll move to AustraliaNew Zealand.” But how did Apple fare? Financially, the company is firing on all cylinders (see “Apple Weathers the Storm to Shatter Records in Q1 2021,” 27 January 2021). But sales aren’t a perfect reflection of success, particularly for a company that has as many product lines and initiatives as Apple.

To tease out a more nuanced picture of how Apple performed in 2020, Jason Snell has once again surveyed a distinguished group of 55 tech commentators to compile the annual Six Colors Apple report card. Among many other well-known names, it features thoughts from our own Adam Engst, Josh Centers, Michael Cohen, Glenn Fleishman, and Rich Mogull, plus Joe Kissell from Take Control Books.

The Mac saw a spike in its score thanks to the rollout of M1-powered Macs, and Apple’s scores also improved for the iPhone, services, HomeKit, hardware reliability, software quality, and environmental and social issues. Not all was rosy in Cupertino, however, with the panel dropping the scores of the iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, developer relations, and wearables.

Six Colors report card change between 2019 and 2020

As always, the full report is well worth reading, particularly for the pithy quotes from your favorite Apple pundits.

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