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2010 – OWC’s Year in Review

As the year winds down, we take the opportunity to look back over the last 12 months or so to see just how far we’ve come and give ourselves hope for the future. Looking back at 2010, we can sum it up as  a year of innovations and advancement, both for OWC and for the Mac platform.

Obviously, the innovation from Apple that had the greatest impact on the computer industry as a whole was the introduction of the iPad. End users flocked to it; other companies tried to emulate it. Reviewers alternately praised it as the “next big thing” or derided it as being “a really big iPod Touch.” Hundreds of cases and accessories sprang into existence in to help you make the most of the new device. Whether you liked it, hated it or really didn’t care, you couldn’t deny that Apple made a big splash with the iPad.

The iPhone 4, with its high-resolution Retina Display and video chat capabilities was a huge seller, but its success was tainted somewhat by antenna problems. After receiving a lot of flak for dropping calls via the “grip of death”, Apple rectified the problem somewhat with a free “bumper” program.

That wasn’t Apple’s only stumble during the year. In November, a “mysterious” announcement sent the rumor mills into overdrive by promising a day that we’d “never forget.” The result was a somewhat anticlimactic announcement of The Beatles catalog being available on iTunes. While this was something many music fans had been looking forward to, most agreed that the amount of hype given to it was far too much.

It was a bit of a downer for a year that had started so well. OWC, on the other hand, started strong and got stronger as the year progressed.

We started out by announcing the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro line of solid state drives. Since their debut, the Mercury Extreme SSDs have raked in the accolades; it seemed we were putting up another glowing review or getting outstanding customer comments at multiple times a week!

Not long after the Extreme’s introduction, OWC partnered with Lloyd Chambers of Mac Performance Guide to offer ultra-high-performance photo workstations. We also were the first to offer a 1.0 TB “Quad Interface” 2.5” bus powered portable device with the Mercury Elite-AL mini; that would be increased to 1.5TB just a few months later. We also introduced the OWC Data Doubler, which allows you to replace the seldom-used optical drive in your MacBook, MacBoook Pro, Mac mini or iMac with a SATA hard drive or SSD. Rounding out our major new products this year were a pair of portable, bus-powered RAID units: the NewerTech Guardian MAXimus mini and the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini, both with switchable RAID modes (mirrored or striped) and featuring eSATA, Firewire 400/800 and USB interfaces.

We also were the first to offer an eSATA port on an iMac. When we got the 27” 2010 iMac in and peeked inside, we noticed an extra SATA port. This opened up the possibility of adding an eSATA port – which quickly turned into a reality! Our 2010 iMac 27” Turnkey Service was born!

Of course, all our memories of this past year weren’t just centered on new hardware. In April OWC’s “green” campus was awarded LEED Platinum Certification, and five months later walked away with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR rating. In June, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of our Mercury line of FireWire storage solution and in early December, OWC’s entry in the “Meet me at CES” video contest was one of the top winners and is now featured on the CES Web site.

Yes, indeed, 2010 was a pretty good year for OWC, and we hope it was good for you, our readers, too.

Here’s to 2011 being even better!

M. Chris Stevens
the authorOWC Chris S.
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