The Most Important Apple Stories of 2012 [Best Of 2012]

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2012 was a very different year for Apple. For starters, it was Tim Cook’s first year as CEO. While much of Apple has remained the same, Cook has definitely shown that he is a different type of leader than his predecessor. Apple is evolving into something new.

Between four press events and the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple announced an unprecedented slew of new products in 2012. Every single major product was refreshed to some extent, which leaves even more speculation as to what Apple has up its sleeve for 2013.

There have been key executive firings and hirings, heated lawsuits, and scandals. In the midst of everything, Apple managed to become the most valuable company on earth.

While there are many big Apple moments from this past year, we’ve gathered what we think are the 10 most notable stories. Here they are:

Future iOS Devices Could Be Built By Machines As Foxconn Replaces Workers With Robots

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This "Foxbot" could soon be building Apple's latest gadgets.
This "Foxbot" could soon be building Apple's latest gadgets.

Apple gadgets you buy in the future may have been assembled by machines as Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, Foxconn, begins replacing its workers with robots. The move is expected to improve efficiency in Foxconn’s Chinese plants, as well as combat rising labor costs.

Foxconn Workers Will Get Pay Raise In July

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Workers' wages will be increased in July, the CEO of Foxconn said.

After the FLA found wide scale violations at Apple’s main manufacturing plant, Foxconn, both Foxconn and Apple promised to fix the issues by 2013. Issues that were found include the amount of overtime worked, compensation workers receive for their overtime, and numerous health and safety risks. In what looks to be the first of changes, Foxconn and Apple will be raising workers’ wages in July.

Human Rights Org: Rest Of The Industry Needs To Follow Apple’s Lead, Protect Factory Workers

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Apple will help Foxconn improve labor conditions by stumping up some of the cash.
Apple will help Foxconn improve labor conditions by stumping up some of the cash.

The first reactions by human rights groups to the Fair Labor Association’s independent audit of Foxconn factory working conditions are in, and there is cautious optimism that the widescale abuse of Chinese factory workers may be on the cusp of coming to an end. But that’s only if the rest of the tech industry follows Apple’s lead.