The company's focus on combining advanced technologies in order to create remarkable user experiences works, and is working as a glue that not only helps its new systems attract customers, but also provides a platform-centric experience across mobile devices and PCs.
Apple has refined this focus this year, introducing iOS 7 and making the commitment that in future all Mac operating systems will be made available for free.
That's great on paper, but in real terms it means Mac users can expect several OS upgrades before their particular system becomes unsupported. Given the robust nature of these machines, most customers will squeeze an extra year or two out of their purchases before they upgrade.
As the company closes 2013, it appears to have got its act together. Sales are strong, the firm's financially secure while a series of patents and recent purchases shows it's taking steps to realize some of the dreams it has developed in R&D.
That's not to say the Mac, iPad and iPhone are all the company has to base its future on. Apple has a series of initiatives to put into place early in 2014, maintaining its refreshed momentum. For example:
* iTunes Radio will become international
* Touch ID seems primed to be deployed in more Apple devices
* iTunes services seem likely to be boosted with an UltraHD offering
Beyond what lazy analysis calls "iterative tinkering" with existing products, Apple has potential to extend its reach, principally through entering the newly emerging connected devices market.
Speculations concerning an Apple television and an iWatch have dominated chatter for months. Will 2014 be the year either of these products migrates from the land of speculative fantasy to enter the real world?
All we truly know comes from the lips of Cook, who in October confirmed that the company, "sees significant opportunities" in new product categories "across 2014."