How Apple came roaring back to life

Apple has been on fire since releasing the iPhone 6 last fall.

But the company’s dominance wasn’t always so assured.

Analysts were saying Apple was “doomed” in 2013.

The iPhone 5 was a smash hit when Apple unveiled it in 2012. Then-Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo called it 'the best phone ever to grace the earth.'

It had an amazing camera with incredible sharpness, even when zoomed in.

The iPhone 5 outsold its predecessor by a million units over its first weekend, but sales growth slowed after that.

It was still too early to tell if Tim Cook was the man to run Apple after Steve Jobs.

By spring 2013, analysts began noticing the iPhone's sluggish sales growth.

Apple's stock performed worse in the year after the iPhone 5 launch than after any other iPhone launch.

There were also worries that the iPad Mini, which came out just after the iPhone 5, would cannibalise iPad sales.

Apple also replaced the built-in Google Maps app, which people liked, with its own mapping service, which people hated. Tim Cook said he was 'extremely sorry' for the botched Apple Maps rollout in fall 2012.

Apple went from 'innovative' to 'doomed' virtually overnight.

The company had to battle naysayers like Elon Musk. 'I think probably Google will win on the phone because Jobs is out of the picture,' said Musk in November 2012.

In early 2013 the Wall Street Journal reported Apple's PR division was reaching out to journalists more often to generate favourable coverage.

In September 2013, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5C. It was designed to appeal to price-sensitive consumers but struck many as cheap.

Apple also unveiled the iPhone 5S. It looked like the 5, but with a Touch ID sensor and a faster internal processor.

A speed test showed how the 5S was much faster than the competition.

But analysts kept hammering Apple. In early 2014, Barclays said Apple would decline the same way Microsoft had.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Meanwhile, competitors like Samsung were unveiling wearables and larger, phablet-sized smartphones.

Where was Apple's smartwatch?

Journalists caught wind of another big launch in early September. It was do or die for Apple.

What could this massive building next to Apple's presentation venue be for?

It was the iPhone 6!!!

Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 Plus, too, with a 5.5-inch display. Apple's phablet was finally here.

But there was one more thing...

The Apple Watch!

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were insanely successful. Apple sold 10 million on the first weekend it was available.

In January, Apple announced it sold a whopping 74.5 million iPhones over the holiday quarter. Those phones helped Apple earn $18 billion in the last quarter of 2014 -- the highest quarterly profit of any company in history. Apple was back!

Samsung turned out to be a paper tiger. Its smartphone profits fell 64% in the holiday quarter from 2013.

Samsung CEO BK Yoon at the opening CES keynote.

Once Apple released its phablet, people didn't need to buy Samsung phones just for their larger screens.

Since the iPhone 6 came out, Apple's stock is up nearly 28%. Investors betting on a comeback won big.

And with numbers like that, Tim Cook isn't going anywhere.

Now that you've seen where Apple's been, check out what it will unveil this year.

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