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Amid economic doldrums, Apple has a spectacular year

As 2010 draws to a close, much of the tech world is struggling to regain its footing after a difficult recession. Then there’s Apple.

Never before has this venerable company, which at age 34 is a grizzled veteran by Silicon Valley standards, stood so firmly atop the high-tech industry. Earlier this year, Apple’s market capitalization surpassed that of Microsoft, making it the most valuable property in the tech universe. And during its just-completed fiscal year, it broke four consecutive quarterly revenue and profit records. Amid the worst recession in decades, Apple hired thousands while others cut jobs…

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