2011 is already over, and it’s interesting to see how all the things that happened during those 365 days affected the world. The mobile industry is an especially fast paced one, but even with all the stuff that happens every day, we can find some things that stand out. Here are the top news highlights for 2011:
The release of RIM’s Blackberry PlayBook
RIM has finally geared up and released the QNX-powered Blackberry PlayBook tablet, and despite their expectations and the positive critical reviews, the device was pretty much a failure. There’s nothing wrong with the hardware – in fact, that’s the part where RIM actually succeeded – but the marketing could’ve and should’ve definitely been better. In the end, RIM has failed to get into the tablet game and is still struggling with dwindling sales on the smartphones market.
Nokia and Microsoft’s strategic alliance
Microsoft and Nokia have teamed up for the largest hardware/software combo deal ever, with Windows Phone 7 running on Nokia’s new smartphones. Nokia is the largest phone manufacturer in the world, and despite their diminishing market share when it comes to smartphones (mostly because of the outdated Symbian OS), they’re still a force to be reckoned with. It remains to be seen if they’ll be successful, but the first Nokia smartphone with Windows Phone 7, the Lumia 800, is nowhere near as successful as they expected (numbers show that it’s selling about 10 times worse than both Nokia and Microsoft expected).
The release of the Galaxy S2 – the most popular Android smartphone to date
2011 has been the year of Android, for sure – the operating system’s market share has increased considerably, taking a lot of new customers from Blackberry and to a lesser degree, iOS. Samsung’s release of the Galaxy S2, which is still the best selling Android smartphone on the market, has definitely helped with that. The S2 is the successor to the popular Galaxy S, and it has sold much better, especially when it was finally released worldwide.
The release of the iPhone 4S – the most popular smartphone to date
Despite the advanced features of Android Gingerbread and powerful hardware and beautiful display of the Samsung Galaxy S2, Apple’s iPhone is still the leader on the smartphone market when it comes to the number of sales. The iPhone 4S, which was a minor refresh (all things considered) over the iPhone 4 and has brought only a dual core processor, more RAM and a better camera, has sold more units than its predecessor and obviously more than the Galaxy S2, Nexus S and HTC Sensation combined, showing that the iPhone and iOS are still preferred by most “normal” consumers around the world (although most of the sales were in the US).
Google’s release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Google has finally released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is the universal OS everyone has been expecting for almost two years now. The new version will run on both smartphones and tablets, like Apple’s iOS, and it brings a lot of new features in tow, mostly on the inside, but the new user interface, Face Unlock and Android Beam features are noticeable and catch your attention right away, as well.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 Mango release
Microsoft has also released an update for their Windows Phone 7 smartphone OS, but the main reasons behind it being much awaited were different: most people were hoping that it would fix all the issues that the first version had, and hopefully add a couple of new features, as well. The Mango update, aka Windows Phone 7.5, did bring along quite a lot of fixes – more than we’d like to know about, actually – but the new features weren’t all that impressive. The new OS still doesn’t support multiple processors, it has no multi-tasking and while the interface is pretty cool, it gets boring without customization options after a while (so does iOS, for that matter, so it’s not that much of an issue).
The AT&T/T-Mobile merger
The AT&T and T-Mobile merger saga has been going on for the better part of the year, with the agreement between AT&T and Deutsche Telekom for the former to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. AT&T has been quite persistent, but the threat of a new monopoly forming out of the merger has made the FCC deny their application, and even with the DoJ involved, AT&T wasn’t able to get approved. As a result, AT&T has to pay a whopping $3 billion and a part of the company’s AWS frequency spectrum, which is the most that any company had to pay for a deal that fell through.
Let’s hope that 2012 will be at least as news-worthy as the previous year, and that the developments that arise during the next 11 and half months will make the world a better place. Until then, stay in touch with the latest news every day at GadgetMania.com!