Technology had a fantastic year in 2011. There were business events, patents infringed and a lot of devices launched. I want to give you my view of the most important tech events that defined and shaped the year.
I’ll begin and say that for most of companies 2011 was an time: Facebook revamped its interface and changed privacy features, Google announced new services, updates and phones, and Apple released new devices and a new OS.
Silicon Valley giants made some big acquisitions: Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion, Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, Sony acquired the remaining 50 percent of Sony Ericsson for $1.475 billion, and Samsung acquired Sony’s shares of S-LCD Corporation for $939 million.
In 2011, there was a flow of mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Apple released iPad 2, Motorola released Xoom, Samsung released Galaxy Tab 10.1, Amazon released Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble released the Nook Tablet, Blackberry released PlayBook, HP released TouchPad, Sony released Tablet S, Lenovo released ThinkPad, HTC released Flyer, Toshiba released Thrive, Pioneer released DreamBook, LG released Optimus Pad and so on. The World’s cheapest tablet, called Akash, was also in India for $60.
In the smartphone market, the battle was tough as well: Google and Samsung released the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus (the first phone with Android ICS 4.0 OS), Apple released iPhone 4S, Samsung released Galaxy S II, Sony released Xperia Play, Nokia released N9 and Lumia 800.
Then there was the Patent War. Google, Apple, Samsung, HTC and Motorola accused each other of infringing this patent and that patent.
In terms of Software, 2011 was the year of changes: Adobe will no longer develop Flash for mobile devices, Microsoft previewed Windows 8, Apple released iOS 5, Google announced Ice Cream Sandwich OS and HTML5 was adopted as a standard by all the major browsers.
Unfortunately, we lost Steve Jobs–the visionary mind behind Apple. In terms of mere business, AOL saw many valuable people depart including Michael Arrington, Joshua Topolsky, Heather Harde and MG Siegler. Josh Topolsky and his crew joined VOX Media and founded a new tech website called TheVerge. Arrington started CrunchFund, and was soon joined by Siegler. All of them blame Arriana Huffington’s ego.
Will 2012 be as interesting? If the rumors are true, we might see a redesigned iPhone, a smaller iPad, a Google Tablet, some quad-core gadgets and a new PC operating system: the full Windows 8. That’s a good start.
Happy New Year!