Tech headline makers of 2012

December 10, 2012


LONDON, Dec 10 — From Samsung, which grabbed headlines when it overtook Nokia as the leading manufacturer of mobiles phones worldwide, to Microsoft and its revamped Windows 8 OS, here’s the breakdown of the tech giants and new trends that made a splash in 2012.

Samsung’s Galaxy S III has made an impact on the market since it was launched. — Picture courtesy of SamsungSamsung’s Galaxy S III has made an impact on the market since it was launched. — Picture courtesy of SamsungGoogle — The Mountain View juggernaut featured in a range of media headlines this year. On top of the new Android OS, Google teamed up with prestigious manufacturers LG and Samsung to expand its Nexus smartphone and tablet line. Google also got attention with its augmented reality-based Project Glass, which should hit the market by 2014.

Samsung — The South Korean brand added major innovations (voice commands, eye tracking) to its Galaxy S III (which spawned a “mini” version) and its Galaxy Note II. Samsung also dislodged Nokia as the leader in mobile phone shipments.

Windows 8 — Microsoft overhauled the design of its Windows OS for the new touchscreen era. It’s a gamble for Microsoft, as the new interface has caused some confusion in the general public. Microsoft also joined the tablet bandwagon with the launch of the Surface RT.

Tablets in the news — In many households tablets are on the verge of replacing classic PCs for various everyday uses, such as watching videos or web surfing. Both the major players and smaller companies put out a slew of releases: Apple, updating its iPad line twice as well as adding an iPad mini, Google with the Nexus 7 and 10, Samsung updating the Galaxy Tab and Note lines, Amazon’s update and international expansion of the Kindle Fire HD, as well as niche tablets from other brands. And tablets are set to continue their ascent: the latest research by Digitimes shows that tablet shipments are expected to hit 210 million units by 2013 — a 38.3 per cent increase on this year’s figures.

Photo sharing has now made its way into hardware. Wi-Fi-enabled cameras can now transfer photos almost instantaneously to social networks. On smartphones, filter-based photo-doctoring apps such as Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for US$1 billion (RM3.1 billion), and a number of wannabes were all the rage. — AFP-Relaxnews