This year we saw lot of glitz and glamour in the gadget world. With sleeker smarter phones that were water proof to hybrid ‘phablets’ that had every one gapping in awe and admiration, 2012 was definitely a year of technology and this was evident at almost every gadget event held this year. If you have missed out on it, you needn’t worry, here at i2mag, we bring to you the highlights of the events of the tech world in 2012.
Mobile World Congress 2012:
Using a mobile phone for making and receiving calls alone, is a thing of the Stone Age. Mobiles have become an integral part of our daily lives whether it is for browsing the net or driving outdoors. Mobile manufacturers work real hard to get the best of mobile phones that can cater to individual needs and what better platform to showcase your final products than the GSM Mobile World Congress. The Mobile World Congress is not just about displaying the latest gadgets to the world but a common platform for the mobile makers, networking experts, App developers and all people involved in making of a modern day mobile phone.
We bring to you a summary of display from your favorite brands at the Mobile World Congress.
Although the exteriors of the mobile were not eye-catching, Acer’s Cloud Mobile earned the honours by producing a respectable internal design. Plus, it offers a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chipset and 4.3-inch HD display.
Nokia grabbed everyone’s attention at the MWC 2012 with its wide range of mobile phones. The company was loaded with complete ‘ammo’ to launch products to meet requirements across the market. Nokia started the proceedings with the introduction of Lumia 610 Tango phone and introducing the Lumia 900 to the global market. But for the tech-geeks like us, the show stealer was definitely, the Nokia 808 Pure View which comes with a 41 MP camera.
Further, the company also introduced 3 economy model phones in the Asha Series named Asha-202, Asha-203 and Asha 302. This series of phones come with collection of 40 games, so you have the perfect accompanying device for those long bus/train rides.
Known for its amazing product launches, Samsung introduced a 10.1-inch tablet to its family of slates. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is an S-Pen variant of the Galaxy Tab. This tablet runs Touchwiz-infused ICS on a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM. The 10.1-inch display is placed opposite to a 3-MP rear-facing camera and beside a 2MP one for video conferencing. S-Pen specific features enhance the ease of usability of the Adobe Photoshop Touch on this tablet.
Sony widened the Xperia range of products at the MWC 2012 with the introduction of 3 mobiles Xperia-S, Xperia-P and Xperia-U. Sony also confirmed the launch of Ion (with a 12 MP camera) into the global market at this conference.
HTC targeted the high, middle and low end segment of the smartphone market with three extremely targeted models named One-X, One-S and One-V, all sharing the same design outline. The company is largely banking on the HTC One line to get out of their poor performance in late 2011.
Panasonic came to the MWC 2012 with Eluga (Elegant User oriented gateway) Power. Key features apart from a 5 inch display were the waterproof (up to 1 M deep) and dustproof nature of the phone. The company was aiming to enter the global phone market with the Eluga Power.
ZTE announced an ample amount of devices for MWC2012. It included devices running on both Android OS as well as Windows. The company has announced a range of low to high end mobile phones and a series of Tablets. With such a huge product range, it was quite clear that ZTE was aiming for a larger piece of pie in the market.
Mozilla took a step forward by unleashing the power of the web to the user. It announced the launch of Mozilla Marketplace for innovative developers to design and create Apps on HTML5 and Java platforms. Mozilla’s idea is quite simple. The company wants to break the bond between the App and the operating system is usually made for. By using other platforms, Apps made will be more user-oriented. If the grapevine is to be believed, Mozilla’s association with LG might lead to a launch of a tablet or a smart phone in near future.
ASUS monopolized the spotlight, releasing just three intriguing new devices. ASUS named these gadgets as padfones. Depending on the usage, the Transformer Pad’s (Infinity and 300) can be either tablets or netbooks.
At the MWC, Intel announced the introduction of the Atom Z2460, Atom Z2580 and Z2000processors. The latest Medfield processor will run at 2 Ghz frequency. Atom Z2000 will power the economic model phones running at 1.0 GHz frequency suitable for Android games. Intel’s tie-up with LAVA mobiles resulted in a launch a series of smart phone called xolo-x900 for the Indian market.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Launch Event:
Aiming for sweet revenge for all the lawsuits, Samsung put all their energies behind the launch of their Galaxy S3 smartphone. Coining the product as ‘designed for humans’, the phone is powered by a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Quad core processor and operates on the Android ICS 4.0 version. It has a brilliant display with 4.8 inch screen size and 8 MP camera yielding super sharp images. S3 also comes bundled along with the following accessories C pen stylus, wireless charging kit and an all share Hub.
The company increased its number of retail outlets to boost sales and made the phone available with 4 US National carriers and several other carriers globally to increase their market reach. In addition, special offers were rolled out for registered users of S3 such Flipboard and the Scan and Match feature. Samsung also partnered with Dropbox to make an additional 50 GB of free additional storage space available for all the S3 registered users.
The World Wide Developer’s Conference 2012 was Apple’s first annual event since 1998 that did not feature a keynote address from Steve Jobs. Conducted to showcase Apple’s new technologies to its developers, the 5000 entries at WWDC are usually sold out well before the event. Tim Cook’s first WWDC as CEO, integrated guided access and Turn by Turn navigation into iOS6 maps and brought complete protection case for your favourite tablet. Apple also showcased its premium laptop products MacBook Pro and MacBook Air at this event. Also, the company proudly presented numbers at this conference such as its 66 million user base for the Mac OS, and the 400 Million Apple App user accounts that download from an ocean of 650,000 Apps. The App Store also hit the 3 billion downloads mark this year.
Eyeing a market share in the small tablet segment, Apple introduced the iPad mini on 23rd October at the most awaited event of the year in San Jose to rival the popularity of Google NEXUS 7 and Amazon Kindle FIRE HD. The launch event was strategically placed days before the release of Microsoft’s SURFACE tablet scheduled for 26th October.
The launched started with the introduction of the 13-inch Mac Book Pro which weighs about 4.5 pounds and is 20% thinner. The biggest selling point for this notebook was its retina display. Priced at $1,199 for the 2.5 GHz and $1,499 for the 2.9 GHz variants, Apple also introduced the updated Mac mini for $599. At the event Apple also introduced the most elegant of all iMac computers. This all-in-one Mac has a 45% thinner display and weighs 8 pounds lesser than its predecessor.
Before introducing the star performer of the event, Apple unveiled the 4th generation iPad with key specs being retina display and Dual core A6 chip and Quad core graphic processor. The 30 pin connector which was being used since 2003 has finally been changed in this latest iPad and is replaced by Lightening Connector.
The iPad Mini was introduced last to make a lasting impression of the event. The display of the mini measures a mere 7.9 inches diagonally, as much as 33% smaller compared to a regular sized iPad while still remaining a bit (0.9 inches to be precise) larger than its rivals.The iPad mini runs on Apple’s latest software update iOS 6 with all the features available on the normal iPad and iPhone. Browsing the internet just got faster with Apple’s Lightening connector.
Days after NASDAQ approved Facebook’s listing, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, rung the opening bell in Times Square in New York. Facebook went public this year, to raise more money for its acquisitions and development work. Although, there was a slight delay from the NASDAQ end at the beginning of the day’s trading, an arrangement was worked out to accommodate firm losses. On its debut, Facebook did well at NASDAQ. A day after, Friday, the shares were at $32.25 taking their price at approximately 15% lower than the IPO price of $38. The prices dropped down further on May 22 even as US markets pushed higher. Financial market analysts said Facebook IPO event taught the market a lesson. To summarize, the Facebook IPO was a financial success. The company raised a treasure chest of $16 billion and helped in making of a couple of millionaires who were patient enough to see the social network reach a billion users.
Google I/O event 2012:
Google I/O (Innovation in the Open) event began in 2008 to bring together its developers and showcase their new offerings. Realizing the rapid growth of iPhone users, Google brought Chrome to iOS platform and announced its launch at this year’s event. The event also saw showcases of integration of time and Location in Google’s Search and launch of smart personal search assistant Google Now. Google also released their plans of making Chrome books available in the US market through 100 Best Buy stores. In addition, Google, in association with ASUS, also introduced a powerful yet economic 7-inch mini tablet called the NEXUS 7 running on Jelly Bean 4.1 OS.
Gadgets have changed the way we perceive and interact with the world, and each year these tech companies take technology to newer heights. With competition getting stiffer, many companies that once ruled the world of technology are finding it tough to hang on and are on the brink of collapse. Will the coming year just get tougher and more competitive, well that only time can tell.