The top 2011 tech news
1. Death of Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)
It was late in the day on Oct. 5, and just one day after Apple had unveiled its new iPhone 4S, Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs died. Jobs had battled cancer for years, taking several leaves of absence, but by August 2011, Jobs realized the time had come to say goodbye. He resigned from his post as Apple CEO, handing the position over to Tim Cook, and two months later, he passed away surrounded by family.
Google social efforts had been less than spectacular. Google Wave and Google Buzz did not succeed to get into the social networks market, and Orkut did not show much growth expections. But in June 2011, Google launched Google PLUS . Many features were similar to Facebook, but Google plus had some different features like “Circles” for grouping friends, as well as group video chats known as Hangouts. Google+ was open for public in September, and reached 40 million users a month later.
3. Microsoft buys Skype
On 10 May 2011, Microsoft announced it had agreed to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. This marked a 300% increase in value for the company in the three years since the eBay write-down in October 2007. This constitutes Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition. Skype faced challenges to its intellectual property and political concerns by governments wishing to control their telecommunications systems. As of 2010, Skype was available in 27 languages and has 660 million worldwide users, an average of over 100 million active each month.
4. AT&T tries to Acquire T-Mobile
AT&T announced in March plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. In August, the Justice Department and The FCC followed up in November with an anti-competitiver ruling, prompting AT&T to pull its merger application from the commission. AT&T announced on Dec. 19 that it would abandon plans to acquire T-Mobile.
5. iPhone 4S
Apple launched in October, the iPhone 4S, identical on the outside to the iPhone 4, but with a dual-core processor, souped-up camera, and Siri voice assistant on the inside. Eventhough many were disapointed there was no “iPhone 5,” consumers still rushed to buy the iPhone 4S, with 4 million sold in the first three days after it was available.
6. iPad 2
Apple launched the device in March 2011, the iPad 2, has a lithium-ion polymer battery that lasts up to 10 hours, a new dual core Apple A5 processor and VGA front-facing and 720p rear-facing cameras designed for FaceTime video calling. Apple sold more than 40 million ipad2 by the end of 2011.
7. Sony PlayStation Hack
A massive hack of the company’s PlayStation Network, forced it to take the popular gaming service, and eventually Sony Online Entertainment, offline for several weeks in late April. The hack affected approximately 70 million gamers. The system came back online in mid-May. Sony accused the hacking group Anonymous to be behind the intrusion, but the group denied any involvement.
8. RIM Nightmare
Research in Motion April launch of BlackBerry PlayBook tablet wasn’t a success. RIM recalled 1,000 PlayBooks due to a software glitch, Sprint canceled the PlayBook 4G, and then the price drops started. by the end of 2011 RIM wrote off $485 million worth of PlayBooks that it was unable to sell.
RIM was also was hit with the worst BlackBerry outage in its history in October. The company was also sued over the use of BBX, the name for its next-gen OS, eventually, RIM switched the name to BlackBerry 10. By mid-December, RIM delayed BlackBerry 10 phones because of component issues.
9. HP TouchPad tablet
HP unveiled the HP TouchPad tablet. The TouchPad couldn’t compete with the iPad. As a result, HP said in August that it would end support for webOS-based devices, including the TouchPad. The TouchPad was reduced to $99, and the TouchPad became very popular. In August, the company also announced that it would ditch its PC business, but when Meg Whitman stepped in as CEO shortly thereafter, she announced that HP would retain the PC business after all. Eventually, HP also decided to open-source webOS rather than sell to the highest bidder. Whitman recently suggested possible launch of another webOS tablet, but not before 2013.
10. Nokia drops symbian in favor of windows phone
In February, Nokia announced that it would migrate away from Symbian to Windows Phone 7. Nokia’s first ever Windows Phones, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 were launched on November 14, 2011. On June 22, 2011 Nokia has made an agreement with Accenture as an outsourcing program. Accenture will provide Symbian based software development and support services to Nokia through 2016.
11. Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon unveiled Kindle Fire tablet in late September for just $199. But the 7-inch device, as well as the rival Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, was largely seen as a low-priced alternative to the iPad rather than a “iPad killer.” Amazon claims the devices, as well as other Kindle devices, are flying off the shelves at a rate of “well over” one million per week.
12. Apple Patents War
Apple went after Samsung for “slavishly” copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy line of devices. Since April, when Apple first filed its suit, the two companies have filed more than two dozen lawsuits against each other around the globe. Apple has been successful in getting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 temporarily banned in Germany, and got the tablet delayed in Australia.
February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011