This year will go down as one of the most important in mobile: every mobile operating system saw a major software update, dual core processors became common, phones became thinner than ever before, we lost one of the most important thinkers in the mobile space, Google bought Motorola, and so on. What stories made the biggest impact on Pocketnow editors? Here’s a look…
Samsung, Samsung, Samsung. In 2011, their flagship Galaxy S II would go on to be one of the best mobile phones of all time: it’s (still) faster than any other phone, the screen is gorgeous, the camera is phenomenal, and it manages to be one of the thinnest and lightest phones on the planet. Not only an exceptional phone, the Galaxy S II is widely available (and at great prices) on almost every carrier.
HP killing the whole Palm business was my favorite story. I’m still trying to understand why HP ever invested in Palm in the first place. The TouchPad had all the potential to be a true tablet contender if only they would’ve continued selling it. WebOS is still ahead of its time, and does deserve a third chance if you will. Sadly, it seems that HP is the last company to know what to do with it.
Adam Z. Lein
My favorite story from 2011 was probably the giant 6-story Windows Phone in Herald Square and the whole launch event for Windows Phone 7.5 on November 7th in New York City. It was a spectacular piece of performance art, with some great entertainment, and it was cool hearing that a quote from my Windows Phone 7.5 review appeared occasionally on the humungous live tiles. The party later that evening was a ton of fun as well since I got to meet a good number of Pocketnow readers who had great things to say about our work.
I was excited to see Nokia embark on its comeback with a pair of phones that, frankly, make Windows Phone look pretty hot; it’s like the platform’s unique interface needed some equally innovative hardware to really make it shine. Although I’ve never owned a Nokia device, I’ve always admired the company’s focus on design and image-capture, and would have been disappointed to see it fade to the point of irrelevance.
Anton D Nagy
There are quite a few favorite stories and it’s difficult to settle for one but the Nokia-Microsoft deal is probably number one on both my “Biggest story” and “Favorite story” lists. Call it guts, desperation or recognizing potential, Nokia turned out to have what it takes to go Windows Phone and Espoo delivered two phones in less than seven months. Probably the most important thing here is not the fact that we have yet another OEM (even though Nokia is not just any OEM) but that they’re committed to creating and improving an ecosystem in which all participants can benefit, and what’s most important, users will benefit.
My favorite story of 2011 isn’t one that I was necessarily glad to see happen, but the way it broke was just so fascinating and unexpected, it really stands out in my mind: the death of webOS. Sure, it’s not like the platform was ever flirting with the idea of competition on the level of iOS and Android, but it really seemed to be steadily plodding along, happy to keep its user base satisfied with a trickling-out of new hardware and software. Maybe the most surprising thing about the news was its proximity to the release of the Pre 3; in that sense, I’m reminded of when Microsoft killed-off the Kin “Wait, you sure you don’t want to give it a chance first? See how things go? No?” What can I say; I like surprises.
It may sound morbid, but my favorite stories in 2011 were tributes to and reflections on Apple’s Steve Jobs. I’m an Android guy, so much of my time is spent picking on Apple users. Even so, Steve changed the game. He moved us to the next level and everyone else was either forced to catch up — or get out of the game. Seeing people from all walks of life and from varied technological preferences rally together to pay reverent respect to the Visionary was moving and the feeling of community that we all share will remain a lasting influence on me for a long time to come.
Surprisingly my favorite story for 2011 wasn’t really a story at all, but the culmination of countless rumors. It was amazing how dedicated people were to believe that Apple was designing a new iPhone 5, even I thought a new iPhone design was coming out. With the redesign of the iPad 2 being thin and sleek, it only seemed logical that the iPhone would follow the same example. People rendered photos of the iPhone 5 from cases rendered from other’s imaginations. There were rumors about a larger screen, 4G, no 30-pin connector, and no more physical Home button, to just name a few. What made these rumors more intriguing was that Apple must be keeping the iPhone 5 inside some heavily armed bunker because not a single photo of the device surfaced. Finally when the Let’s Talk iPhone media event was announced we were even more intrigued by the fact that there would be no live video stream and only a limited number of mobile big-wigs were allowed to attend. In the end it was not Apple that disappointed, but the hype that we allowed ourselves to believe.
My favorite story from 2011 was from way back in the beginning of the year when Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft and showed us their first renders of a Nokia Windows Phone. I was so excited, after seeing rumors of Nokia possibly switching to Windows Phone it actually happened. They build some of the best phones out there in my opinion, just the fact that they ran Symbian was a shame. So it made sense to combine beautiful hardware and software to create a powerful competitor in the industry. Months later they announced the Lumia phones and even though they are mostly previous devices with brain transplants, they are still great phones and I’m looking forward to what they have coming next.