The mobile platform wars heated up in a big way as 2012 came to a close: Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8, Apple continued to roll out its iPhone 5 around the world, and Android’s dominant market share grew. Meanwhile stores addressed the growing trend of show rooming their wares as mobile shopping reached record highs during the holiday season, and Microsoft joined the tablet craze with its Surface RT.
Other highlights from the quarter include:
- Mapping software emerged as a crucial weapon in the platform wars following Apple’s fumbled attempt to deliver its homegrown solution. Nokia may have failed to take advantage of that blunder with its Where app for iOS, but Google Maps for iOS has quickly gained traction among iPhone owners.
- Facebook sparked a backlash from its users when it implemented new privacy policies for users of its Instagram app. The company quickly reverted to its previous terms of service, but the snafu may have opened the door for Flickr and other photo-sharing apps.
This review discusses these developments and the impact they’re likely to have as we head into what promises to be an eventful 2013.