A handful of key trends continued to emerge in mobile during the first three months of 2012: Smartphone sales surged both in the U.S. and worldwide, Android maintaine its astounding momentum and carriers struggled to cope with the ever-increasing consumption of mobile data. Apple promised to build on its lead in the booming tablet space with the launch of the new iPad, which offers some impressive new features without sacrificing price or battery life. And the fight to compile spectrum stole the spotlight in Washington, where federal regulators put Verizon’s proposed deal with a trio of cable companies under the microscope.
But we also saw some new developments in recent months. Android tablets began to steal market share from Apple’s iOS, thanks largely to the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. And the mobile advertising industry got a shot of validation with the wildly successful initial public offering of Millennial Media, which became the first sizable mobile ad firm to go public (rather than being acquired).
Meanwhile, the industry continued to lay the foundation for a mobile world that is growing dramatically. Verizon Wireless, AT&T and others built out their LTE networks, bringing lightning-fast connectivity to an ever-increasing number of users nationwide, building on the 5.6 million users who enjoyed LTE at the end of 2011. Microsoft and Nokia prepared to bring Windows Phone to the next level with an impressive new version of the operating system and an impending launch on AT&T. And Google and Android remained firmly in place as the two most important players in the world of mobile data.