Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
30th Dec 2016
In a few hours, 2016 will be behind us. This year saw the iPhone and Android devices consolidate their duopoly. In India, Chinese brands ruled the budget smartphone segment. Virtual Reality (VR) continued to gain traction. However, it was Augmented Reality (AR) that stole the show. Multi-billion-dollar tech acquisitions made headlines throughout the year. Based on these trends, we have put together top 10 stories of the year.
Pokemon GO clocks in 100 million downloads
Pokemon GO was undoubtedly the most talked video game of the year. Cleverly fusing the Augmented Reality tech with Nintendo's weird franchise, Niantic's mobile game become a rage. The game is said to be so addictive that several people fell to their death while catching imaginary beings. On the bright side though, it made the youth get off their seats and go out.
The Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco
Bigger they are, the harder they fall. This turned out to be quite true in Samsung's case. After a smash hit, Galaxy S7 Edge, the company found itself in the middle of the Note 7 disaster. Many units of the Korean company's top-end handset burst into flames sending a few unlucky owners to the hospital. After trying to salvage the situation with "safe" replacement units, Samsung finally discontinued the Note 7 within a month of its launch.
Currency demonetisation popularises digital wallets
Samsung's phone wasn't the only "note" to be recalled in 2016. Indian Government demonetised the existing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. A move meant keep black money in check caused major inconvenience to the masses. With cash hard to come by, those with access to technology moved to cashless means such as PayTM and Freecharge.
Google's Project Ara gets a final nail in its coffin
Under Google's leadership, Motorola Mobility acquired Modu, a small company that popularised the downright dumb idea of manufacturing modular phones. Thanks to a fancy promo video though, most people started seeing it as the future of mobile phones. However, after a series of delays, sense prevailed and Google finally killed the Project Ara.
Apple launches its first phone with dual-camera setup
For the first time, Apple unveiled a phone with a dual-camera setup. The iPhone 7 Plus' 12-megapixel camera is coupled with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens to help you zoom-in better. The additional lens also enables depth of field effect on the iPhone. Apple claims that their latest phone can capture the bokeh effect, which was previously reserved for the DSLR cameras. While Apple did make this technology mainstream, there were quite a few smartphones that featured the dual-cameras much before the iPhone.
Elon Musk presents his crazy plan to colonise Mars
Addressing the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Mexico, Elon Musk said that he does not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but there are only two possible ways forward. "One path is to stay on Earth forever, and there will be some extinction event. The alternative is to become a multi-planetary species, which I hope you will agree is the right way to go.” Following the dramatic speech, he unveiled SpaceX's crazy plan to colonise Mars.
Reliance Jio disrupts the telecom market
Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio disrupted the mobile network space with its insane introductory offers on data and calling. Within a few months, it has garnered over 16 million users in India. However, Jio's network works differently when compared to that of established players such as Vodafone and Airtel. For starters, Jio voice calls make use of data. This led to a surge in demand for VoLTE handsets in India.
Biggest tech brands go shopping
In one of the biggest acquisitions in the industry, software-giant Microsoft bought LinkedIn for over $26 billion. The Redmond-based company thinks that LinkedIn's database of over 400 million professional profiles will be essential to integrate its Office productivity suite. The move will also make Microsoft the biggest HR in the world. Similarly, Samsung bought the American brand Harman. Verizon acquired one of the pioneers of the web Yahoo!'s core business for a paltry $5 billion.
Nokia announces return to smartphones
Nokia finalised the deal with HMD Global Oy (HMD) to provide the branding rights and intellectual property licensing. HMD, which is a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group has also closed a deal with Microsoft to gain the rights to exclusively use the Nokia brand for next 10 years. In Nokia's deal with Microsoft, the Finnish company offloaded its devices business to the software giant. The deal included a licence to use Nokia brand identity on feature phones. The rights to use Nokia name on the smartphones remained with the Finnish brand. The Nokia branded Android smartphones are expected to hit the stores next year.
Microsoft's makes desktops cool again
Microsoft's Surface brand is known for interesting PC hardware. The Redmond based company has already changed the perception towards tablets and laptops with its Surface slate and Surface Book. This time around, the software giant is changing the way we look at the desktop computers with its Surface Studio desktop computer. The machine baosts of an ultra-thin LCD touchscreen and futuristic Surface Dial.
Top Stories That Defined Tech In 2016
Here are the important developments that shaped 2016.
- Noise announces its new Qualcomm Powered Bluetooth Neckband
- Skullcandy Launches Noise Reduction Earbuds at RS. 7999
- Zebronics launches TWS earphone “Zeb-Sound Bomb”
- HiFuture launches the longest battery true wireless earbuds in India
- Digisol Launches Smart Switch for Smart Cities
- Airtel announces Revised Tariffs for Mobile customers
- Portronics launches iLUMI, an LED lamp with inbuilt Bluetooth Speaker
- Toreto launches its Remix Series of “USB Wall Charger” with Built-in Bluetooth Speaker
- Launching FINGERS LivMusic Wireless Neckband - Live, Breathe and Absorb Music Non-Stop!
- Techno Launches New Smartphone at Rs.8499