By Jimmie Geddes email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Dec 31, 2012 09:49 PM EST
It's time to take a look back at the top (read: biggest and hottest) technology stories of 2012.
Apple Maps - Apple Maps was big this year and not in a good way for Apple. The Apple Maps debacle caused many problems for users. Only days after releasing iOS 6, Apple released an apology statement for letting down its customers. Australian police even issued a press release warning that using it could actually kill you.
Samsung Galaxy S3 - The Samsung Galaxy S3 was the first of the several Android smartphones that posed a real threat to the iPhone's supremacy, and proved to be even better. Many tech pundits ranked the Samsung Galaxy S3 as the best smartphone of 2012, edging out Apple's iPhone 5. Samsung broke records when it announced the Samsung Galaxy S3 sold 10 million units in less than 2 months .
Google Nexus 7 - Google Nexus 7 was the small tablet that changed everything. Its $199 price tag and high end specs made it a runaway hit for Google's first foray into the 7-inch tablet world. With over 8 million units expected to be sold by the end of 2012 and only being on the market since July, Google has a winner on its hands.
iPhone 5 - The iPhone 5 was one of the most anticipated devices of 2012. And it did not disappoint. It was the first iPhone to feature a 4-inch screen and 4G LTE. It proved Apple was willing to change with the times by offering an iPhone with a larger screen. It became Apple's most successful launch in history and analysts believe Apple could sell 46 million iPhone 5 handsets in the December quarter.
Microsoft Surface - Microsoft's Surface Tablet didn't go over well with Microsoft's partners as it was a sign Microsoft was following Apple and Google by getting into the tablet hardware business. It still remains to be seen if the Surface can be an iPad killer but it was one of the biggest tech surprises of 2012.
BlackBerry - 2012 was the year that BlackBerry, once king of the smartphone world, was banished from the kingdom. After impressing the world with demos of BlackBerry 10, RIM couldn't hold on to the magic. After announcing a delay to the launch of its next generation BlackBerry 10 hardware and software until 2013, RIM will have a tough time regaining confidence and trust in BlackBerry users.
iPad mini - The iPad mini was the tablet that was never supposed to come out of Cupertino. Steve Jobs famously declared tablets will smaller screens than Apple's 9.7-inch tablet would be DOA (dead on arrival). Apple's 7.9-inch iPad mini proved to be a huge winner for Apple even with a screen size the late-Apple founder believed would never be successful. An expected 12 million sold by the end of 2012 proves iPad mini is a success and Steve Jobs is wrong.
Apple vs Samsung - Apple vs. Samsung was the biggest fight between two of the biggest tech titans. Apple accused Samsung of infringing on iPhone and iPad patents and sued Samsung in federal court. A jury decided in Apple's favor that Samsung did indeed infringe on Apple's patents and awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages.
Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 - Windows 8 was a landmark departure from any previous version of Windows before it. Windows 8 lost the iconic Windows Start Menu that was a staple to every Windows release beginning with its debut in Windows 95. Microsoft followed Apple's OS X and iOS approach by bringing personal computers, tablets and other mobile devices together through Windows 8. Windows 8 was designed to be controlled via touch, mouse or keyboard and took on a more uniform look resembling Microsft's Windows Phone 8 operating system.
Nintendo Wii U - Nintendo grabbed a lead over Microsoft and Sony by being the first to release the next generation gaming console - Wii U. Within a week of its release on Nov. 18, about 400,000 units of Wii U flew off the shelves, even as rumors swirled that the console's CPU and GPU were slower than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
What do you think were the hottest technology stories of 2012? Let us know in the comments below.