For those that remember I like to use this issue to summarise what happened in 2012. Last year was finally the year of the tablet PC, and at the same time the smartphone wars. Coming into the year Apple was the dominant player in both the smartphone and the tablet arena with the iPad and the iPhone. It looked like Apple was unstoppable and at the end of the year they were still the biggest computer company beating out Microsoft in total sales. Apple also took a bit of a hit with the loss of Steve Jobs, the main driving force and the individual responsible for putting the company in the strong position it was.
Lurking in the wings however was Samsung and the Android platform that was evolving out of its infancy into a strong market contender. Nokia continued to fall as did RIM and the Blackberry line and then the Galaxy S3 came out. Apple recognised the threat and started a series of court cases aimed at crippling Samsung's sales mostly based on issues of generic shapes like square versus rounded corners. They won some battles but lost a few as well.
A recent loss in Mexico, for example, meant they could not use the term iPhone or any version of it if they wanted to sell their products there. What Apple could not hide, however, was the technological superiority of the Samsung product and customers started to move. Panicking and with the loss of Jobs they rushed the iPhone 5 to market and the result was a new Apple product that for the first time had no "wow factor" and had problems in hardware and software. The result was a lukewarm reception that saw even more people adopt the S3 and saw Samsung top the smartphone most units sold chart. It also started a noticeable slide in Apple sales towards the end of the year that carried into places like China where Apple is sixth in smartphone standings.
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