Poll of the week: What were your tops and flops in 2021?

The year 2021 is drawing to a close and before we greet 2022 with popping champagne corks, let’s take a look back. We at NextPit have reported on countless news and stories over the past year. In this survey we want to know from you what the highs and lows – the tops and flops – of the year 2021 were.

Highlights of 2021

While many believed the pandemic was over, we are still preoccupied with it. Not only is the virus still infecting thousands of people every day, the impact on the economy, tourism, the supply chain, and many other sectors are unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Despite all the problems, the companies managed to publish their products as usual. Apple not only brought the new iPhone 13 models back onto the market in September, but also stuck to its plan to convert the Mac range entirely to its own SoCs.

Samsung did not use its traditional unpacked event in August for a new Galaxy Note series (RIP), but to introduce the Galaxy Z family with a foldable screen and at the same time give up Tizen for the Galaxy Watch series and, instead, Google’s Wear OS to use.

In 2021 there were also some developments in the brands. Xiaomi left other Chinese brands like Oppo and Vivo behind in order to consolidate itself as the third largest smartphone brand in the world – behind Apple and Samsung. The Koreans have earned a lot of praise for showing that foldable devices are ready for the mass market and that they can promise security updates for most of their models for four years.

On the components side, the outsider MediaTek has left Qualcomm behind. The Taiwanese company is very successful in the Chinese market and supplies low-cost 5G processors for the local brands. And it came just in time for the void left by Huawei, which is still affected by the US trade embargo.

As far as trends are concerned, 5G is still a buzzword in 2021, as the new generation brings ever cheaper devices and better network support. The number of megapixels, on the other hand, seemed to be stagnating, with the same peak resolution as in 2020 (and 2019). The arms race in 2021 shifted to fast charging, with Xiaomi introducing the 200-watt HyperCharge system and many Chinese brands offering adapters over 60 watts.

In 2021 there were also big improvements in terms of privacy, both on iOS and Android. Positive news on the right to repair of brands like Apple and Microsoft and Meta (formerly Facebook), which reversed the announced (and postponed) changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

The lows of 2021

In conversation with the NextPit editorial team I couldn’t find any real disappointments with any of the products. But there were some hyped devices that didn’t really deliver what they promised. One example is the Nothing Ear (1). They are anything but bad, but the startup founded by OnePlus alumni Carl Pei has clearly overhyped its starter product.

Another release that was probably more about marketing than substance was Huawei’s “own operating system” – HarmonyOS. The mobile operating system that is currently used in the MatePad tablet series is already in version 2.0 and is clearly a fork from the Android source code. With confusing notifications about IoT devices and the in-house LiteOS microkernel from Huawei.

While some of my colleagues cited the Pixel 6 range as one of the highlights of 2021, others were clearly disappointed with the new smartphones as they lacked revolutionary features.

As for brands, one company pulled out of the smartphone market entirely in 2021. LG confirmed back in April that it was withdrawing from the phone business. While its market share was almost insignificant in Europe and most of the Asian countries, it still had a pretty strong market in South Korea (logically) and the US (surprisingly).

Another Asian brand, this time OnePlus, also hit the headlines in 2021. And not just because of the Hasselblad partnership, but above all because of the new path that the company has taken as a sub-brand of Oppo. Including the acquisition of ColorOS.

What about trends and news? The year 2021 had a lot to offer – from overheated components in smartphones to product and parts shortages. This year, more and more brands stopped putting chargers in the box of new smartphones, especially on flagship devices. In 2021, these can only rarely be expanded with microSD cards.

Plus, the big tech companies have been in the news all the time. With executive hearings in the US and a long outage of Facebook’s services. And that around the same time that the company was confronted with allegations of negligence and manipulation.

Apple and Google have also been in the spotlight, with the ongoing investigation into alleged market abuse of app stores and also security vulnerabilities, especially zero-day vulnerabilities. In addition, they made headlines with Pegasus. A spyware that made the NSO Group famous overnight.

And with that, we’re pretty much saying goodbye to the year 2022! Feel free to discuss the trends of the past year in the comments. Because in this way we can see in the next year what needs to be better in 2022. I wish you a happy new year and look forward to evaluating this survey in January.

Source link -66