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Another benefit of VoLTE is HD Voice, which enables sharper audio quality with phone calls. Then there's Wi-Fi calling, which T-Mobile made a lot of noise about at its Uncarrier 7 event. Sprint also offered Wi-Fi calling on select phones. With Apple now supporting Wi-Fi calling, there will be pressure on all of the carriers to broadly adopt the feature, which is handy when cellular reception is spotty. The carriers have already begun deploying all of these technologies, but they will go mainstream next year.
Meanwhile, acquisitions picked up at a steady pace, Facebook's 2012 purchase of Instagram photo-sharing service for $1 billion was a shocker around Silicon Valley, but it was nothing compared to the $19 billion the social network agreed case for iphone 7 to pay for the WhatsApp messaging program, It was also a year where cybersecurity became a central issue, following the revelations from Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor who leaked classified documents about all manner of government surveillance programs, Finally, 2014 didn't answer the perennial question that's hung over the smartphone industry for the whole year: Who will be its third-banana? Apple and Samsung are clearly in the top spots, both in unit sales and profits, But HTC, LG, Motorola and Lenovo are still duking it out for the third place on the podium, There's also a new competitor, Xiaomi, whose own phones have gained traction, particularly among Chinese consumers..
Here are the highlights from the year. It was a high-flying year in tech, with sky-high valuations and acquisitions, but there's also been plenty of controversy. Here are the biggest stories from the year. The technology industry has no shortage of sparks -- both bad and good -- in 2014. Uber hit a valuation of $40 billion, making it one of the most highly valued startups out there. At the same time, it faced a raft of controversies ranging from assaults by its drivers, to the charges it levies, to the way it treats journalists.
Many of the large tech companies began releasing demographic and diversity data about their employees, People concerned the tech industry was largely a bunch of white dudes were basically proven right: Every major case for iphone 7 company was overwhelmingly run without much diversity, in terms of gender or ethnicity, The issue hit a flashpoint in October, when Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said at a conference that women shouldn’t demand higher pay, but instead trust the system -- which was paying them disproportionately lower salaries to begin with -- to do the right thing, He’s spent the ensuing months apologizing and attempting to take a leadership position on equal pay..
If you thought 2011 was bad, with the attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network, and hacking attacks on all manner of government institutions by LulzSec and Anonymous, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Sony was attacked again this year, and a bunch of the information stolen was released online, including unreleased films. It may be one of the most damaging attacks ever. And there was also fallout from attacks at Target, Home Depot and others. Even CNET was hacked. Smartphones aren’t really changing much these days. Sure, the iPhone 6 is bigger than the iPhone 5S, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a sharper screen than the Galaxy Note 3, but the tectonic shifts that happened between smartphone iterations have largely vanished. It’s also unlikely large changes are on the horizon. Don’t believe us? Consider the iPad: Its frame didn’t even change much, and the battery life stayed roughly the same as well. Instead, this year’s biggest change was the addition of a fingerprint sensor to help unlock the device and use Apple Pay.
OK, so there was one major shift in the smartphone industry: Apple finally joined the phablet trend when it released its 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, Also worth noting: there are practically no major smartphone makers creating devices 4 inches or smaller anymore, During the financial crisis, the big trend in Silicon Valley was small acquisitions, This year was certainly the opposite: Between Branch, Oculus VR and WhatsApp, Facebook spent about $25 billion, and that’s just case for iphone 7 the ones we know about, Google kicked off 2014 with the $3.2 billion acquisition of home automation makers Nest, followed by another $555 million on the home camera maker Dropcam, Apple bought headphone and music maker Beats for $3 billion, its first multi-billion-dollar acquisition, And don’t forget the blockbuster tie-ups between AT&T and DirecTV or Comcast and Time Warner..
Samsung was at the top of the world at the beginning of the year, but it hasn’t ended it that way. The South Korean tech firm and Apple were the dominant smartphone makers. But with smartphone sales slowing and profits crashing, the company is struggling to find its stride. The company released its premiere smartphone, the Galaxy S5, with bullish expectations in April. But, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the device has sold 40 percent fewer devices than its predecessor. Apple and Samsung’s retrial of the century happened in San Jose, Calif., where a jury had to rehear a portion of the case between the two tech titans following the 2012 decision telling Samsung it owed Apple $1 billion. The new jury heard many of the same arguments from two years earlier, but ultimately tossed out a significant portion of the decision. Of course, now that the jury trials are over, it’s time for the appeals.
One of the biggest questions we case for iphone 7 had walking into 2014 was which company would ultimately take third place in the smartphone wars, Now that the year’s nearly over, we don’t really know. HTC’s One M8 was a great phone, but so was the Motorola Droid Turbo, the Moto X, the Sony Xperia Z3 and LG’s G3, Even BlackBerry’s boxy Passport phone garnered surprisingly good scores, although it remains a niche product, And don’t forget Xiaomi, the phone maker that really made a name for itself this year with its Apple-like style and design, So the market continues to be: Samsung, Apple, and the rest..