Hey, Verge. What is your biggest surprise in 2011?
As far as our little gadgetry world is concerned, in general I find 2011 lacks out of no where surprises, there was always signs long before anything big happened. But I'll throw my first 3 thoughts out there. I'm sure y'all can think of something better.
1. In the fruity loop I find the company's patience surprising, in 2011 all Apple's new products are incremental and except the iPad 2, there was no new form factor, they left the iPod touch along, offered very limited eye candies elsewhere. Apple's apparent total lack of insecurity and sense of emergency in the face of deafening war cries from Android everyday is interesting.
2. At Googleplex, the most surprising thing is Samsung's fast rising. It is not that surprising Android as a whole had grown a lot in terms of market share, but Samsung now is miles ahead of everyone else in the pack. It shows a strong root in components and manufacturing is very important, also, mimicking the market leader shamelessly didn't hurt. Alas that's my rationale post-hoc. I totally didn't see it play out in that scale and pace.
3. Redmond had such difficulty pimping its mostly great WP7 platform. We all know Microsoft was facing an uphill battle, but it is Microsoft and its specialty is throwing money at things to make its own. Well that didn't happen in 2011, pundits offered endless opinions and advices, in the end I'm not sure any would make a difference. I was expecting at least some meaningful gains, It did not materialize.