In 2012, the industry changed drivers. The PC, long the core engine of electronics, became the hollow center of it all.
Growth fled to the extremes—mobile systems and cloud computing. Mobile commanded the lion’s share of the energy and money. The smartphone, the tablet and the phablet replaced the PC as the new client systems of choice.
Intel tried to divert the trend back in its direction with a new generation of slim laptops it dubbed ultrabooks, but the concept struggled for traction. Google briefly captured the industry’s imagination with a longer term vision for a future client it called Google Glasses.
Some of our biggest stories of the year were teardowns of the latest iPhones and iPads and their closest Android-based competitors from Amazon and Samsung. A gadget-crazed industry hungered to explore the guts of the new client machines.
The rise of mobile systems set up a domino effect. It spawned a flood of mobile data, choking access networks. Carriers ran trails of small cell base stations and new back haul networks to bail out their overflowing systems. Their work laid a foundation for new infrastructure markets in 2013 and beyond.
Hate self promotion, but I would like to mention that shifts like ARM a winner in smartphone silicon and mobile cloud becoming a major trend were anticipated in my book "Smartphone" published in December 2011. It also provided details of how Windows world is changing in the post-PC era.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.