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"Don't use Huawei, ZTE," says U.S. House committee
That was the simple message by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee after the two Chinese telecommunications equipment makers were not proven of any wrongdoing, but enough suspicion fell on the firms to err U.S. businesses on the side of caution. The firm even said -- albeit in a self-commissioned report -- that it was not engaging in espionage in any country it operates in, and isn't under the thumb of the Chinese ruling party.
Despite the problems stateside, British Prime Minister David Cameron still welcomed Huawei chief executive Ren Zhengfei into Downing Street after Huawei pledged to invest $2 billion into the U.K. economy. Some weeks later, a U.K. parliamentary committee said it would launch its own probe into the Chinese technology giant's relationship with the U.K.'s largest telecoms provider, British Telecom (BT).
Only months after the U.S. House gave its verdict, a Huawei-shaped hole appeared in the U.S. telecoms market, and Helsinki, Finland-based Nokia Siemens Network -- with its own money troubles -- was ready to fill that gap as a safe bet for U.S. companies.
Hurricane Sandy devastates East Coast; wreaks havoc on infrastructure
The worst storm to hit the East Coast in years, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey the hardest. Infrastructure was hit badly and many low-lying data centers were damaged by the flooding. Web sites suffered massive outages and cell networks struggled to continue transmitting. Power outages hit many for weeks. For three long days, Manhattan was practically in the Dark Ages.
It took the cell networks -- including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- more than a week to get cell service up and running again. The storm caused 25 percent of the country's cell masts to collapse or stop working in the affected states. Ultimately quarterly earning reports were dinged.
That said, some glimmer of hope arrived when AT&T and T-Mobile joined forces to alleviate some of the pressures on consumers and businesses by allowing their subscribers to share each others' network while cutting the roaming costs.
Apple launches iPhone 5
Apple was expected to launch the iPhone 5 in one of the most anticipated events of 2011, but eventually didn't happened until 2012. Many thought that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant would release the media-dubbed 'iPhone 5' last year, but instead released a the iPhone 4S which was built with minor revisions from the most recent model, the iPhone 4. How was Apple going to maintain its edge in the smartphone market?
With a 4-inch smartphone offering next-generation 4G LTE speeds. But, after the event, many media members and company analysts were left disappointed. Many consumers took to social media networks to air their frustration, and complain that innovation was plummeting in the company.
Apple ultimately suffered a loss during its fourth quarter earnings report. However, with 15 percent of the company's revenue in China, Apple launched the iPhone 5 in the world's most populated country in December.