2009: Sun set, Goople rose, Pad crunched

The year saw surprises in the tech industry--some good, some bad, some expected, and others a bit of a shocker.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

The Sun finally set, while mob apps rose. The Goople duo saw their revenues climb, but the Pad went Crunch after much market hype. And that pretty much summed up 2009.

With the recession cloud hanging overhead, the year got off to a gloomy start. IT budgets were cut, CIOs were told to prioritize, there were layoffs abound and struggling companies folded.

Then came the announcement that sent the industry watchers running to watercoolers everywhere: Oracle was to buy IT pioneer Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion.

But while Sun employees are likely to look back at 2009 as a sad milestone, Apple and Google have reasons not to as both companies saw their revenues climb.

Apple saw its iPhones take to the world as the popular mobile device extended its reach across the globe, including China and Thailand, and the company rang in the registers when its stock hit a record-high on Christmas eve.

Google also saw its revenues soar amid a bleak economic landscape, and the search giant celebrated the mainstream debut of its mobile platform Android.

It was all mobile in 2009 as market players such as LG Electronics, Microsoft and Nokia, followed in the footsteps of Apple's App Store and opened their own app stores.

But while mobile apps took flight, one mobile device took hike. The much-anticipated CrunchPad was not to be after a legal dispute broke between its makers, TechCrunch and Singapore-based Fusion Garage. The tablet PC has since been resurrected as JooJoo.

Check out the top 10 headliners in 2009, ranked chronologically, based on the amount of reader discussion and number of pageviews the articles generated, and their impact on the industry.

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