2011: The year mobility reigned Tech Broiler

Time and time again, Tech Broiler's top stories were all about mobile technology and digital convergence.
Written by Jason Perlow, Senior Contributing Writer on

This year, more than anything else, the content that resonated with our readers the most in terms of overall interest was all about the technology of mobility -- smartphones, tablets and other aspects of digital convergence.

As very well it should. So much happened this year in the mobile industry that it practically dominated the lion's share of coverage on ZDNet and on other technology sites.

In the number one spot, by a huge margin, it was all about the death of mobile Flash. I had a one day lead on the rest of the industry and broke the news that Adobe was going to kill the platform and refocus its efforts on HTML5. What resulted was an absolute media frenzy.

The original post itself was very short, but the analysis that followed delved into much more detail.

Without Mobile, Adobe Flash Is Irrelevant (November 2011)

In the number two spot, interestingly enough -- which gathered a ton of evergreen moss over the course of 2011 was published fairly early in the year.

iPad 2 vs. BlackBerry PlayBook: Of course you realize, this means war (Feb, 2011)

The piece was written just one day before the release of iPad 2 and six weeks before the finalized PlayBook actually shipped. Nobody really knew at the time what Apple had up its sleeve on the other side of the country, but I had a unique chance to take a look at RIM's tablet hardware and software.

While I really liked the QNX tablet OS software on the device (now known as BlackBerry 10) I knew even then that the product was going to face step competition from the iPad and even Android-based tablets and that serious deficiencies in functionality was going to seriously hamper the PlayBook's adoption.

I had said then that PlayBook might have been RIM's "Swan Song". Nine months later, after management shakeups, excessive inventory woes and its stock taking a beating on Wall Street, it looks like it's really starting to pan out that way for Waterloo.

The runner up posts about mobile tech? You guessed it. More tablet mania. My predictions for iPad 3 and why Apple has a clear-cut advantage in the supply chain.

The iPad 3 and what Apple needs to deliver (March 2011)

Apple's Secret iPad Advantage: The Supply Chain (February 2011)

Next to iPad and iPhone, what you guys really wanted to hear about was Android devices on the cheap as well as the cutting edge. Android now occupies a very interesting niche -- it has become both the mobile OS for the everyman as well as the bleeding edge technology user.

Why I jumped on Droid Bionic and not on iPhone 5 (September 2011)

Android Tablet on the Cheap: Acer Iconia is the XOOM Light (April 2011)

Motorola: To Compete Against iPad 2, You Need a Cheaper XOOM (March 2011)

In the number three and number four spots, you guys were apparently sending me a message about e-books and e-readers because it was by far the most highly trafficked topic next to smartphones and tablets. What's even more interesting is that all of these of these articles were written in 2010.

EPUB: The Final Barrier for Kindle Adoption (August 2010)

iPad vs. Kindle: Which is the better e-reader? (April 2010)

Apple iPad Showdown: Battle of the eReader Apps (June 2010)

Amazon still hasn't provided EPUB support in the Kindle, and I'm not sure they ever will. The price of the device has hit a rock bottom disposable $79.00 and they've proven that their ecosystem is what drives sales of their product more than anything else.

Because of that, I ended up buying two e-Ink Kindles this year for myself and my wife, and one for a father's day gift.

It wasn't e-book platform compatibility that eventually made it a no brainer, it was the price.

And while IPS LCD technology appears to be inferior overall to e-Ink for most reading scenarios, Amazon still sold millions of Kindle Fire 7" tablets at the end of 2011 with no end in sight for 2012. Hedging their bets between traditional black and white e-readers and mini-tablets seems to be a good strategy for Bezos and company.

Apple hasn't been a slouch in the e-reading department either. I bought two iPad 2s as well, and on virtually every business flight I was on this year its been a 50/50 split as to whether the passenger next to me is reading on an iPad or a Kindle. The dead tree medium? Not so much.

What were the tech topics that maintained your interest the most in 2011? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

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