Most popular stories of 2012

Ian Hardy

December 31, 2012 7:00pm

Today – December 31st – marks the last day of 2012. This year we saw the mobile industry in Canada escalate to new levels from all angles: carriers, manufacturers, developers and retailers. The industry, according to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, is on the rise and “is set to exceed 100 per cent in just the next few years.” It’s never been easier for Canadians to access and share information. Within seconds and at the touch of our device – smartphone or tablet – we can immediately find out our bank balance, check emails, weather, sports, surf the web, play games, edit docs, upload videos and share the experience via a desired social network.

This year we saw the rise of Android and the slight decline of BlackBerry. We saw Microsoft introduce Windows 8 and RIM tease the world with BlackBerry 10. Samsung released two flagship devices, the Galaxy S III and the Note II. Both of these helped them increase their market share to become the world’s top mobile manufacturer. Apple launched the iPhone 5 with a bigger display, then after a debacle with their maps app, decided it was time to let a couple key execs go.

Our Canadian carriers continued to battle over monthly price plans and who had the fastest and largest LTE network. Rogers is still the leader when it comes to subscriber numbers, Bell and TELUS followed. The newer carriers extended their coverage and offerings, but are still having a challenge signing up customers. There’s no official word on the subs of Mobilicity or Public, but WIND Mobile has over 500,000 subscribers and will probably hit the 600k by the end of the year. Canadians are talking less, texting and consuming more data. We can thank Gangnam Style for that.

Below are some of the most popular mobile stories of 2012. It’s a mix of hot news, device launches and reviews:

– RIM co-CEO’s step down, Thorsten Heins steps in [Read here]
– Galaxy Nexus launches in Canada [Read here]
– “We just got Samsunged” [Read here]
– RIM unveiling BlackBerry 10 on January 30th in Toronto [Read here]
– Google Nexus 4 Review (Video) [Read here]
– iPhone 5 Review (Video) [Read here]
– HTC Windows Phone S Review [Read here]
– HTC One X+ Review (Video) [Read here]
– Hands-on with the HTC 8X and 8S (video) [Read here]
– iPhone 5 is now available in Canada! [Read here]
– Video: Samsung’s new ad says the iPhone 5 is for your mom and dad [Read here]
– LG Optimus G Review (TELUS & Rogers) [Read here]
– Microsoft Surface RT tablet review [Read here]
– Samsung Galaxy Note II Review [Read here]
– Sony Xperia T Review [Read here]
– HTC Windows Phone 8X Review [Read here]
– Bell Motorola ATRIX HD LTE Review (Video) [Read here]
– Samsung has to pay $1,051,855,000 in damages to Apple for patent infringement [Read here]
– The day RIM got real: We preview two upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices [Read here]
– Hands-on with BlackBerry 10 keyboard and homescreen (video) [Read here]
– Rogers aims to bring LTE to 20 million Canadians “by the end of 2012″ [Read here]
– TELUS’ LTE network is now live [Read here]
– Sony Xperia ion review (video) [Read here]
– Samsung Galaxy S III didn’t explode, it was caused by an “external energy source” [Read here]
– Samsung Galaxy S III Review [Read here]
– CLEARNET, once again, decides to stop activating new clients [Read here]
– Google completes acquisition of Motorola Mobility [Read here]
– RIM officially launches BlackBerry 10 platform (Video) [Read here]
– Bell’s Push-to-talk network now live [Read here]
– WIND wins Supreme Court foreign ownership battle against Public [Read here]
– Rogers Sony Xperia S hands-on [Read here]
– “Solo Mobile will no longer be activating new customers” [Read here]
– Apple iPad (2012) Review [Read here]
– Ottawa: 700MHz auction will start first half 2013 [Read here]

As for what to expect in 2013, here are some thoughts:
– The rise of RIM’s BlackBerry 10
– Mobile banking adoption increases
– Canadians will become more comfortable with their smartphone becoming a “mobile wallet”
– Manufacturers will focus on features rather than specs
– Manufacturers will work on improving device battery life
– 700Mhz spectrum auction will increase competition in Canada
– Carrier consolidation will happen in 2013 (Wind, Mobilicity, Public)
– CRTC will hopefully rid the 3-year contract (BIG dream)

  • 2c

    FIRST! RIP RIM!!!!! 😀 😀

    • xyz

      some people need lives coming on here posting about rim..go get laid

    • Sam

      Most popular story in 2012 is the revolutionary Apple map, without it Google wouldn’t make money
      Thanks stupid apple engineers

    • Xpectation

      As for what to expect in 2013, here are some thoughts:

      -Make 3yr contracts illegal; just like in the rest of the world. Should have been the FIRST topic on the list.

      -As for RIM:”The rise of RIM’s BlackBerry 10″ implies that RIM will succeed and that remains to be seen.
      It should have been:

      -RIM’s Survival (the answer is yes or no and can go either way)

      Having a lot of people getting new phones on 3 yr contracts reduces the chances of Windows and RIM to sell their phones. A 2yr contract would have made easier /cheaper for people to switch ecosystems,and to create a more dynamic and updated Canadian wireless industry.

  • Ronell

    RIM, RIM, RIM…..if RIM was making the news so much going down. I can’t imagine how much news there going to Generate in 2013 when they start there come back.

    A come back doesn’t take 1 year for anyone who’s not that smart. BB10 and Canada for the win !!

  • The real 2c

    Thumbs up if you think I’m a troll. Thumbs down if you agree that RIM is dead.

  • Darth Paton

    “The rise of Rim’s Blackberry 10” seems unlikely, given where the market is at right now. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Sean

    I think we can all wish that 2013 brings about the end of 3 year contracts… i would be totally fine with 2 year ones. Though as you said that is a big dream…

    • EvanK

      I’m not totally sold that we’ll see an end to 3 year contracts, but if that doesn’t happen I’m sure that we’ll eventually see an end to contracts as a whole. After all, you buy your laptop outright and not with an internet subscription, you buy your TV outright and not with a cable package, so why not your phone?

    • StephenBB81

      What will you be willing to give up for 2yr contract vs 3yr contract from the carriers?

      This is the question I pose every time this topic comes up at events.
      The Carriers investors are not going to just say “oh shucks no more 3yr contracts we’ll accept the revenue/profit hit”
      Will Carriers increase monthly fees to cover the loss of projected revenue?
      How will carriers handle equipment discounting? your $700MSRP phone with the $500 discount needs to be addressed to you visibly for the discount to actually mean anything, so $500 over 24 months is $20.83 on your monthly plan in addition to the required voice/data revenue vs the $13.89 over 36months, Carriers realistically MUST add $7 per month to all plans to appease share holders if contracts drop form 36 to 24months.

  • EvanK

    So excited for the 700MHz auction! The more competition the better!

    • StephenBB81

      While I’d like to see More competition,
      I’m not a fan of all the added foreign investment into Canadian infrastructure.
      The Big 3 in Canada need a GOOD smack and to learn about customer service, and create real competition. but in reality any new entrant will be basically Toronto/Vancouver/Calgary/Ottawa if you don’t live in those cities, you’re SOL.
      I’d hope to see WIND who seems to be the leading #4 carrier to get the 700Mhz and hopefully expand into more of Canada.
      I’ve got many phones, many lines, and I have an Office in Vancouver and Mississauga, but I live outside of any of the coverage maps for new entrants so I stick to Bell/Rogers as my 2 Carriers.
      bringing in more small bit players wont really add pressure to the Big3, it will take an existing Player to push the big 3, but I want rules tied to the 700Mhz spectrum about the company’s employee base choice, I don’t want to see whom ever wins it taking all the profits from their new reach and paying people in other countries to service us. and then contract out the same people Bellus/Rogers does to do service.

  • nomes

    I’m a big RIM supporter but stating there was a slight decline for RIM is an understatement. Europe and Africa are basically saving them for the moment.

    I’m hoping BB10 is a success, and at the start of 2014 we will talk about how RIM turned things around.

  • {JPM}

    75% of the popularity came form people trying to troll RIM

  • CRTC

    Guys I kinda had a bit of change of mind, I think this year I will let wind expand and get that spectrum. Mabye its time to tell the big 3 to get off my balls.

    ….or not


  • 2c

    I do it all, baby.

    We’ll need a safe word.
    How about “RIP RIM”?

    Please respond.

  • Mihir

    I feel RIM coming back to the top is not totally unlikely. However, it will not be a walk in the park for them. BB10 in itself is not enough to pull RIM out of its self-dug grave.
    In addition to a streamlined, high-class release, RIM has to do a few other things.
    As I outlined in my article (, one of the major things RIM will have to do is choose their target market/demographic, and cater advertising and services to that chosen demographic.

    • StephenBB81

      RIM has chosen their target market,
      They want users who are hyper connected, and want their device to just work
      The person who wants to tinker and play with all settings, load new OS builds, etc they are Android people
      The Person who wants 1 or 2 tasks at a time, and is more self entertained than socially entertained will go to iOS.

      Twitter acknowledges that even current BlackBerry users are more engaged as a group than any other OS grouping on twitter, they are active with a greater number of their followers/followees(?).

      I can’t speak to RIM’s marketing strategy, and who they plan to target but CEO Thorsten Heins said RIM is going for the Number 3 spot, they aren’t gunning for Number 1 in the short term, and seeing as RIM has a user base in the 79Million plus active subscribers, and a BBM user base of near 60Million
      RIM’s BlackBerry Balance is a wonderful tool to embrace the BYOD movement that has hurt them in the past, and BES10 also embraces the need to control iOS and Android devices in the work place giving RIM a revenue stream from competition devices, they can’t be compared to Palm by anyone with any sort of intelligence. and they are far more than just phone as a company.

      2013 Will see the Rise of RIM’s BlackBerry 10, the adoption of it and life of it into 2014 and beyond will remain to be seen, but BlackBerry 10 WILL be a very talked about subject in 2013 and will see a rise in RIM’s financials even if just for the short term

  • Mark

    I think RIM will do pretty well in 2013 and will easily be the no.3 most popular OS behind Android and iOS. As a windows phone user in Canada, in my experience, people don’t even know about WP. I think that because of their name and the popularity of the brand, Blackberry will regain market share they have loss in the USA. As for Canada, there’s no doubt in my mind that Blackberry 10 will be a success.

    • Bidulka

      Rim is dead, no one cares about bb10. We’ve seen this exact story play out with Palm and their phone was better than bb10…and it was on time. Rim will close its doors in early 2013.

      If history has shown us anything, it repeats itself. If history has shown us anything, it repeats itself.

  • StephenBB81

    Really the only thing I want to comment on is the end of 3 year contracts.
    as a Mobile phone junky sure I’d like to see 3 year contracts come to an end, but REALLY the market has already been moving to that with Flextab like plans, What legislative measures will do to the death of 3 year contracts for the majority of people is nothing.
    REALLY what it could do is cause a knee jerk reaction by carriers that will cost consumers even more money.
    Reduced discounts on devices meaning higher out of pocket contract purchases is the first thing I can see happening.
    TAB repayment plans + contractual obligation repayment plans being addressed. the carriers are actually pretty laid back with contract requirements right now if I was a carrier I’d require a minimum obligation for the extent of your contract regardless of features you wish to add/remove as it stands now after 6 months into a contract it is VERY easy to have your monthly bill cut dramatically below the agreed upon contract price.
    in any other business contracts mean far more than they do in mobile phones, and posing legislative restrictions very much could make legal experts go over the contracts in detail and make it worse for the rest of us.

    How about Canadians Actually looking at their finances and learning how to budget, and buy devices contract free? Bell Canada gives me 10% off my Plan for my BlackBerry Style because it has long since been off contract and is one of the best CDMA smartphones available in Canada.

    My Bold 9900 with Rogers is off contract and was able to negotiate a sub $50 plan giving me the requirements I have for a job that has me traveling extensively and using a lot of day time minutes

    My Samsung Galaxy 3 Plan with Rogers no contract had me sub $60 again with a Plan that met my heavy usage needs,
    measured out over the life of a contract of 3 years and even taking into account the 6% I could have made investing the difference of contract price vs non contract price for the length of the contract it is cheaper to buy contract free and negotiate the lower monthly price.