This is typically a time for my personal roundup of past year's most interesting news from our extensive news archive and also a time to wrap up of the events that have happened here at AfterDawn.
iPad and tablets
Now, the year's most hyped event was definitely the launch of Apple's iPad tablet computer. While the device itself didn't offer anything new with its specs, in typical-to-Apple fashion, the user experience, the design and the pre-launch hype of the product basically re-invented the entire "tablet PC" genre.
The success of iPad created a massive halo effect that will probably outlive the iPad itself. Previously, tablet PC market was a small, specialized niche with extremely expensive Windows-based devices. By the end of the year 2010, tens of manufacturers had entered the tablet computer market and most of them opting for Android based solutions. Now, when the price range of such devices is closer to $200 than to $400 with most new devices, it is quite fair to say that tablet PCs actually managed to destroy the netbook market, that seemed to be extremely strong only a year ago.
Playstation Move & Kinect
When the current-generation consoles were about to be launched, Nintendo's odds with outdated hardware and DVD as its distribution media seemed very thin. However, as everyone knows, wii's unorthodox controllers changed the game, entirely, and made Wii the unlikely winner of the first couple of years of console wars.
It took several years for Microsoft and Sony to come up with something similar -- and both of them delivered those this year. First, Sony released Playstation Move controller in March and was followed by Microsoft's release of Kinect in June.
Looking at the sales figures for the latter half of 2010, Wii's initial success against its competition is finally fading and it is quite interesting to see whether Nintendo will respond to the increased competition with something groundbreaking in near future.
Year of Android
While the launch of Apple iPhone 4 was arguably the single most anticipated mobile phone launch of the year, the year 2010 can be only described as the year of the Android. The Google-owned open-source operating system gained massive amounts of marketshare in all major markets across the globe, stealing iPhone's thunder in highest end of the market and also eating Symbian's massive lead in mid-range smartphone market.
However, the end of the year of 2010 also made it very clear that the only real winner in Android game will be Google -- here in Europe, "neverheard" brands like ZTE have managed to climb to the top 10 mobile phone charts with sub-€200 unlocked Android phones. To me, it all resembles the era when Windows became the dominant operating system of the PCs and hardware manufacturers became just that, only hardware manufacturers. In the long run, if Android becomes the dominant mobile phone operating system, only the manufacturers that can survive with ridiculously low margins, will survive. In short, it is quite unlikely that current "mid-sized" manufacturers like Sony Ericsson and LG will remain as big as they are nowadays and instead, will be replaced by Chinese "no-name" brands.
AfterDawn and year 2010
The biggest event during the year 2010 for our users was the launch of our "v4" site back in March, which changed the layout and structure of our entire site. Since then, we've analysed user feedback, log data, etc to learn more about the change and its effects to our traffic. In some areas, we hit the homerun with the new layout, but in some areas, some mistakes were made. During the 2011, we'll focus on fixing many of the mistakes made during the update -- and will obviously also focus on improving the site even further.
For the past 12 months, one of our main tasks has involved the streamlining of our site's backend structure. This project has meant a complete overhaul of our translation data management -- in short, now all AfterDawn's language versions use the same site backend and all the changes we make to the site, will appear across all language versions.
As the localization of the site has become much easier, we've managed to launch several localized versions of AfterDawn during the past year. In January, we launched a Norwegian version of AfterDawn, followed by the Spanish AfterDawn in March and Dutch AfterDawn in May.
Now, enough of this blabbering. I'd simply like to wish a very happy new year 2011 to all of our users!
-Petteri Pyyny, webmaster