War is hell. But technology wars can be great for consumers and innovation, as it was in 2012. The tech wars escalated on several fronts, especially mobile and social, resulting in better, faster and cheaper devices, and hundreds of thousands of new apps.
Apple continued its strong growth with the iPad, and introduced the iPad mini to better compete with the 7-inch tablet crowd. Android-based players, including Samsung, Amazon and Google, were inspired by Apple to raise their games.
The iPhone continued its success streak, selling in record numbers, but Android phones are now outselling the iPhone by six to one. Microsoft added Windows 8 to the mix for phones, tablets and PCs, and introduced its innovative Surface PC/tablet to go up against Apple and the Androids.
On the social front, Facebook continued to dominate the field, crossing the one billion active user barrier. Google is keeping Facebook on its toes, however, with 135 million monthly active Google+ users and a goal to wire social across search and all of its applications.
In addition, Twitter continued its rise as the world's real-time news feed, with 1 billion tweets every 2.5 days, and took steps to rein in what partners could do with its API.