A Year in Review: Spring, 2015

2015-2016

In these last few days leading up to December 25th I’m not anticipating much in the way of smartphone news. And since I’ll also be going on holiday at the end of the week I thought it might be a good time for a quick look back to reflect on the year we’re leaving behind.

Here’s part two of my four-part retrospective.

April

No April Fool’s here—WhatsApp overtakes traditional SMS as the world’s most popular messaging platform. The press embargo is lifted on the new Apple Watch, but reviews are “quietly brutal”. The disruptive pricing of Google’s Project Fi is also revealed.

After releasing a long-awaited software update Cyanogen, Inc. ends its partnership with OnePlus to work with “bigger Chinese OEMs”. Samsung regains its title as the world’s largest smartphone vendor, and the ASUS Zenfone 2 is quietly unveiled.

Sources: textually.org, Business Insider (1) (2), Android Authority, Android Central, GSM Arena

May

Cheers all around—in Canada, the CRTC announces its intention to regulate wireless roaming rates, while the U.S. Court of Appeals rules that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone data is illegal. Further industry developments include the results of Canada’s 2500 MHz spectrum auction and accusations of carriers rigging the 600 MHz spectrum auction in the USA.

LG’s 2015 flagship G4 was revealed, followed shortly thereafter by Android Marshmallow at Google I/O.

Sources: iPhone in Canada (1) (2), Android Authority, DSL Reports, Android Police (1) (2)

June

In a surprising move, both AT&T and Verizon take big steps to end the age-old practice of subsidizing handsets. Apple announces iOS 9 and Apple Music, and Facebook boasts of having 700 million Messenger users worldwide.

Here in Canada, WIND Mobile signs on to be the exclusive carrier for Toronto’s underground transit system, while upstart carrier Mobilicity is finally assimilated into Rogers.

And over in Shenzhen, China, OnePlus says they will host the first-ever VR product launch.

Sources: DSL Reports, Apple Insider, Mac Rumors, Re/code, Torontoist, Globe and Mail, Android Authority

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