A look back at the biggest tech stories of 2016
San Miguel and Telstra’s partnership a no-go.
The 1st quarter of the year was supposed to be exciting with the imminent partnership between San Miguel Corporation and Australian-based Telstra. The two are poised to build a strong 3rd player in the telco industry, prompting existing players PLDT and Globe in a combative mode.
The excitement fizzled sometime in March as talks between SMC and Telstra came to an end, along with it a promose of fierce competition that would bring cost of services down and better coverage. The story only shows how desperate subscribers are in looking for an alternative service.
PLDT and Globe buys SMC telcos assets.
Not long after SMC’s plans to build a solid 3rd telco player was shelved, news broke out that PLDT and Globe have jointly bought out the telco assets of the company.
In a deal worth over Php50 billion, PLDT and Globe equally shared the bounty. This includes Vega Telecom which owns controlling interests in Bell Telecommunication Philippines, Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Cobaltpoint Telecommunication (formerly Extelcom), Tori Spectrum Telecommunication (formerly Wi-Tribe), as well as Hi- Frequency Telecommunication.
Behind the sale is the take-over of the highly-coveted 700MHz LTE frequency which both Globe and PLDT claims will help them improve internet in the Philippines.
Pokemon Go craze invades the Philippines.
Everybody knows Pikachu from their 90’s childhood so when Pokemon Go was released in the 3rd quarter of this year, everybody went crazy.
The app easily became the most downloaded app in the iTunes and Google Play Store. It also shot up as the most active game of the year and raking in one of the biggest revenues in history.
Call it nostalgia; call it a fad; but Pokemon Go turned out to be the biggest hit of 2016.
Samsung Note7’s explosive release.
Despite the highly successful release of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge earlier this year, 2016 was not really a good year for Samsung.
The highly anticipated Galaxy Note7 would have cemented its win in the smartphone race but multiple reports of exploding devices took a huge hit on their momentum.
The Korean company immediately made a recall of millions of Note 7 and quickly replaced them with a “safe” version fo the Note7 only to be surprised that the 2nd batch also suffered from the same fate.
Samsung eventually conceded and apologized, completely pulling out the production Note7 and never to be replaced again.
Facebook attracts the biggest controversy.
It’s not just on single story or event but the entire year was the year when Facebook became central to a lot of big stories.
First in line was its role in the Presidential elections (both in the Philippines and the United States). Facebook is perhaps the biggest tool in promoting and reaching out to constituents and voters both local and abroad, helping sway public opinion and eventually winning presidential elections.
Second is the rise of fake news sites and trolls, all of which have been empowered by the vast reach and virality of social media. Along with it is the rise to popularity of independent blog and social media personalities, all drawing much higher engagements than traditional news outlets.
There’s also the multiple take-downs, coordinated banning of pages and hacking of accounts. Even the people behind Facebook’s content moderation and community team became suspects to political bias.
Mark Zuckerberg has denied the gravity of all these but there’s no denying Facebook has consistently been in the center of a lot of controversies this year.