Big tech firms will keep jockeying to be all things to all people.
It was not that long ago that the tech industry was a fairly compartmentalized one. Motorola, Nokia, RIM and Apple duked it out for cellphone supremacy; Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile vied for telecom customers; Google battled with Yahoo and Bing in the Web search market. But those once fairly clear-cut lines were significantly blurred in 2011 as tech companies began trying to expand their silos in order to pull in more dollars and snuff out competitors. Google acquired Motorola Mobility and made an aggressive push into the social networking realm with Google+. Retailer Amazon launched a tablet computer. Microsoft aimed to rival iOs and Android the mobile phone arena with its Windows Phone operating system. Rumors abound that 2012 may be the year Verizon scoops up Netflix, Facebook launches a smartphone or that Apple launches a full-fledged television, all of which suggest that this trend of convergence seems on track to continue and perhaps even heighten.
Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook photos by AP; Apple photo by Reuters; Google photo by Bloomberg