The year 2017 has been a roller coaster ride for the tech industry, and it witnessed some of the most bizarre and horrible stories, as well as the fascinating ones and the grandest advancements. From the most shocking cyberattacks to the release of the iPhone X, IBTimes Singapore gives you seven of the biggest tech stories of 2017 that made us all go gaga.
1. iPhone X release
Year after year, Apple has been throwing surprises for iPhone fanboys. This year had been quite special for the Cupertino tech giant as the iPhone celebrated its 10th anniversary, and with that was the November release of the US$999 iPhone X, the most expensive and the most breakable phone ever made.
2. WannaCry global attack
The WannaCry ransomware attack in May has been considered as one of the biggest cyberattacks in history. Several government-owned and private entities were affected by the ransomware. It was later found out to be the handiwork of hackers backed by the North Korean government who were believed to have cashed out millions of dollars from the attack.
3. Nintendo Switch release
In March, Nintendo released the Switch console that catapulted the Japanese's glorious name back to the hardware scene. Seven months in the market, it already smashed records, shipping 7.63 million units worldwide.
4. Uber controversies
Since Uber became a unicorn, the ride-sharing firm never stopped making headlines--both terrible and terrifying, and this year was not an exception. In fact, there are a lot of them and most were terrible.
One, Uber founder and former chief executive officer Travis Kalanick stepped down from his post due to various controversies. Two, the data breach that compromised the personal details of more than 57 million riders worldwide was only revealed a year after the incident happened. Three, it lost its licence to operate in London due to non-stop violations. Four, it was caught spying on its biggest competitor in Southeast Asia, Grab. And the list goes on.
5. Bitcoin bubble
So far, 2017 has been the biggest year for cryptocurrencies. Before even closing the year, bitcoin price rose 17-fold this year, peaking at US$20,000.
6. Twitter's 280-character limit
After years being in every Twitterati's wishlist, Twitter in November officially extended every tweet's character limit from 140 to 280. More room to express, perhaps?
7. Equifax data breach
Credit rating firm Equifax suffered from a massive data breach in September, compromising the personal details of more than 143 million people in the US and Canada. Later, it was revealed that over 600,000 clients in the UK were also affected by the hack. This led to the stepdown of some its top officials.
Of course, there are lots of other stories that deserve honourable mentions, including Google's US$1.1bn acquisition of Taiwanese electronics firm HTC; European Union's US$130m fine against Facebook and US$2.8bn against Google; the Google memo of a fired male software engineer explaining why female's natural inferiority of brains is the reason why there are not a lot of women in the company; and, so many more.
What tech story struck you this year?