Fittingly, Apple and Facebook made much noise during the last week of a massively successful year for both. Other much-discussed, and often maligned, business tech trends rounded out the rest of the online conversation in business tech this week, including security breaches, cyber war and mobile malware.
Apple hopes to ride its momentum into 2011 in the same way it created it in 2010 – iPad and iPhone sales. DigiTimes reportedly spoke with anonymous sources at a Taiwanese manufacturer, revealing that Apple recently upped its Q1 2011 iPhone shipment goal from 19 million to as many as 21 million units. As expected, online conversation about iPhone shipments spiked in response to the company's bold prediction at the beginning of the week.
Attention surrounding Apple wasn't limited to the iPhone, as another DigiTimes report cited estimates from LG, Samsung and Chimei Innolux, projecting 65 million iPad shipments in 2011.
Also this week, Apple hit a minor speed bump in its race to dominate the mobile market. Acting independently, two groups of iPhone and iPad users filed lawsuits against Apple, accusing the company of providing their personal information to advertising networks without their consent. In spite of its expectations for a bright future, searches for "Apple sued" remained frequent this week.
Success among Facebook, Twitter and Groupon rivaled Apple in 2010, according to a report from Nyppex. In the same year its story hit movie theaters and entered the Oscar conversation, Facebook's value grew 56 percent, reaching a monumental $41.2 billion. Although Twitter nearly doubled in value this year, its $3.7 billion value still paled in comparison to Facebook's net worth.
Groupon, however, quadrupled in value in 2010 and even surpassed Twitter's value, at $4.8 billion. The estimate supports Groupon's bold rejection of Google's $6 million acquisition offer earlier this month. To further justify its decision to remain independent, Groupon is now reportedly seeking $950 million in funding through preferred stock, according to documents released by VC Experts. In an already controversial month for the company, Groupon managed to generate more searches this week than at any other point in December.
However, not all tech companies closed the year with a positive week. Mozilla had to address a privacy slip-up in a company blog post on Monday. After accidentally posting inactive user account information on a public server, Mozilla avoided a Gawker-like embarrassment by swiftly recovered the information, and, in a transparent move uncommon to the business tech industry, it informed all of its users about the issue. The online conversation about Mozilla's close call remained steady throughout the first few days of the week, according to Google Realtime search results.
A separate security story brought an interesting twist to the ongoing cyber war. 4Chan, the content uploading site notorious for the Anonymous hacking group, was taken down with a distributed denial-of-service attack on Monday. In a blog post, 4Chan founder Chris Poole acknowledged the irony in the situation, considering 4Chan has been credited for organizing the hackers who targeted MasterCard, Visa and PayPal with DDoS attacks earlier this month.
In the mobile world, which is quickly proving the new frontier for web security, Google's wildly popular Android was targeted with the world's first Trojan designed for mobile technology, according to Lookout Mobile Security. Because of its dangerous capabilities as a botnet, concerns over mobile security generated frantic online chatter for Android malware.
These issues set up an interesting introduction to 2011 for the business tech industry. Keep listening, as the online conversation is only expected to get louder while these developments take shape.