If you’re a fan of new mobile devices, 2012 did not disappoint. All three major mobile companies (among others) came out with significant updates to both OSes and device hardware. And on top of that, numerous services came along to further bolster those platforms. It was a year of progress at the nuts-and-bolts level.

But not all went smoothly. In August, Apple won its lawsuit against Samsung, getting US$1 billion for patent infringement. In September, Apple dropped Google Maps from iOS 6, partnering instead with TomTom for the new Maps app. But Apple faced much criticism over the new app, which was perceived as being inferior to Google Maps.

Despite that, Apple also introduced iPhone 5 and iOS 6 in September, as well as the iPad mini in October. There are no signs yet that Apple’s continuous pace of hardware and software releases will abate anytime soon.

In June, the new version of Google’s Android OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, was introduced at Google I/O. Perhaps more importantly, Android reached a milestone in October when the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S3 outsold the iPhone 5, marking the first time an Apple smartphone has been outsold.

In October, Microsoft released Windows 8. Normally that’s big news for just the desktop, but the company’s vision for its marquee OS now includes mobile devices. Will 2013 see this concept embraced by developers and consumers alike?

RIM entered the year battered, but it was determined to show it’s not dead yet. In June, it began its worldwide BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour to introduce new SDKs for developers interested in developing for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 device. So far, it seems to have stopped RIM’s decline.

About Suzanne Kattau