News Round-Up 12/29/12: Apple's Universe, iPhone 5 - Smartphone of the Year, and the Best iOS Apps of 2012

The year in review: Apple’s universe?
“As the year winds to a close, I don’t think that there can be much debate that this was Apple’s year, for better or for worse. In my view, no company has dominated the financial news and the cultural landscape in any year as much as Apple did during 2012.

Best Smartphone Of 2012: Why Apple’s iPhone 5 Wins  
It’s been quite a year when it comes to smartphone launches. With nearly half of the U.S. using these smart devices as their primary mobile phone, it’s no wonder manufacturers are churning out new products once, twice, even three times a year.

Best iOS apps of 2012

2012 was not only the year of the app, it was the year that third-party apps eclipsed their Apple counterparts. For the first time the best email, calendar, notes, camera and messaging apps for iOS don't come from Cupertino.

One in Eight Users Checked Their Corporate Portal on Christmas Eve
Instant messaging (47%) was by far the most popular activity type, followed by document sharing (11%) and task tracking (9%). The owners of mobile devices were even more active - 17% of iPhone and iPad users were active on Christmas Eve and 19% on Christmas Day.

Foxconn's Apple factories start to show signs of improved working conditions
According to the new report, a meeting between a "high-ranking" Apple official and Foxconn's "top executives" has resulted in the Taiwanese manufacturer pledging to increase wages and reduce working hours in reforms set to go into effect next year.

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