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Top five mobile tech news stories of 2015

Microsoft, Apple and BlackBerry made headlines this year with big moves -- and some missteps -- in the mobile market. Find out which news stories were most popular with our readers.

There's no shortage of mobile tech news, as smartphones and tablets continue to revolutionize how people do business.

Over the past 12 months, the enterprise mobility market has seen new products emerge, while others have faded away. Once-dominant vendors struggled to adjust, and the ongoing consolidation trend continued.

Here are the five most popular mobile tech news stories of 2015:

5. The uncertain future of BlackBerry's devices

December's news that BlackBerry would discontinue its fledgling collaboration service fueled speculation about its smartphone business.

As BlackBerry ended BBM Meetings, which couldn't compete against the likes of Cisco WebEx and Citrix GoToMeeting, industry observers wondered aloud if the company's devices would be next on the chopping block. Even CEO John Chen acknowledged the possibility in July, after BlackBerry's smartphone revenue dropped by 31%.

Meanwhile, the company continued to reinvent itself as primarily an enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendor. It released a cloud version of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 in March and acquired Good Technology, an EMM competitor, in September.

4. Apple targets the enterprise

Apple broke out of its enterprise shell in 2015, aggressively courting business users for the first time. After years of speculation, the consumer tech giant finally released the iPad Pro, a larger version of its popular tablet that's built to work with a physical keyboard. And new features in iOS 9 gave the device more PC-like functionality, such as the ability to multitask.

At the BoxWorks conference in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed that the company had $25 billion in enterprise revenue over the past fiscal year -- not including BYOD sales. As the end of the year approached, IBM and Apple released their 100th enterprise app through their MobileFirst for iOS program.

3. Android goes to work without Samsung

Google unveiled its long-awaited Android for Work in February to give IT much-needed help for securing data on Android devices. But the platform caused a stir because of what it didn't include: Samsung Knox.

Google originally said it would base Android for Work on Knox, Samsung's containerization technology that isolates and secures corporate data on personal devices. Instead, the platform relied on features Google had acquired from dual persona vendor Divide, plus other proprietary technology.

2. Microsoft learns hardware is hard

Less than two years after buying smartphone manufacturer Nokia for $7.2 billion, Microsoft pretty much abandoned the deal in July. The company laid off 7,800 employees, took a $7.6 billion write-down and significantly cut back on the number of phones it produced.

That didn't deter Microsoft's hardware efforts in other areas, however. The Surface Pro 4, a 2-in-1 device, and the Surface Book, a powerful laptop, launched in October and were well-received as potential iPad Pro and MacBook competitors.

1. Outlook and Office go mobile

Microsoft released Outlook apps for iOS and Android and took the preview label off Office for Android in January. And with that, for the first time, all of the company's major productivity applications were available for all of the major mobile platforms on the market.

The joy among mobile workers didn't last long, however. IT departments started blocking Outlook for iOS -- which already created headaches because it lacked EMM integration -- when major security issues were discovered in February.

Next Steps

Here are the top enterprise mobility trends for 2016.

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Check out the top desktop management tips of the year.

Dig Deeper on Enterprise mobile app strategy

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