2009: A year in review, September

On to September, which started with a bang at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin. Not one of those flat, comic-book style bangs, either - a massive 3-dimensional bang as just about every manufacturer in the world unveiled a 3D product.

There was 3D home cinema - Sony's Bravia HDTV, Philips Cinema 3DTV, Panasonic's 103-inch plasma 3D display and 3D Blu-ray on the horizon. There was gaming - with talk of Sony making all its PS3 games 3D. There was photography - with Fujifilm rolling out the W1 3D Camera. And Navigon joined the party too, with its 8410 3D satnav.

But beyond that lineup, and a self-cleaning toilet seat from Korea, there was little to talk about, with most commentators branding IFA 2009, like CES in January, a "theory year" with plenty of concepts and vague promises for the future rather than the storm of new products seen in previous years.

What was on fire in September, however, was the phone market. Orange and T-Mobile announced that they were going to merge - though the fruits of that won't be seen for a few years. The Palm Pre was announced to be coming to O2, Vodafone got the Tattoo and also launched its "360" suite of services.

There was a massive pile of smartphones announced, most of which were from LG. The LG Pop, LG GW300 QWERTY, LG "Chocolate" BL40 (with little brother BL20 upgraded), LG GW520 poked their heads above the parapet, along with the Motorola DEXT, Palm Pixi, and the open-source, Maemo-equipped, Nokia N900.

Laptops were busy too, with the first few Windows 7 models being announced before the Microsoft OS's release in October. The Acer Ferrari One, Toshiba Qosmio X500, Medion Touch X9613, HP Envy 15 and 13 and Packard Bell OneTwo appeared, as well as some netbooks from Samsung and nettops from Asus.

In the gaming world, the Tokyo Games Show heralded a February release for Bioshock 2, along with the news that EA, Ubisoft, Konami and others had signed up to Microsoft's impressive-looking Natal motion-sensing control system and were developing games for the platform.

Apple launched the 5th generation nano, puzzlingly equipped with a video camera but not a stills camera, along with a 3rd generation of the iPod touch - beefing up its processor and internal storage capabilities.

Google marked the 11th year since launch with a special homepage graphic that spelt "Google" with two Ls, instead of the normal one. The company took the month off to celebrate, reining in its normally-frenetic release schedule to only announce one new product - Google Sidewiki.

Right at the end of the month, Microsoft brought its free antivirus software, Security Essentials, out from beta, allowing anyone to download it. At the time, many predicted the death of other free solutions like Avast and AVG, but that hasn't yet materialised, with many still opting to stick with their third-party antivirus software.

But Microsoft didn't mind, as its awful Windows 7 party advert took the Web by storm and its Bing rebrand of Live Search hit 10% market share in the USA. Facebook also hit a massive 300 million users, larger than any social network before it.

Spotify, following a year of rapid growth, returned to invite-only status in the UK - a move that was accompanied by much questioning of its business model, and whether it was really possible to make money off ad-supported free music.

Lastly, a smirk was raised over a 10-year-old's attempts to sell her Gran on eBay. The bemused relative attracted 27 bids in excess of £2000 before the retailer yanked the listing which described the lady as "rare and annoying and moaning a lot", but "cuddly".