Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 - Tech Predictions

So, I love and hate these kind of posts, but find myself constantly referring and confirming or denying the "future".

Here are Read Write Web's 7 biggest predictions:

1. Apple Flips Script On iPhone/iPad Release Schedule - Apple TV

So, this is basically the idea that Apple would flip the release date of their iPhone and iPad. This is due to their previous release schedules for these products being and alternate timeline. With this i mind therefore, the next release by Apple then will be an iPhone targeted piece. Not sure about this, however what could be the bigger news for Apple in 2013 could be their attack on TV.

How will Apple approach this? Are we going to be looking at a physical screen product or an advanced Apple TV release?

2. One Major Android Release, Android 5.0 With Three Iterations

Google (sort of) slowed down on new flavors of Android in 2012. It only announced one actual flavor in Jelly Bean that came at Google I/O in June, but it was broken into two parts with 4.1 and 4.2. In 2013, I expect Google to do something similar but have a couple different updates.

My prediction is that the next version of Android will not be Android 4.3, but rather Android 5.0. Yet, by the end of the year, the most up to date devices will be running something along the lines of Android 5.1 or 5.2.5 or something similar to that naming scheme. Google will release it around or before Google I/O and update it at least once to fix some issues. It will then come out with another major release, like it did in 2012, towards the end of the year to reveal more Nexus devices.

Will the current Nexus Devices receive this update and start to quash the Android stem of software fragmentation?

3. Motorola Makes A Nexus Device

Motorola has never technically made an official Android flagship device for Google. The original Droid on Verizon was kind of the Android flagship when it was released in 2009, but that was before the popular wave of Nexus devices. Google has to be careful with how it manages its manufacturing partner ecosystem, and letting Motorola create a Nexus device may upset some of its current partners like LG, Samsung, HTC and Asus.

The Droid Razr M was one of the best from Motorola this year.

Yet, it might be time that Google really doubles down on Android manufacturing. Hell, it owns Motorola for a reason. And that reason has as much to do with the patents Motorola owns as it does with making money. If Google can put together its Nexus design engineers with the Motorola hardware people, we might see the best Android device ever to be released. It is time for Google to do it and 2013, in my prediction, will be the year.

An Interesting 2013 for Google and the Nexus brand, I have been really happy with my Nexus 7, so far, I hope the development continues.

4. Research In Motion Succeeds With BlackBerry 10

Yes, this might be absolutely ridiculous and we might be looking back on it in December 2013, after RIM has been sold piecemeal to patent vultures, that this was a foolish prediction.
But, I am starting to get a hunch that RIM might actually find a modicum of success with its BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Not the type of success that puts fear into the hearts of Apple executives or Android manufacturers, but enough that RIM is not in danger of going out of business immediately. People will like what RIM has done with BB 10 and many of the loyalists that left for the iPhone or Android will come back into the fold. That will be enough to get RIM back near the 8% to 10% market share of the smartphone industry by the end of the year.

I think this is my big chancer of 2013, I hope Blackberry 10 finally gets the act together. RIM need to try and get back +10% share to mark BB10 a success, and drive that share price up once again. I want to see RIM at 40-60 Cents at year end again.

5. Microsoft Keeps Plugging Away At Windows Phone and Windows 8

This is an enevatability for Microsoft, but I fear, for all the marketing and promotion we are seeing from the current set of Win 8 phones, we will not see any huge noteable market share increase. I will not be upgrading to Win 8 nor will I be joining Holly Willoughby or James Corden in their love for the Win 8 phone, sorry.

6. Consumer Location Apps Remain Stagnant

In 2011, Foursquare made a lot of noise about reaching 15 million registered users. We have not heard a lot from Foursquare this year in terms of users, but it has mentioned on its blog that it has near 25 million users. This is not the Twitter-like exponential growth that people expected from Foursquare several years ago.
Other consumer-based location apps like Highlight have seen hypes cycles come and then diminish. The “ambient location app” for finding people in your area along with game-based location apps like Foursquare is just not a very big market in the United States. That is not likely to change in 2013.
Note, this prediction does not include maps apps, which nearly everyone uses in one form or another. 

7. Mobile Payments Begin To Gain Traction

We keep on expecting a sudden boom in mobile payments, led by NFC-based smartphones and apps. So far, we have been bitterly disappointed that the market has not materialized.
A good reason for this is infrastructure. For NFC payments to take off, brick-and-mortar stores need the proper payment equipment and consumers need smartphones that actually, you know, have NFC. With near 60% of users from the top three U.S. carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) carrying iPhones (which does not have NFC), the critical mass of NFC capable consumers has not yet been reached.
The explosion will not happen in 2013. But, progress will be made as major players in the ecosystem start pushing mobile payments to retailers and startups gain more traction. The early adopter types will be using their smartphones for a variety of purchases by the end of 2013 that will set up success for mobile payments players that will evolve for the rest of the decade.

This could spawn some interesting new business industries around using this technology in a mass market scenario.

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