What does the New Year hold for mobile?
FAs we wave goodbye to 2012, which brought us 4G, Windows (Phone) 8, numerous patent battles, a taller iPhone and smaller iPad (not to mention Gangnam style), 2013 looks set to make a big splash in the mobile world.
1. HTML5’s big comeback with the release of Firefox and Tizen which are expected to be launched by Mozilla and Samsung later this year. This in turn could see cheaper smartphones as HTML5 apps do not require a browser, making it less costly for developers to build and more accessible to international countries.
2. Little change in design and size is expected for 2013’s smartphones with the same three sizes: phone, “phablet” and tablet set to continue dominating the market. However, there are still rumours of Samsung’s new foldable AMOLED screen floating around.
3. Facebook, among others, will launch its own phone in collaboration with HTC, after having been criticised numerous times for its absence in the industry. Forbes also suspects that a large internet company will look to buy struggling device makers, as this has proven to be the case in the past.
4. An increasing number of wireless-enabled wearable devices will begin to emerge as many of the devices we were quick to throw away in previous years have been rejuvenated with the aid of technology. Apple is said to be working with Intel to design a bluetooth enabled smart watch.
5. Samsung will continue to rise to the top with reports already suggesting sales will rise by 35% as it dominates the world of consumer mobile products in 2013. The rise of Android last year will continue to have a significant impact on Samsung’s sales.
6. Foxconn set to grow even bigger if claims that it’s producing handsets for Microsoft and Amazon this year are true, on top of its existing mobile giant customers; Apple, Dell, Nokia and Sony.
7. BB10 launch will be the make or break of Research in Motion (RIM). The speculation is building as it draws closer to January 30th and the eagerly anticipated BB10 handset and OS software is launched, a year after the expected launch date.
8. Tizen, Firefox OS and Jolla to develop new operating systems and launch phones in a bid to compete with Microsoft and RIM. Firefox OS is expected to ‘capture 1% of global smartphone shipments in 2013’ by targeting entry-level smartphone users.
9. Carriers to take over software providers as network providers become less and less popular. The likes of Facebook, Apple, Google and smaller app developers will gain a lot more power and consequently customers. For example, Whatsapp has continued to offer a service which has reduced the need for SMS.
10. MORE consumer behaviour predictions to be made from the increasing amount of mobile phone data, whether it is personal or location based.
All that remains to be seen now is which will come true, and most importantly how many we’ve missed.