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frankspin

My predictions for consumer technology in 2013

As the year comes to an end and CES is just around the corner, it means that the next wave of consumer electronics are about to shown to the world. In 2012 we saw a lot of improvements in different areas of tech as well some re-inventions of existing products. With 2013 upon us, let’s look ahead at what may be coming our way over the next few months and even months away.

Disclaimer: These are just my personal opinions based on what I’m reading and seeing happen right now.

* We’re already seeing 4K HDTV’s starting to show up and I wouldn’t be surprised if CES is filled with 4K HDTVs from more manufacturers. With the HDTV market being pretty stagnant for the last few years outside of 3D, and sales hurting, this will probably be a big push from manufacturers to get people buying TVs again.

* 5-inch cell phones and not phablets will take over the cell phone market. HTC and Apple showed you can increase a dislay’s size while keeping a modest design without breaking someone's hand.

* I don’t think we’ll see any new consoles being released in 2013 but I wouldn’t be surprised if come E3 Sony and Microsoft have something new to show off for 2014, maybe even holiday 2013. I think both Sony and Microsoft (especially Microsoft) realize they have a true ecosytem right now, in their current console offerings and will continue to evolve that further.

* Google Glass will still not be on the market

* This is bold, but I think HTC will either stop making Android phones or look to merge with another company. It’s been written that HTC is struggling and with the success Samsung had this year with the S3, it’s only digging deeper into HTC.

* Crowd-sourced funding projects will continue to rise but will ultimately hinge on the success of previous projects. Kickstarter has spawned a lot of popular projects this year with the Pebble Watch, TikTok nano watch, Brydge Keyboard, Ouya, Double Fine and more. While the TikTok and Brydge keyboard got out before the end of 2012 people are still eagerly awaiting the Pebble Watch and Ouya Console. I wouldn’t be surprised if these two very unique projects can make or break how well others do going into 2013.

* We’ll see more fun and affordable projects like the Hue and WeMo make their way into homes and the market.

* Obligatory it’s the year of the Linux desktop statement

What plausible, or even outlandish, predicitions do you have for next year?

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9 replies
TgD

I think its interesting that you think HTC will give up on android or merge. I would think the latter would happen given the choice of the two. That being said, the HTC 8X is a beautiful phone, and it would be nice to see that sort of design running android. (Of course up here the newest HTC android phone we have is the HTC One X+, not the Droid DNA)

Care to field a guess on who they would merge with? I can't see them bringing anything special into the picture to the likes of many companies out there. Their phones have some of the best displays, but companies like Sony and Nokia are doing fine with mobile bravia and puremotion display respectively
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frankspin

Woops, sorry Travis. I meant to respond to this earlier.

I don't know who they'd merge too, maybe Sony or Google, but it's pretty clear they're failing pretty bad right now. I like HTC and am pulling for them to make a comeback but I'm afraid they wont be able to, at least in Android. So that's why I make the statement about Windows Phone since there is no real dominant player there except for Nokia and even that is going on a limb.
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groovechicken

LOL to the Linux desktop. Yeah, that's not happening, and I say that as someone who uses Linux as the primary OS on all his portable computers and home server. As a Linux die-hard, I don't even want that to happen. The only way it ever could, at this point, would be in the form of Chrome OS. The latest ARM Chromebooks got just enough good buzz at the end of 2012 that there is a real chance it may gain some traction in 2013. I predict Google will continue to push it forward through the year and, if they fail to get the install base they want by November, they will abandon it and just go all-in on Android. This will be an interesting one to watch.

I hope you are right about there being more specialty nerd items for household automation, but it feels like we have been predicting this for at least a decade. Here's hoping this is finally the year.

I suspect we may also see Microsoft scramble to get the next XBOX out on the shelves in time for the shopping season when they perceive the inertia they will be up against and the threat of the PS4, which will likely be early 2014. The continued press around Windows 8 could affect their timing as well. The worse the press for 8, the keener they will be to release something that will distract attention away from Windows until 9 is ready.

However you slice it, 2013 should be pretty interesting.
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frankspin

My linux comment is not meant to be taken seriously, hence the obligatory at the beginning. I think I saw "year of the linux desktop" for at least 5 or 6 years straight once.

The difference between this year and previous years on home automation type kits is they're finally affordable. $129 for the Hue kit and $99 for the WeMo kit isn't that bad considering all the different things they can do for you.
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kernco

The years of the Linux desktop predictions were back when Ubuntu was new and taking over the Linux distro share while at the same time overall Linux usage was accelerating. Meanwhile, Windows Vista was the current Microsoft OS and it wasn't quite apparent yet that Apple, despite their success with the iPod and iTunes, would see their share of the desktop and laptop market increase significantly.

Then Windows 7 was released, sales of Macs blossomed, and Ubuntu's popularity within the Linux community declined after Canonical kept making controversial decisions. Now you don't hear about the year of the Linux desktop anymore.

But that being said, last year we saw Valve announcing Steam for Linux, a mixed reaction to Windows 8, and Canonical working on getting Ubuntu running on the Nexus 7 and their recent Ubuntu Phone announcement. They're too early in development of most of that stuff to have a big impact in 2013, I think, but 2014 might be Ubuntu's best year in a long time.
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groovechicken

Good points, let's just be careful not to identify Ubuntu too closely with Linux. With their continued evolution away from what we call the Linux Standards Base, we are getting real close to the point where Ubuntu is no more Linux than Mac OS X is Unix. While OS X should already be considered a Unix derivative, I would argue that it is about time to start referring to Ubuntu as a Linux derivative.

I know some will argue that it is still Linux as long as they use the Linux kernel, but I doubt they will be using an unmodified kernel even in the desktop distro beyond the point of establishing the phone OS.
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frankspin

My year of the linux comment was a joke and not meant to be taken seriously as it's been being said for what seems like an eternity.
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kernco

I realize it was a joke. Does that mean I can't post something informative about where the joke came from?
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frankspin

Nope, just making sure you knew I was joking!
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