Tech Predictions 2013

Now, it’s about this time of the year that I decide to ramble on about what I think will be the big tech news over the next 12 months. Most of the time, I get it wrong, and actually more recently I’ve gotten incredibly boring and pointless with my predictions. So, this will hopefully be a bit more interesting, a bit more interesting, probably completely wrong still (I don’t have an issue with that) but just a bit fun as well.

The problem with predictions, is that people tend to predict the obvious. Like the BBC “prediction” that the comet next year may show up, or may not. That isn’t a prediction, that’s just stating a fact. The other ones are just extrapolation. Eg…a new iPhone next year. I admit that this has mainly been my issue in the past as well. But this time it shall hopefully be a bit more interesting, but this will also mean that it will be incredibly wrong. Probably. We shall revisit these this time next year.

Ok, I immediately broke my own rule. This one really is pretty obvious. Sony and Microsoft have been playing chicken for the last 12-18 months. They both already have their current ideal console ready to announce, tweak a bit, and then release. The issue is that they want to wait until the other one announces first. Because then they can tweak theirs, make it slightly better than the other and they have the best console on the market. The issue is, that with this strategy, they will very quickly be obsolete, as it is probably 2012’s technology released in 2014. The issue with consoles yet again…

I’ve said this one before. And I’ll say it again. I may have the year wrong, but this will happen. And I mean very soon. I think it’ll be sooner than most of you think. It’ll be in the US, and it’ll be a cross between an Apple shop and a car showroom. It’ll have a number of products that you can go in to physically look at. I’m not sure what will be in it. Probably the more popular items. Maybe focusing on electronics? I’m not sure. But, mark my words, this will happen.

Ok, this one is probably a bit far-fetched. For this year anyway. But this is what will happen with these guys. Nokia will continue to lose value, Microsoft will buy Nokia, Ballmer will retire, Stephen Elop will be the new Microsoft CEO, and Microsoft begin to do an “Apple”. They realise they need the hardware of Nokia, and want to own it all. In fact, they have already realised this. It’s been said before, but it’s funny that it’s an ex-Microsofty that took over Nokia right before they went Microsoft and started nose diving. Ok, that’s unfair, they were nose diving before he took over. But he didn’t help.

Just remember this…Nokia’s market cap is $14M. Microsoft have about $50M in cash/cash equivalents.

That’s right. Waterproof. Not just water-resistant. Or splash-proof. Waterproof. The first waterproof smart phone will be released in 2013. Probably near the end of the year, and either by Samsung or LG. It’ll be the biggest feature they talk about with it, and it’ll be basically like this year’s phones but waterproof. We know this technology exists, we saw it last year at CES, but there have been no hints since then about anything including it. I think 2013 is the year.

When Amazon released the Kindle Fire, and Barnes and Noble released their tablet as well…people seemed to forget about colour e-readers. I think 2013 is the year of the colour e-reader. We shall have at least 1 released. I think tablets from e-reader companies are just a stop-gap. I think they want a colour, high-refresh rate e-ink device, and I think someone will release one this year. It may not be Amazon, and it won’t be high refresh rate enough to watch videos yet, but it’ll come.

Not a crazy prediction. It’s been predicted before, or should I say rumoured. But I think there is a lot of interest in this. Especially as their own phone processors have gone nowhere so far.

Someone will announce a new social network. It will be free, but not have ads. How will they make money? By corporate sponsors. Basically, individuals (and charities) will get free accounts, but companies will have to pay to get onto it. Yes, they will have to pay for your nice free social network to get access to you. And what do you get in return? A nice, free, social network with no ads. Sound nice? Well, it’s a shame it’ll fail pretty badly. It won’t last till 2015.

Yahoo need a big thing. This is it. Not just a rehashing of Google, Bing, or old Yahoo. But a completely new way to search. I don’t know what this will look like, but that’s why I’m not building it. I just think they will release it this year to massive fanfair. It’ll be integrated into Flickr quite heavily, and together they will be heralded as the rebirth of Yahoo.

Ok, it looks exactly like Android or iOS, but it finally catches up to the times and this stems the blockage of people going away from it. Don’t believe me? Just talk to a Blackberry fan. They are the most loyal customers I’ve ever seen. Even more loyal than Apple’s. Apple’s are sticking around because it keeps getting better. Blackberries are pretty much the same as they were 5 years ago. They are all staying around because they want something to believe in from RIM. They are begging for something new to buy with the blackberry logo on it.

It may not create much growth in their company, but it’ll stop the shrinkage, which is all the can hope for just now.

This one is part extrapolation, part wild speculation, part repeating what I’ve said for a while. I’ve been wanting this for ages. Augmented Reality contact lenses. It’s the next step, I just never realised there would be a step before it. I didn’t see Google Glass coming. But I have been saying for ages that the contact lenses will be coming. The main reason I think they’ll come quite quickly? People don’t want to wear something ridiculous looking like Google Glass.

 

p.s I never realised how hard it would be to think of my predictions without extrapolation. Most of what I thought of technically was. And even after all that work, I failed as a few did include it.