It feels like this year has been a month long. 2012 will be remembered as the year in which legal made a huge impact in the consumer electronics industry. I can’t think of any other year in which court cases were given plenty of blog posts and words.
Samsung has without a doubt put itself in the line with Apple with regards to sales etc. Apple went on the offensive and filed courtcases in multiple countries regarding copyright violations. In the US the judicial system sided with Apple and in a variety of international markets Samsung got the judgement. I cannot see this being resolved in 2013 unless the companies come to some sort of settlement.
Apple is now a different company in comparison with when Steve Jobs was in charge. Tim Cook has ensured that the public image of the company is much more positive. Does the Apple TV finally arrive in 2013?
Nokia and BlackBerry (RIM) had a super tough 2012. Needless to say BlackBerry 10 (which is to launch at the end of January) will most probably determine RIM’s future. Nokia and Microsoft will most probably have a strained relationship in 2013 as Microsoft wants to build their own mobile phones soon.
Dell and HP are in serious trouble. HP’s acquisition of Autonomy seems to be a huge disaster. HP will need to make tough decisions in 2013. Meg Whitman, the CEO, I hope has a plan but if not, they could be selling parts of their business to rivals. Dell, has a problem and it is called tablets. Notebooks and Desktop PC’s have been disrupted and Dell doesn’t seem to have an answer to the lack of growth seen in mobile computing. Do they go enterprise like Microsoft or sell off their consumer businesses?
Olympus and Panasonic had a super difficult year. Japanese electronic manufacturers had a 2012 to forget through bad investments and corporate governance issues. Do these iconic electronic manufacturers go under the hammer or look for partnerships with thriving businesses such as Samsung and Apple? I cannot imagine a world without Sony etc, can you?
Nintendo will also be facing the music in 2013. Does the Wii U become an asset or will it leave the Japanese manufacturer in deep debt?
If one looks at the above it then becomes clearer that the entire consumer electronics industry is at the mercy of a few businesses. Are we going to see more multifunctional products like the Nikon COOLPIX S800c?
One of our highlights of the year is the PriceCheck mobile app. What is your technology story of 2012?