A look into the crystal ball for 2013

As we slowly get back to work after that fantastic festive holiday break, 2013 has the potential to be a great year for consumer electronics. The entire ecosystem from notebooks to cellphone accessories is  laden with story lines.

A few things that I am expecting for 2013 (In the interest of disclosure, I am not a magician nor can I read palms but the following items are not a 100% guaranteed. So if a few things fail to materialize, put them into the memory bank and compare prices before buying your hearts desire in 2013):

Ultrabooks will continue to replace the defacto notebook. Dell, HP, Microsoft, Samsung have to continue innovating to ensure that they can take marketshare away from the Apple Macbook Air and Pro range. Expect better battery life, more user friendly design and touch screen functionality. Why anyone wants to touch their notebook screens instead of typing on a keyboard and using a mouse is another story..

Tablets will continue to eat into desktop and notebook sales. If you are lucky enough to own a tablet, you will understand why. These devices are made to be used on the couch while watching tv or lying on the bed reading magazines. The 7″ screen size will be more widely adopted and expect Samsung to role out a Galaxy Tab Mini soon. Apple will launch an iPad mini that has retina display on it. Google will continue taking sales away from all the other manufacturers. eReaders are losing popularity due to the 7″ tablet.

Smart phones will continue to become phablets. More screen real estate will ensure that the smart phones become upwards on 6″. Interestingly, has anyone noticed that we are going back to larger device screens?

Smart TV’s will become more popular. At the moment these TV’s are super expensive and not really totally usable. Mobile TV in South Africa will continue to grow at a rate of knots. The drifta range will continue to provide entertainment on the go. DStv Mobile is a Streaming app coming in 2013?

Handheld GPS devices might become dust collectors. As much as I love my TomTom or Garmin, I fear that smartphones might have killed this industry. Why would you have a device in your car, when your smartphone in a handsfree kit will provide turn by turn directions?

Smartglasses (you know the ones that Google has been testing) will be seen in the hands of customers. Augmented reality and Web connectivity could really ensure that the physical and digital world finally mesh…

Battery charging will become a huge market for innovation. We still have to use cables to charge anything from a notebook to an electric toothbrush. Wireless charging might become a standard feature by year end..

A few large and historical manufacturers will either be acquired or go into the history books. Sony, Olympus, Sharp unfortunately you are all on death watch..

So what is the one product that you want to buy as soon as it launches? Xbox 720, Sony Playstation 4 or something else?



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