Top tech trends for 2012 - Part 2By Staff Writer 13 January 2012 | Categories: feature articles
The tech we would like to see more of:
Wireless connectivity everywhere
We don't want any wires to come close to gadgets. The more wireless connectivity between devices the better, with Samsung's KIES and Motorola's MotoCast being a good example of wireless syncing made relatively easy.
Better battery life on smartphones
How is it that smartphones can become wafer-thin with functionality that allows you to do almost anything, but they can't provide more than a day's worth of battery life?
Better local Apple App Store
The local Apple App Store is paltry when compared to the US version. Give us a reason to be legit and not sign up with a false address for the US one. Oh and while you're at it, why not drop the ridiculous prices on Apple products here in SA?
We loved it in the Samsung Series 9, the Dell 15z and the Lenovo X1. The convenience a backlit keyboard gives typing in darkened rooms should be a de facto part of the notebook experience.
Trends we predicted for 2011: How we fared
We hit a definite bulls-eye with this one, although it was almost expected. Apart from the iPad 2 launching, just about every PC and smartphone manufacturer released an Android-based tablets. Sales in Q3 2011 for example showed a 264.5% year on year increase. Although final figures are not in yet, market research company IDC predicted worldwide tablet sales to have topped 63 million units in 2011, while JP Morgan forecasts a massive 99 million tablets to be sold in 2012.
Internet + TV = Smart TV
Yes we saw internet-connected devices from Samsung, Sony and LG, but they just did not feature as prominently as we thought. As this stage these sets still struggle with easy text input, while streaming services offered overseas, such as Netflix, are not available locally. The fact that there is a price premium on these TVs also did not help.
Your next phone will be a smartphone
Seeing someone with an old Nokia? It's only because their smartphone has been stolen.
At the end of last year Google announced that 700 000 phones per day are being activated with their Android operating system. It has become the go-to operating system for handset manufacturers (excluding BlackBerry, Apple and Nokia), with the Android Market also celebrating 10 billion apps downloaded. All five of our Top 5 entry-level smartphones of 2011 ran Android, while four of our Top 5 high-end smartphones sported the little green robot onboard. We think we can claim that prediction.
3.5G goes 4G
Although countries such as the US and South Korea started offering 4G services and handsets to the public, SA has not quite gone the distance. MTN and Vodacom have started testing long-term evolution (LTE) technology, which should eventually replace the current 3G standard. Since SA's move to digital television has been delayed time and time again, it's preventing the freeing up of much needed spectrum that can be allocated for 4G. Hopefully we'll see some movement at the end of this year.
Article first published in TechSmart 100, January 2012.
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