We live in interesting times. For tech lovers, this is especially true as the last five years have seen one of the most explosive periods of technological innovation the world has ever seen. Ever since the release of the iPhone in 2007, the tech landscape has changed more dramatically than at any other time since the mid-80s. Tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Facebook, and Twitter are facing off in an unprecedented battle-royal. Fortunately, consumers and pundits are reaping the rewards of this melee. But how will this epic war play out over the next year?
While predicting the future is hard (and also runs the risk of making the predictor look stupid), I humbly offer my attempt. Here are four predictions – one for each season of the coming year – of how this tech battle will unfold over 2013.
The Apple – Samsung Armistice
At some point this fight will come to an end. The lawsuits between Apple and Nokia were settled, and so were the suits between Apple and HTC. So too will the epic world-wide legal fight between Apple and Samsung. It’s only a question of time. My Spidey Sense tells me it’s coming in 2013 – but this one will be close.
Facebook Will Not Release a Mobile Phone
This rumor has been bouncing around the Interwebs for a while now. The claim is that in order to compete with Google, Microsoft, and Apple, Facebook will build its own phone or fork of Android. I doubt this. Facebook, if it has any sense, should fix its various mobile apps before it starts thinking about building a whole new device or platform. In addition, I don’t see the benefit for Facebook of making more enemies.
Google Will Continue to Compete. Against Everyone.
The list of Google competitors is seemingly endless: Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo; when you add hardware the list grows even longer to include Amazon and Google’s own Android partners such as Samsung and HTC. Don’t expect this to slow down. I predict 2013 will bring at least one more Google service that apes an already existing product from a leading company. Whether that’s more media offerings such as music and movies, or a direct competitor to Amazon’s book and retail business Google is surely working on yet another market that it wants to enter.
Microsoft, Not Apple, Will Usher In The Smart TV Revolution
For an Apple fan such as myself this is almost sacrilegious to say. But I think there are some solid reasons this will be the case. First, Microsoft already has a solid living room platform installed in millions of homes – Xbox.
Second, the major obstacle to a real smart TV platform is content – not technology. Content companies are wary of Apple, its huge power and wealth, and also its track record of shaking up the established order. This is what Apple did to music and the mobile industry. The TV industry doesn’t want to lose its death-grip on content, and is likely to sign a deal with Microsoft in order to counter Apple.
Well there are my humble predictions of what we are likely to see over the next year from the tech world. I can’t wait till next year to see just how right (or wrong) I was.