Judging by every analyst’s report over the last couple of years, smartphones are going to be extremely important in 2014. Smartphone shipments worldwide are expected to jump, feature phone handsets will further drop in market share, and people will, in some cases, choose their iPhones or Android devices over every other product category, including PCs. It’ll be a big year for smartphones.
3Tablets Will Be Huge
If Mobile World Congress proved anything, it’s that wearable technology is here to stay. Samsung showed off a new Galaxy Gear device, along with a wearable fitness tracker. Pebble Smartwatch continues to be a worthwhile choice for consumers. Even Apple is expected to get into the swing of things this year with its iWatch. And all of that fails to mention that Google Glass is slowly but surely inching its way toward store shelves.
In a recent comment at a technology summit, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that he expects robotics to be “omnipresent in a good way” in our lives. That came after Amazon announced a drone program to deliver goods and Google said that Andy Rubin had been heading up an entirely new robotics division. Robotics is a huge growth area, and several major companies seem to be ready to capitalize on it.
The Galaxy S5 brought to light advancements in Long Term Evolution with its support for LTE 4, a technology that will essentially provide faster and more reliable LTE service to smartphones. But advancements in LTE are just one small piece of the puzzle for the technology. With better LTE comes more video-streaming opportunities on mobile, enhanced data-handling in apps, and new opportunities for carriers to deliver add-on services. LTE is extremely important in today’s technology industry.
For the last few years, cloud computing has been an important component in the industry’s growth, and that is to be expected again this year. In fact, Gartner reported late last year that the personal cloud and cloud integration in the enterprise will be among the fastest-growing sectors in the industry in 2014. That’s good news for companies like Dropbox and others that are trying to attract both consumers and enterprise customers.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, 3D printing was one of the hot topics. In fact, the show played host to a new range of 3D printers that offer affordable prices for in-home use. Already, we’ve heard stories of consumers building usable equipment to better their lives with 3D printers, and it appears right now that those efforts will only be magnified in the coming years.
Mobile apps continue to be an extremely important aspect of the technology industry. Developers around the globe are pumping out new apps hoping they catch on, all the while adding more functionality to devices that desperately need it. From games to utilities, mobile apps have become big business and will only become bigger in the next several years.
10Living Room Entertainment Devices
When Google announced Chromecast, the in-home entertainment industry changed. The $35 dongle is more affordable than Roku or Apple TV, and like those other products, is designed to deliver all sorts of content to the consumer’s television. Content developers, meanwhile, are building out platforms to deliver their programming, and Apple CEO Tim Cook recently made clear that his company doesn’t believe the Apple TV is a hobby. Look for the living room to be a major battleground for companies in 2014.
Gaming is expected to be a major driving force in the technology industry in 2014. Both Sony and Microsoft launched new consoles last year, leaving developers with new platforms on which to build games. In addition, gamers seem to be moving away from the traditional market and toward mobile games, prompting more developers to invest in game development than anything else. Look for games to drive a lot of tech entertainment revenue in 2014.