Big Screens…VERY Big Screens

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Big Screens…VERY Big Screens

There was a time when 4.3-inch screens were all the rage in the smartphone market. In 2013, however, expect even bigger displays. In fact, at CES, some companies showed off 5-inch displays. The future of smartphones is in big screens.

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Whether it's a smartphone, tablet or Ultrabook, expect to find 4G LTE in nearly every product you buy. Technology companies now understand that being mobile means being able to connect to the Web wherever the user is. With mobile carriers increasing their 4G LTE capacity each day, it would only make sense for smartphone makers to build models that take advantage of this higher-speed service.

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Android Everywhere

Android is officially the most widely deployed operating system in the mobile industry. And this year, expect to find it nearly everywhere. From smartphones to tablets, the software will be running on hundreds of products. Better yet, Google is expected to launch an updated version this year with a host of new, unannounced features.

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Although near-field communication got off to a bit of a slow start, it's expected to make its way to a wide array of products this year. In fact, all new Android-based devices will come with it. There's also some speculation that Apple will offer NFC in its iPhone and iPad. Here's hoping that happens.

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Slim and Light

It seems that each year, mobile companies are delivering products that are both thinner and lighter than those that came before them. This year should be no different. Expect every vendor, including Apple, to launch slimmer and lighter mobile devices in 2013.

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Bigger Tablets

Although your tablets might be getting thinner and lighter, chances are, they'll also be getting a little bigger. The Microsoft Surface Pro, for example, comes with a 10.6-inch display. Asus, however, is selling a 12-inch screen in its Slate tablet. At CES, several companies showed off displays that measured at least 10 inches. Panasonic topped them all with a 20-inch tablet. Bigger will be better in the tablets market this year.

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Better Tablet Covers

Speaking of better, there's a good chance that companies like Apple and Samsung will launch improved covers for their slates this year. Last year, Microsoft set a new standard by introducing its Surface tablets with covers that double as screen protectors and keyboards. In response, Apple might release an improved Smart Cover when the company announces its new iPad.

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Better Small Tablets

The iPad Mini was a major change agent in the tablet market last year. As a result, there's a good chance that this year, the company's slate will inspire other companies to deliver improved 7-inch tablets. Expect to find better screens, more 4G LTE support and nicer designs in this year's slate of 7-inch tablets.

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Heavy Investment in Ultrabooks

Although Ultrabooks haven't taken off to the degree Intel would have liked, this year, things could change. According to Intel, in 2013 Ultrabooks will ship with touch-screens, have improved specifications and come down in price. Expect to find widespread investment in Ultrabooks, and for those products to be much nicer than those that came before them.

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Business Focus

When the iPhone launched in 2007, there was a general sense that the corporate world wouldn't care about the company's products. But now years later, the enterprise is warming to smartphones and tablets. And vendors are picking up on that. So, in 2013, expect a keen focus on applications and features that appeal to business users to permeate the mobile world.

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