Six things that will almost certainly happen in mobile in 2014 – part 2

Six things that will almost certainly happen in mobile in 2014 – part 2There’s not much room for interpretation in that title, huh? Here we’re looking at six mobile industry thingies that are by no means confirmed, but – yes – almost certain to go down in space year 2014AD.

Last week, in part 1, I looked at Apple’s likely expanding portfolio, the much-promised smartwatch threat, and Samsung’s ongoing prolificness. Today I’ve grabbed three more beauties that’ll make you think: ‘Yeah, he’s probably right.’

Six things that will almost certainly happen in mobile in 2014 – part 2Things will get bendy

Last time I looked at smartwatches; the other Next Big Thing in mobile is flexible displays, bringing increased durability, and perhaps – in some cases – balls out bendiness.

Curved displays are nothing new (the 2011 Google Nexus S and 2012 Samsung Galaxy Nexus were both curved), but already we’re seeing evidence that things are about to get a whole lot curvier in the immediate future.

Late last year we met the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex, which were curved around the vertical and horizontal axes respectively (if the phones are being held in portrait).

Indeed, Samsung and LG have been making trade show promises of a bendy future for years, and come 2020, IHS reckons 800 million devices with flexible displays will ship annually.

In the meantime, both the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 are tipped to come with curved displays.

Six things that will almost certainly happen in mobile in 2014 – part 2HTC will continue to flounder

We’d like to think otherwise, we really would, but there are thus far no signs that HTC will do anything in 2014 other than court further rumours of being bought over.

To be fair, it can’t get much worse than 2013, a year that saw HTC record its first-ever quarterly loss, as executives abandoned ship and rumours of empty factories swirled.

Adding insult to injury, several former employees were indicted on account of leaking confidential information, and the icing on the cake: a late December 2013 injunction ruling in favour of Nokia.

One really has to wonder what HTC can do to get back in the game. The 2013 HTC One was widely praised as one of the sexiest smartphones of all time, certainly a great deal more attractive than the Samsung Galaxy S4, but that didn’t stop Sammo’s flagship trouncing the One.

HTC seems to think the answer lies in marketing, with Hollywood hotshot Robert Downey Jr. on board – commanding a small fortune in the small process.

Or maybe, as suggested in November, the Taiwanese should focus on “affordable” phones, though there’s hardly any shortage of utterly forgettable HTC mid-range handsets as it stands.

Six things that will almost certainly happen in mobile in 2014 – part 2The Amazon smartphone will touch down

Favourite mobile-related typo: Amazin smartphone.

We’ve been jawing about the possibly amazin’ Amazon smartphone for years now, pretty much since the first Kindle Fire tablet popped up in 2011. But for all the countless Amazon smartphone rumours, we have this much concrete information: incredibly little.

Team Bezos has been keeping predictably quiet about the whole thing, only popping their heads out briefly to dismiss the notion of a free Amazon smartphone launching in 2013.

There are various rumours doing the rounds, including the suggestion that HTC is on board with the goal of delivering no less than three individual Amazon smartphone models. Weird.

Or maybe the Amazon smartphone will arrive with futuristic 3D gesture and eye-tracking technology, achieved by throwing four additional cameras on the front: one in each corner.

In any case, if the Amazon smartphone is happening, it’ll surely be 2014. Time’s getting on, Bezos, and the industry waits for no man.

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JanSt / MOD  Jan. 14, 2014 at 15:35

The HTC One had a problem or two. Decent low-light photography aside it offered very little that a 3rd party app couldn't add to any midrange Android device. Zoe, Blinkfeed... come on.
And it was expensive. Initially at least. Also: one praised device doesn't make a winner. And that is where HTC just add nothing... The One Mini kept the bloaty, intrusive Blinkfeed, etc and instead killed what gave the big One the great low-light performance. It's a nice enough device, but ...

Pondlife  Jan. 14, 2014 at 21:01

Still think the market isn't there for a kindle phone in the same way they got a march on the other android tablets...

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 14, 2014 at 23:23

dito.... but I'm afraid Amazon will come up with a hook to make Americans go nuts for their phone...

Pondlife  Jan. 15, 2014 at 01:02

Actually having seen phone prices there that wouldn't be so tricky after all.


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