What in the name of Jan Stuhlmacher’s ghost? It’s July? As in: half way through 2014? Half way to 2015? Just over half way to Christmas? HUH?
What better time, then, to take stock of goings on in the world of mobile, with yours truly casting an eye over the past six months. How shall we do this? By manufacturer? You got it, baby.
1H14 passed by with no new hardware from everyone’s favourite Californian manufacturer; not a peep. Instead, the highlight was the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), at which we got a taste of iOS 8.
But it’s the calm before the proverbial storm, with the iPhone 6 tipped to arrive in September (or thereabouts) with a 4.7in and 5.5in display. The larger model is supposedly proving problematic on account of its sapphire crystal display, and as such might be “delayed” - or released in limited quantities. Maybe.
And not forgetting the inevitable iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and Apple’s first foray into wearable tech, the much-discussed iWatch. Fingers crossed for iPad split-screen multitasking, too, which also brings to mind the still-elusive iPad Pro.
We’d be here all day if we listed all Samsung’s 1H14 releases, so let’s stick with the highlights, the obvious starting point being the Samsung Galaxy S5, which supposedly shifted over 10 million units in its first month.
In tablets, Samsung went a bit mental at the beginning of the year, releasing various Galaxy Tab Pros alongside a 12.2in Note Pro, but they were arguably overshadowed by the recent arrival of the AMOLED Samsung Galaxy Tab S range.
In the second half of the year we’ll meet the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and incredibly, the super-specced, metal-bodied Samsung Galaxy F still isn’t a real thing. WHERE ARE YOU?
No new Nexus hardware from Google in 1H14, and indeed there were rumours that the entire range might’ve been canned in favour of something called Android Silver, a scheme that’ll supposedly see big G working closely alongside its favourite manufacturers to produce streamlined flagships, meaning less bloat, and faster software updates. Sounds good to us.
Consensus is that the Google Nexus 6 isn’t happening (LG is pleading innocent), but that we might see an HTC-built Google Nexus 9 (codename Volantis) in 2H14.
Indeed, Dave Burke, head of Android engineering and the Nexus program, says Nexus ain’t dead. Yet…
The first wave of Android Wear smartwatches is on the warpath, too, headed by the Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch and Motorola Moto 360.
New(ish) BlackBerry CEO John Chen continues to beaver away quietly in the background, and we can’t escape the feeling that the Canadians might pull something impressive out of the bag when everyone least expects it.
Front-runner is the BlackBerry Passport, a 4.5in beast with a 1:1 aspect ratio and 1440 x 1440 resolution. Zuh? I want one!
And heck, Jan actually quite likes BlackBerry 10 now, as the Z10 threatens to find a nice little niche as a genuine budget contender.
I won’t lie to you; I’ve completely lost track of all the various Nokia Lumias (as far as numbering goes), but the Finnish manufacturer has quietly settled into a routine of churning out decent-to-impressive flagships and wallet-friendly budget devices to rival the Moto G.
There are far too many Android OEMs to detail here (sorry Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi, HTC, Oppo, OnePlus, Asus, Acer, Kazam…), but the other South Korean manufacturer, LG, gets a special mention for being the first big-name mobile player to churn out a smartphone with a 2K/QHD/2560 x 1440 resolution, namely the G3.