The mobile calendar is generally thought to revolve around CES in Las Vegas each January, and – shortly thereafter – Mobile World Congress (MWC) in good old Barcelona, but lately September and October have thoroughly established themselves as two of the busiest months.
That’s largely thanks to Berlin’s annual IFA conference (Samsung, Sony et al), Google Nexus action, and Apple shifting the iPhone/iPad announcements to September/October respectively, but with so much new stuff of late, what the heck is left?
The answer – for the remainder of this year, at least – is: not a whole lot, but with 2014 (and with it CES) on the horizon, we’re about to start all over again.
I guess I’ll go for vaguely alphabetical order here. Ready?
Ah, the Amazon smartphone. It’s the rumour that just won’t go away, like that mysterious oily stain on my shirt.
The rumours have picked up again recently, and the whispers have been wildly varied. One source suggested the Amazon smartphone would a) arrive this year, and b) be free for Amazon Prime customers, but that was later denied by none other than Amazon.
Or how about the notion of apparently suicidal HTC building not one, not two, but three Amazon smartphones? Huh?
Most interesting of all, for our money, is the suggestion that the Amazon smartphone will land in 2Q14 with 3D gesture and eye-tracking input. Now that’s something we’d like to play with.
Say what you like about Apple, but there’s no denying the Californians have a pretty decent flagship line-up at the moment, including the fingerprint scanner-toting iPhone 5s, the super-thin and light iPad Air, and the eye-melting iPad mini Retina with 324PPI.
The future's bright. The future's... Sorry, wrong company.
Over the past few months we’ve been introduced to the Google Nexus 7 2013 (Asus) and the Google Nexus 5 (LG), but there’s still a question mark over that Asus-built Google Nexus 10. Is it happening? And if it’s happening soon, why not launch it alongside KitKit?
Next year, the Google Nexus 7 contract is expected to go from Asus to LG, which seems kinda strange given the success of the first and second generation tablets, though with LG comes LG Display.
As for the next Nexus smartphone, we’re assuming it’ll be a case of various manufacturers attempting to woo Google again. We’re wondering if LG making the Nexus 7 makes it more or less likely to be behind the Nexus 6 (or whatever it’s called), as traditionally Google has spread the love.
And how about Google’s own Motorola? Would it still be seen as an outrageous display of nepotism if Moto was behind a Nexus device? Allah knows, at this stage.
Confusing matters further, we had those Google Nexus 8 rumours this week, though it’s now been airbrushed out of existence. Brilliant.
The ailing Taiwanese manufacturer still seems to think marketing is the key to putting Samsung in its place, most recently acquiring the services of Robert Downey Jr. Er, good luck with that.
We’ve been hearing all sorts of strange rumours about HTC of late, including reports of abandoned factories and a proposed focus on affordable phones going forward, but at the same time we’re told to brace for the spanking new HTC M8 flagship.
Confused? So is HTC, apparently.
We expect Samsung (and fellow South Korean manufacturer LG, for that matter) will have lots to say about flexible tech at CES and MWC, though it seems like that’s been the case forever.
The rumour mill proposes an imminent launch for the Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch is thought to have been moved forward on account of lower-than-expected Samsung Galaxy S4 sales. Because the solution to slow sales is to rush out another phone, yes.
Next year might also see the debut of the ultra-premium Samsung Galaxy F line, welcoming phones that are even higher up the ladder than the Galaxy S family.
Perhaps the most interesting development in Samsungland, however, is its Tizen OS. In an ideal world we’d see Samsung abandon Android in its favour. Y’know, just to spice things up a little. We can always dream…