The Mayans Were Wrong (Part 1)

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The world spins on with more of the same improvements.

Another year, another deluge of technology that threatens to drown us all. There had been a lot of hype last year for the industry, most of which is driven by the impending arrival of Windows 8. It was hotter than the buzz around the impending iProducts that were expected to roll out of the production line and the suddenly, yet equally as incredible, short lifespan of the new iPad. There would be no competition if it had not been for the hordes of Apple worshippers who care about their beloved i-devices.

The idea that we are drawn to something new is intimately alien to a species that naturally distrusts anything it cannot comprehend. This is why the tech industry, as a whole, is an aberration to the natural world. We want new things that we don’t understand and have even come to expect it as a given. As unnatural as it is, the whole concept has now become instinctive for us. Just take a look at the multitude of rumors about what the big names have in store for us in the coming months!

Prophetic indicators

Predicting the next generation of mobile phones and tablets would be too easy. We obviously know that another range of Samsung Galaxy phones, or identical-to-the-one-you-already-own iPhone, or even something from HTC should be in the cards. Even in terms of specifications, we wouldn’t be surprise to the see a bump in processing power, some extra RAM and maybe a little extra storage space. A bigger screen will be about as surprising as discovering ice in the Antarctic.

Perhaps we should be looking for what changes we will end up seeing by the end of the decade. After all, there is only so much one can cram into a phone. Particularly since consumers practically demand that the form factor must continually become thinner.

Perhaps we should be looking for what changes we will end up seeing by the end of the decade

Perhaps we should be looking for what changes we will end up seeing by the end of the decade


The BBC ran a news story about flexible screen phones and how they expect Samsung to produce one in 2013. We have no idea where their sources come from but the Brits have a reputation as a reliable news outlet. That is a proven notion even if the European Union, with the exception of Germany and Finland, isn’t exactly at the top of the list for producing the latest hardware.

We have also been aware of the existence of this technology for some time now (since the 1960s) and most manufacturers have been experimenting with the idea for years. The implication that Samsung will be the first to get it to market is frankly, a little suspicious.

Huawei’s next phone, like this but bigger. Much bigger

The Korean manufacturer has traditionally been a follower of trends and had only turned into an innovator recently. Indeed, it has proven itself to be a shrewd business entity by picking up on the latest gadget and hottest trends, and improve it further to create something that people will want. Innovation and advancement have not been part of the vocabulary until demand for smart devices increased. If they are capable of putting a flexible screen phone on the market before anyone else, then perhaps we may be seeing a new Samsung - one that creates trends, rather than follows them.

Has learnt to stop faking camera ads

Has learnt to stop faking camera ads

Also from Asia, Huawei is taking the current trend of larger screens to its logical conclusion. The impending Huawei Ascend Mate is rumored to be a massive 6.1-inch device. That’s only a single inch away from being a proper tablet. Yes, Samsung’s Galaxy Note II is a success; but do you really need to outdo it in terms of size? Understandably there are limits to what one can achieve with the design of smartphones. This, on the other hand, is pushing those limits in a direction that is close to lunacy.

The idea that bigger is better appears to be a very Chinese thing. ZTE has also been teasing a 5.9-inch Windows Phone. The trick is that this device apparently comes with a full HD 1080p display, which is interesting because Microsoft hasn’t mentioned anything about WP8 being able to support that resolution. One is tempted to think that this is Chinese innovation at its finest.


Tablets are expected to go through a period of soul searching. While Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform may not be selling like hotcakes, even if sales are picking up speed, it can be associated to the fact that it has ushered in a new range of convertible Ultrabooks that can and will compete with the tablet market.

With more of these flexible form factor machines showing up, consumers won’t have to make the choice between content consumption and creation. In fact, having a tablet that can run full-ledged Windows programs is something that we have all been waiting for; and better yet, a smart device that can interface seamlessly with our portable storage systems.

Tablets are expected to go through a period of soul searching

Tablets are expected to go through a period of soul searching

Personally, I would like to see fewer tablets in the market and a greater push towards the convertible form. Google already has the low-cost Chromebook for purchase, so it shouldn’t be too hard for them to make the switch over as well. Really, it’s about time to stop playing around with these half-baked slabs of plastic and get some real computing done. We have the technology, innovation and, most importantly, know-how.

Sadly, my personal wish won’t be happening any time soon. CNET has compiled a list of tablets due for launch in the US for 2013. It is a very long list. And that’s only the devices that they know about.

For all intents and purposes, 2013 may well be the proper year of the tablet.

What is contained within these tablets is mostly unknown. However, we know that Intel is beginning to step into the market, which means the Intel Inside logo might become a common sight for mobile devices as it is with the home PC. Otherwise, expect more of the same during the first half of 2013.

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