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Tech giants will shift to China, other BRIC countries for recovery
Brazil, Russia, India and China -- the so-called BRIC nations -- are showing budding potential for corporate expansions. Amazon has already spread its wings to Brazil, as has Microsoft, and Lenovo is pushing hard to bring a local PC-building plant in the country, while it remains the most popular PC manufacturer in China, a key market for others to crack.
As market saturation reaches its peak and companies continue to want to expand, higher import taxes are making it nigh on impossible to break into new markets. Companies therefore have to set up shop in these BRIC countries in order to tap into the vast revenue streams. But tougher local regulations will make it difficult, and governments of emerging markets are yet to extend the hand of friendship to these firms. That middle ground could arrive at some point in 2013, allowing for huge profits for the coming year.
RIM, Nokia: Revival or collapse
2013 will be make or break for two major mobile companies: Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the humble BlackBerry smartphone, and Finland-based Nokia, which has dabbled in just about every kind of mobile device known to man.
RIM's BlackBerry market share has tumbled over the past year, while Nokia recently sold its Espoo, Finland headquarters in order to conserve its cash, which it's burning through at an alarming rate. Nokia isn't making any money, neither is RIM, and both companies are betting on devices and products that have yet to be released or are yet to make any significant impact in the market.
BlackBerry 10 will make or break RIM, meanwhile Nokia has to pray that Windows Phone will take off, considering Nokia's and Microsoft's bid to bring the platform to China, in order to survive the turbulent financial times elsewhere.
Apple, Microsoft will face testing times
Apple remains -- despite its recent share price tumbles -- the most powerful and wealthiest technology company in the world, while Microsoft still has more users of its products than any other firm in the world.
The duopoly between the two remains, just as it earlier in the decade. But the two companies in the past year have seen extreme highs and extreme lows. How the two technology behemoths will hold on to their respective highs in the coming year will be something to watch. It's entirely likely that Apple and Microsoft will go back to being 'ordinary' technology companies, and little will separate them from each other or the wider community.
Windows 8 will likely, despite analysts hedging their outlooks, become a massive success, despite its sluggish start. Most organizations are expected to roll out the next-generation software to their existing machines. At the same time, Apple's dominance in the post-PC world will see its share of the tablet market steady out and take the crown away from the traditional PC market.
That said, Microsoft's Windows share could suffer as a result of a rise in mobile operating systems while Apple's share price and troubles in keeping up with the innovation curve in 2012 could see the firm fall back to the mid-2000s.
While both scenarios are possible, the complete reverse could also -- and may -- happen. The PC/post-PC world is still in transition, and only time will tell if the two companies, singularly or respectively, have kept up with the trends.