ZDNet's tech predictions for 2013

ZDNet's tech predictions for 2013

Summary: What will be the next big thing? As cellular carriers merge and become stronger, mobile makers may not survive. Will big data analytics take off, and will 3D printing arrive with a bevy of legal and ethical issues? Here's a look ahead at 2013 and what we can expect.


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  • 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. 

  • 'Internet of Things' will connect the home together

    Plenty of strange acronyms and new sayings from 2012, but perhaps the strangest and non-descript is the 'Internet of things.' 

    The concept is simple: ordinary household and personal items have become connected to the wider world through networking connections, near-field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth. For instance, that relationship allows jewelry to change color with the weather, glasses to show what time it is, and other seemingly ordinary items that will connected to the outside world and react accordingly. 2013 is the year where this will likely take off and become a brand new phase to our inter-connected lives. 

    From a business and enterprise perspective, it will allow for more informed business decisions and interaction without human intervention, such as printers telling manufacturers when ink levels are low or when a computer's hardware needs replacing.

Topics: Presentations, Bring Your Own Device, EU, Printers, Networking, Mobility, Microsoft, Google, Cloud, Big Data, Apple

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  • Another blog post . . .

    . . . that showcases the horrifyingly poor slide show widget that ZDNet uses.
    • widgets are unecessary frills anyway

      There is a lot to be said for good old fashioned hyperlinks - they are fast, can tell you exactly what you are going to, take up less space etc. I do believe that pictures are an important part of websites as are videos BUT only where they add something to the text information, as a navigation tool they suck in my opinion and all too often depend on the one plug in the browser I am using doesn't have.
    • Slide show

      "horrifyingly poor slide show widget"?
      No trouble using it here.
      • The issue is the page-reloads.

        It feels like a 7 year old widget.
    • Not sure why they can't use Techrepublic's

      At least on their "slide show" posts, you can:
      -- click "see all" to have all of the snapshots on a single page
      -- "mouse hover" over each snapshot lets you know what item is depicted
      -- and most importantly, you can (at least 95% of the time) read the same post in a "blog" format where all of the descriptions and the accompanying pictures are on the same page (or at most 2 or 3 if there are a lot of items).

      Makes it much easier to read through...
    • worse yet

      The most pathetic thing about this slide show, is that there is absolutely no reason for any pictures. It's a bullet list with a bunch of stock photos of logos and flags.

      Not to mention most of them are not predictions, they are "stories to watch", with no prediction of how they will play out.
    • Agree

      Full page refresh when you click on the next photo seems rather like lazy programming. It's pretty sad coming from a "technology" blog.
    • I believe is done in purpose fot SEO purposes

      is generally better to load 12 pages linking each other than a series of div activated via javascript
  • ring-your-own-device (BYOD)?

    ring-your-own-device (BYOD) personally I dont think this will happen for most, as a lot of companies have group policys that install software on your laptop\tablet & restrict internet sites, which are non removable.

    BYOD will be ok for phones but not tablets or laptops.
  • Hacktivism?

    It's cyberthuggery. Which points out another sure bet tech prediction. Tech bloggers will still slant stories to reflect their personal bias.
    • RE: Hacktivism?

      "Tech bloggers will still slant stories to reflect their personal bias."

      100% agree... No mention of Android/Google wiping the floor with Microsoft and Apple at all - this is already happening and will continue next year. OP must be a Metro/Apple user :-D.

      One prediction I have is that MS will continue its downfall and Apple will fall off the maps next year - Steve Jobs isn't around anymore to rescue the company... They are history!
      • Maybe there's no mention of Android/Google

        wiping the floor with Microsoft and Apple because even the bloggers know that will never happen.

        "MS will continue its downfall and Apple will fall off the maps next year"

        Well, since MS isn't in a downward spiral, and people have proven they'd rather have an iPad over Android kind of makes you're statement...imaginative.

        Just telling you how it is.
        William Farrel
        • Android already outsells iOS

          in phones by a very large margin.

          Android tablets are already catching up in market share and projected to pass by iPads this coming year.

          None of that is a statement of my preferences, just some facts, figures and projections in the industry.
          • There is a lot more to business that market share

            Of course anybody with any business sense realizes this and doesn't base everything on that simply statistic. You can have 95% of a market but if our competitor with only 5% still makes more money you are not winning. I'll take 5% market share and higher profits versus 95% market share and razor thin break even margins any day. Both market share and profit margin are important only one will sustain a company over the long haul.
      • Mr. Rocks - we know where the Rocks are

        Did you ever think that Android and Google were not mentioned because the products are so small it's not worth it? Android is SOOO saturated and varies from total crap hardware so mostly decent hardware and products that it's actually hurting itself, not to mention the issues with the AppStore and the update mess that Google - due to their Beta mentality - has created. Yeah they will not - you can go back to your day job now...
    • re: Hacktivism?

      > Tech bloggers will still slant stories to reflect their personal bias.

      The blogger doesn't exist that doesn't, tech or otherwise. You lost. Deal with it. LOL!
      none none
    • More like the digital Mafia

      I think Anonymous is more like organized crime than activism. I wish our country expand RICO.
  • 3D Printing Ethical Issues?

    I think it is a bit sensationalist and totally off base to suggest ethical issues are of any major concern for 3D printing. 3D printing is just another machining tool with some very attractive features with accessibility to a growing base of DIY enthusiasts. Other tools are better suited for large scale production and are used commercially for quick cloning of many devices. 3D printing will contribute a miniscule amount to commercial cloning but will allow many to personally produce items they desire. Current laws cover patentable and copyrighted materials and 3D brings no new issues to the table. You are much more likely to see a continued up swell of open source and legitimately reverse engineered drawings and plans.

    As to printing guns there real sensationalism given the current issues in the media. Come On!!
    You really can't regulate what people do with tools they own. That is just absurd and totally unenforceable and the statement that where there is 3D printing there will be regulation beyond absurd. Regulation will be based on core issue not the machine tool you use.

    How about concentrating on how 3D printing is opening a new level of capability allowing more people to create their ideas and dreams into reality. A new manufacturing paradigm of individual manufacturing and customization. A boon to low quantity manufacturing and aid to fast prototyping and R&D. These are areas that are real issues for 3D printing.
  • You might wish to cite different analyst opinions on certain subjects, Zack

    Regarding the following comment in the Apple TV slide, "Apple lost out to the sub-$200 mini-tablet range by pricing its own 7-inch iPad mini at a price premium."

    There have been reports that the iPad Mini is selling like the proverbial hot cakes. In fact, some sources (DigiTimes) - although I don't place too much stock in their future product predictions - claim that iPad mini orders from eight million units have been increased to 10 million due to strong sales worldwide and even suggest those orders might reach 12 million units.

    Further, DigiTimes reports that the supply chain supplied Apple with 4-4.5 million iPad Mini components in October and the same amount in November.

    I have further read that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD units might not be selling well although for the Holiday season, sales of the new Kindle Fire HD might resemble those of the first gen device. That is to state, sales of the Kindle Fire HD will peak during this holiday buying season but will return to disappointing sales levels after this period.
    • Better yet

      "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."

      Name a single organisation lookin to roll out Win8! It isn't happening anywhere outside consumer market. DOA for the enterprise.
      Richard Flude