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Top 5 key mobile trends for 2014

Top 5 key mobile trends for 2014

With 2013 now consigned to history, we’ve taken the chance to dig out our crystal ball and peer in to see what the next 12 months hold for the world of mobile.

Will phones and tablets still look the same at the end of 2014? Mostly, yes. Will what they do change as the year goes on? Certainly.

Need specifics? Well, here we’ve picked out five key trends which we think will dominate in the next year. Read on and see if you agree with our choices.

1 Flexible screens

Samsung flexible AMOLED display prototype

Flexible displays have already gone from pricey prototype fodder to readily available futuristic tech.

But Samsung’s Galaxy Round and LG’s G Flex are only available in Korea. If you want one in the UK, you’re looking at ruinously high import charges.

That’s all set to change in the next year, though, as display costs come down and companies begin to work out just how the screens will work in real life.

Expect Sammy and LG to roll out new versions and perhaps Apple to have a stab at something of its own.

Bendy screens will also be making an appearance on smart watches. Speaking of which...

2 Wearable tech goes mainstream

iwatch flexible screen

Despite Samsung's attempt to put on a brave face, the Galaxy Gear has unquestionably flopped and can be fairly adjudged a first-generation effort that failed to capture the mainstream’s imagination.

2014, though, will see Samsung refine its wearable kit and rivals enter the fray with tricked-out efforts that are bound to impress.

Apple’s iWatch, pegged for an October release, is likely to offer the most fully realised vision of what a smartwatch should offer.

Beyond timepieces, Google Glass should finally go on sale to the public after a lengthy beta testing programme.

Next year is the year wearable tech becomes a mainstream habit.

3 The death of tablet magazines

ipad gq magazine

Heralded as the saviour of print media, tablet mags just haven’t caught on. Thus far, anyway.

Apple has pretty much neglected its Newsstand app and while Google has made some efforts to refine its tablet mag offering, it’s just not up to snuff.

With websites increasingly improving reading experiences and new apps offering better ways to interact with content, reading magazines on tablets is likely to become an even more niche activity in 2014.

4 Tablet diversity

tablets selection

With the tablet market getting increasingly competitive, this year looks set for a battle royale among slate-makers.

Samsung will continue its multi-pronged approach, but Apple is also likely to try something new.

Its 12-inch iPad Pro has been rumoured for months and could make an appearance as early as spring.

Chuck in Google’s plans for an 8-inch Nexus tablet and Nokia’s Windows-backed models that are likely to land around CES in January and you’re looking at a race to the bottom.

Budget efforts, such as Tesco’s Hudl, are likely to get updates to make them even more attractive to hard-pressed consumers.

5 Ever cheaper devices

Tesco Hudl

The Moto G and Nexus 5 have shown that mobile-makers aren’t afraid of cutting prices.

The next year will see more of the same, as Microsoft enters the smartphone space on its own terms, with Nokia’s devices business as its new plaything.

Cheap Windows Phones already abound, so expect more to come in the next few months.

News of a new £30 tablet also shows that slates are going to drop in value.

A fresh version of the Tesco Hudl and cheaper Nexus 7 are likely to put the squeeze on Apple.

Could this finally be the year that Cupertino slashes its prices too? Don’t count on it.

Category: News
Tagged: industry news
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