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What lies ahead: Mobile devices in 2013

The year 2012 has been a great period for mobile devices. Consumers were treated to a plethora of new and revamped gadgets, with the latest iPhone, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy series, all taking center stage. From fancy launch dates to viral advertisements, 2012 never let consumers down. But what can we expect as 2013 unfolds? Is there anything else that can be done to 1-up the innovations from the previous year?

Here are some of the things that we can expect to see from mobile technology in the coming months.

Better, faster, cheaper?

Here’s the deal: every year, we expect to see new mobile devices which are better and faster than last year’s stock, but we really don’t want any of these toys draining our budgets. But if we are going to compare the prices of the new releases, we can see that it has remained constant throughout the years. Last year’s iPhone 5 roughly had the same price tag as last, last year’s iPhone 4s. So whether it would be the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 5s released this year, somehow, we already have an idea of its price.

The jump from dual core to quad core as the new industry standard in mobile computing paints a vague picture when it comes to the power under the hood of this year’s upcoming gadgets. Dual core to quad core already seemed a big leap, especially for pocket-sized gadgets. It is highly unlikely that we will see it double again to 8 cores this year. Perhaps industry giants like Apple and Samsung are just focusing on polishing their current handsets and other offerings. This is purely speculation, but then again, no one thought it would actually be possible to have a quad-core phone just a couple of years ago.

Avant-garde design?

Considering that last year was also highlighted by patent cases between Apple and Samsung, it won’t be surprising to see major tech companies come up with new designs or integrate new technologies to avoid any more of these clashes. It seems that the tablet and mobile phone designs have already been exhausted (rectangular, black/silver bezel, one/no button-faced phones, anyone?) so manufacturers are somehow racing to release a new design that works for these gadgets. If they are closely following Apple’s blueprint to success, they should know that the innovator always has the upper hand. Apple’s iPhone and iPad designs spawned many similar devices and this is why they were very eager to cash-in from their competitors’ successes, or shut them down completely.

More juice!

No matter how radical or innovative the recent wave of gadgets were, one thing is almost certain: they all need better batteries. There are several handsets with impressive advertised talk time and standby time stats, but almost all of them would easily run out of juice with real-world usage. With heavy usage, these gadgets become personal and business phone hybrids, staples that people can’t really do without. As phones and tablets become more powerful, they also become more power-hungry. Engaging apps, HD graphics, and vibrant audio all eat up a lot of power. Even larger batteries on “phablets” like the Galaxy Note 2 are insufficient in providing all-day usage. And just like what manufacturers promise every year, all we can do is wait for the significant improvements to their devices’ batteries.

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