2014 – Year In Review

2014 A Year In Review

As the sun is setting on an eventful 2014, let’s review how the predictions made on this site a year ago have panned out.

At the beginning of the year, I broke the article in to two sections; Specifics and Trends. Let’s keep to that formula and start marking up the score card:

Specifics

Apple:

  • New design, larger screen iPhone to be launched at the end of summer. (Want something more specific? How’s about an announcement event on the 9th of September and being on sale on the 19th. That’s based on the previous generations launches.)
  • Ok, I was so right here it hurts. The larger screened iPhones were indeed announced on the 9th and in store on the 19th of September. (1 point plus a bonus point for the exact dates.)
  • New iPads to be launched in October. No design change. Mostly internals and the addition of the Touch ID. Some sites are claiming the existence of a 12.9 inch version. If that’s true it will be a niche product.
  • Yep, launch window, internals change and Touch ID, all present and correct. The only design changes were minor so I’m going to claim that too. (1 point)
  • Updated MacBook Airs. Retina screens and a slightly refreshed design. I’d even be tempted to say there will be a lower cost version made from composite materials with non-retina displays.
  • Fail. It’s not happened. Apple have had a busy year, but the MacBook Air remains, all be it with a hardware speed jump. Word is that 2015 will bring this update. (0 points)
  • 4K Apple Thunderbolt 2 Display.
  • Fail, but in a positive light. Instead of bring out a 4K display, Apple went and put a 5K display in a beastly new iMac. (0 points, but don’t mind too much on that one)
  • Apple’s entry in to wearables. I’m not sure if they will actually go with iWatch. I’d be tempted to say they will get a dedicated event for this product.
  • Well, I don’t think it would be the iWatch and it isn’t. It’s the Apple Watch. As for a dedicated event, considering it got 3 times the time on stage at the September announcement, it may as well have been a dedicated event. (1 point)

Android:

  • Samsung will release several new versions of their next flagship handset in February. They will also release handsets every month to maintain their position as ‘market leader by shipments’.
  • Correct, but things are not all as it seems. Falling sales, the apparent failure of the Alpha and the closure of the flagship London store, don’t bode well for the future.
  • HTC will continue to have market issues and struggle. This is only going to end with them being acquired.
  • It’s damn surprising they made it through this year, but the HTC One (M8) is a great phone and let’s hold out hope for HTC.
  • Google’s purchase of Motorola has given birth to some very promising handsets in the Moto X and the Moto G. I would expect to see a Moto Nexus with the next major version of Android next Autumn.
  • Correct! Not only did we get the new Nexus 6 made by Motorola, but we have the Project Ara and all while Google sold Motorola to Lenovo. Didn’t see that one coming.  

Microsoft:

  • Windows Phone is rapidly becoming the budget smartphone OS for Europe. This will continue, should Microsoft take the existing Nokia plan. Microsoft are in a very odd place at the moment, so specific predictions are difficult. I know what I’d like them to do.
  • Windows Phone is still a mess. Microsoft had the Nokia purchase come through and now, we are faced with a mobile OS that’s as close to death as BlackBerry.

As it goes, that’s not too bad, even if I do say so my self. Out of 9 specific predictions, 7 points! Now on to the trends.

In the Trends for 2014, the main areas were; Wearables, In Car Systems and Time Shifted Entertainment.

In the Wearables category, not only did Apple announce their watch, but Google also brought a dedicated version of Android in to the fold, with Android Wear. The market is growing and come the end of 2015, the wearables landscape will have shifted again.

Apple and Google both brought their in-car systems to market and Microsoft’s has been ditched by Ford. CarPlay will remain a niche product, but considering you can buy compatible head units to be retrofitted to cars, I should say it will establish it’s self over the next few years.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and all the other entries in the the market (BlinkBox, Now TV, etc) have lead the way in streaming services. In the US, HBO have decided to outsource their streaming service and when it comes to the elephant in the room, few people like to discus the dominance of YouTube. New set top boxes and the grouping of TV services with broadband packages (here in the UK) has become the default to customers and as such, little will change in that regard.

The trends that have driven 2014 have almost all been put to one side in light of the subject in technology that has had the biggest impact this year. Security. The constant stories of ‘hacks’ and ‘incursions’ have delivered the biggest stories of the year. From the iCloud leak to the Sony hack, computer security and personal data security has come under attack again, but this time it’s results have been public.

2014 leaves us in a world where change is the norm and to stand still is to stand out. Somehow, I think 2015 will be very similar in that regard.

 




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