2014 promises to be another good year for the technology industry. Tech lovers are already anticipating as to what gadgets will be released this 2014. But rather than talking about gadgets, I would like to deviate a little bit from the norm – this time let me tell you what I think are the tech companies that we have to watch out for in 2014 (in no particular order):
1. Apple – Can they win back its crown?
Apple took a beating last 2013, thanks to the legions of phone makers who adopted Android as their phone OS. Apple said they will be more active this 2014 – expect more phones, tablets, notebooks and more. But will this be enough for them to take back its crown? Apple recently acquired Israeli 3D sensor company PrimeSense for $350million. Are we about to see a new breed of computers and mobile devices from the Cupertino company this 2014?
2. Facebook – Is it past its prime?
2014 will be a big year for Facebook, not only because its their 10th year in the business but they will also be facing a big competition from Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more. Facebook need to do something new and different for them to reassert itself as the top social media. Monetizing its 1 billion users will definitely be a challenge still for the company.
3. Google – Goggles anyone?
While we have been hearing a lot of projects coming from Google, let us not forget that it is still the leading search engine company. Google is currently improving on their voice search technology which will definitely enhance their contextually-aware Google Now. The much talked about Google Glass might be launched this 2014 as well.
4. Microsoft – Who’s the Boss?
More than its innovation, the technology world is waiting as to who will be the one to replace Steve Balmer, to lead Microsoft to the next level of computing. Will it be Ford CEO Alan Mulally? Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop? Microsoft’s veteran Satya Nadella and the relatively new Microsoft guy Tony Bates? The selection is critical as the technology industry is transforming into an entirely new shape.
5. Amazon – The Innovator?
From an electronic commerce company, Amazon is innovating itself to be a technology solution provider. Amazon wants to be your everything with their new cloud services – Amazon Web Services (AWS), prompting Microsoft and Google to follow suit. Amazon could also offer 3D-display smartphones and set-top boxes to standalone games consoles to complement its existing range of Kindle tablets.
6. Intel – Living inside your phone?
Intel is definitely going to be strong in the mobile space this 2014, challenging market leaders Qualcomm, ARM, MediateK, Apple and others. We will be seeing Intel’s latest multimode XMM 7160 chipset offering – 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) capabilities. Intel is also reportedly working on the XMM 7260, which will support LTE-Advanced features. Will Intel be able to repeat its success in the PC era to the mobile space? Let’s see.
7. Sony – All for one, one for all?
Slowly but surely, Sony is realizing its dream to have all its products communicating and working with one another. From phones, tablets, gaming consoles to ultra-high definition television and other media players. Are we going to see a Sony Windows Phone come 2014? Maybe.
8. Samsung – Will it be a hit or a miss?
The hit and miss product strategy of Samsung is no secret to all, but after the Samsung Note 2, the question is when will be the company’s next hit? Talks about a new Samsung S5 and a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as early as February 2014 has been circulating due to the dismal performance of the S4 and the Note 3. A new and updated Galaxy Gear is also on the way after the disappointing performance of the Smart Gear first version. Samsung dominance in the Android mobile market will be seriously challenged by China branded phones and the locally branded phones this 2014.
Changes and innovations will be the order of the day for the year 2014. It’s going to be exciting.
Article written by: Jerry Liao