It’s been quite some time since we argued with each other over which laptop out there carried state-of-the-art technology alongside its 4 GB of RAM.
The dominance of both Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell crept their way into our everyday conversations as opposed to what they are today—fallen titans. We can all agree that over the last decade, technology has been increasing and improving at an alarming rate. From enormous desktop computers to chunky laptops, now we all carry slim phones. However, there is a question on each of our minds: What comes next?
Statistically speaking, the new titans must be Apple and Samsung as those little golems like HTC, LG and Nokia continue to make a name for themselves. As Apple continues to stick to its ‘revolutionary’ new design every two years with an ‘S’ model in the middle, we may finally see a change this year with two variants of the iPhone: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone Air. Sure, these may just be rumoured products, but this is 2014. For a company as large as Apple, it is extremely difficult to prevent leaks when a new product design is revealed internally. The introduction of these two phones alongside a plethora of others from different manufacturers will certainly prove that smaller is no longer better.
The theory of one-handed use is no longer a priority for consumers. After all, we have moved on from those 15-inch laptops. As PC sales decline, we seek an alternative method to create our complicated spreadsheets or play our high-end games. For those of us that are stuck with the iPhone 4, we rapidly realise what a nuisance it turns out to be. Sure, we can always purchase an iPad or a Galaxy Note 10.1 but this is the time of the so-called ‘phablets’ – phones intermediate in size between that of your typical smartphone and a tablet. After all, the (rumoured) iPhone Air (5.5 inches in size), LG G3 (5.5 inches), Galaxy Note 3 (5.7 inches) and even the Galaxy S5 (5.1 inches) have all made headlines in the technological world. It has become a new standard for all new phones to be at least five inches, leaving the newly advertised iPhone 5S to catch up. Why buy a tablet and a phone when you could merge the two as one device?
You may think that a larger screen only means an extra row of applications but Samsung is there to prove you wrong with the trademark S-pen that comes standard with the ‘Note’ series. The Galaxy Note 3 and S5 provides features such as multi-window to make the best use of the display size, and rest assured, it is not a mere gimmick. During 2014, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Alpha (a metal phone), the Galaxy S5 Mini, the Galaxy Round and we may see the release of the Galaxy Note 4 by the end of the year. A person may realise that Samsung bombarding the market with their new products; this indicates that they are not afraid to experiment. After all, it was the late Steve Jobs himself who stated during the launch of the iPhone that the device will be ahead of its competitors by five years (years that have now passed). It is Samsung in the driver’s seat finding new ways of innovating within this crowded market. However, the consumer always benefits from the competition.
The race between manufacturers like Google, Samsung and Apple to produce a smartwatch follows in the footsteps of the famous Pebble watch. Manufacturers stalled the production in order to perfect the phone that will connect to the very watch itself. Samsung has already produced multiple types of ‘Galaxy Gear’ products, which in truth, have been extremely boring, reminding Samsung it sometimes isn’t a good idea to throw dirt at the wall until, against all evidence, something sticks. As much as we may dislike it, the current state of portable technology is moving forward past smartphones and watches.
You may have heard the term ‘4K HD’ in the continuous television advertisements during the 2014 World Cup. This feature has already made its way to into our smartphones, like the LG G3 carrying this type of resolution. But the improvement is not only under the screen. This year’s iPhone is sure to contain a sapphire crystal display; essentially ‘un-scratchable’ and only softer than a diamond..
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) there will be an astounding 1.2 billion smartphones shipped in 2014, which represents a 23.1 per cent increase since 2013. But the average selling price has fallen 6.3 per cent; from $335 to $314 per handset and it is set to fall further. Therefore, if you’re asking yourself if the current standings of smartphones will wear itself out, with the control Apple has on its own software and the control the Android OEM has on other manufacturers, smartphones aren’t going anywhere, just as the car market has stayed for a long time itself.
The state of portable technology is yet to reach its peak. Whilst some may regard this as a positive aspect, it does seem a tad concerning considering the amount of reliability we’ve placed into these five-inch devices—which will soon be accompanied with mainstream smartwatches.