/// 2013: Talk Gets Cheaper, TV Gets Smarter

January 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital


[ See post to watch video ] Personal technology never stops changing. Some new products and services are game changers, like Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Others are clever twists or refinements, like each successive version of Google’s Android platform, which gets better and better. Others are bold gambles, like Microsoft’s new Windows 8, which hopes to combine both a tablet experience and a traditional PC environment in one operating system. But there’s always something new, from large companies and small ones. So here are a few things consumers will likely see in technology in 2013. Many of these began to take shape in the past year, but will be stronger trends in the new year. Tablets vs. PCs While the iPad line, including the new Mini, continues to dominate the tablet market, Android-based tablets are finally gaining traction. But the bigger story is that tablets will continue to erode the role of laptop PCs. Consumers are using tablets for more and more tasks formerly performed by laptops. Traditional computers aren’t going away—they still do certain tasks, like heavy content creation, better than tablets. But consumers seem, at the very least, to be replacing their laptops less often and spending discretionary funds on tablets, which are gradually replacing another device: the dedicated e-reader. Many analysts had expected Windows 8 to halt or reverse this trend, and it may yet do so. But early indications aren’t encouraging for that outcome. Integrating Hardware and Software Meanwhile, another big trend is emerging: Apple’s model of one company making the entire device—hardware, operating system, core apps and an online ecosystem—is beginning to take hold elsewhere. In October, Microsoft unveiled its first computer, the Surface tablet. The company will follow it up as soon as this month with a second, more powerful version. I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft also made its own smartphone this year

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2013: Talk Gets Cheaper, TV Gets Smarter


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