2013 was a disappointing year for consumer technologies. The 3D television push was as I’ve expected a disaster and who on earth would walk around at home with 3D glasses and the lack of 3D programming etc. created all barriers necessariy for mass adoption. And for smartphones as there were lack of any real innovation from the industries.
Perhaps the dominant design pioneered by Apple is really reaching the end of its S-curve, even the iPhone 5S has only incremental changes (ok a better processor) in design and software. I am ready to bet that the fingerprint sensor will be dropped within 3 years. What is so great about a fingerprint sensor? It is so old school whether it is finger print or facial recognition. The iOS still remains the most polished, stable, and well-designed operating system for smartphone. May be people aren’t even expecting more from smartphones at all. The camera needs some improvement for sure. And the screen size is an interesting discussion.
China is watching and Lenovo is gearing up for the next game or the world game. Lenovo, currently the second largest smartphone vendor in China and aspire to become market leader. Apple is at threat and at this point they may not be afraid of any. They are at its peak. And they are busy with the new headquarters, refreshing the retail experience, designing the iWatch and finding the next color for iPhone whether it is blue silver or rose gold.
Android now accounts for more than 80 percent of smartphone sales, while iOS is down in the mid-teens. Apple need to change the game or someone will. Smartwatches is still a toy category. But that could change when Apple fixes many of the challenges. They will and can. And it will cost $300-$350 and people will buy. It is easy one from a strategy perspectives but also a lazy one. Have they run out of industries to reinvent? At the Consumer Electronics Show this week, I think Samsung will have the biggest, most new products and most populated booth. Apple’s main threat is Samsung, Microsoft, Google and Lenovo are all attacking Apple from behind. The whole wearables will be driving the new game and 2014 will be a more excited here. I do believe that we will see wearables showing signs of becoming mainstream this year, and we’ve been monitoring and prototyping all kind of ideas for 20 months. 2014 I expect te see different dominant designs emerging, there will be no winners anouncement this year, not until 2016 earliest. But I already know who definitely won’t work.