Kindle phone launches
It already rules the ebook and online retail markets and has been quietly increasing the number of own-brand goods it sells. Could Amazon’s next money-generating machine be a cheap, high-performance smartphone that’s permanently plumbed into all its e-stores? The success of its Fire tablets makes this much-repeated rumour seem like a nailed-on certainty in 2013.
Don’t laugh; the veteran social network’s redesign is beautiful, and users are beginning to tire of Facebook.
Seven-inch tabs take over
With Apple having had a Road to Damascus moment; embracing a smaller tab size, seven-incher sales will overtake their big bros’ in 2013. The rumoured Xbox Surface tablet should be a seven-inch – it’s the Goldilocks size when it comes to gaming – and would bring Arcade gaming, Xbox Music, and the kick-ass Xbox SmartGlass app to the shrunken table.
4G is available for all
Once the LTE spectrum is divvied up early in 2013, Vodafone, O2 and Three UK will be busting a gut to get their next-gen services up and running. Both they and EE, which got a head-start thanks to some crafty frequency repurposing, will hit most of the UK’s big cities, and possibly some rural areas, by the end of the year.
Lewis Hamilton rules F1
The new signing will win Mercedes-Benz its first constructor’s championship, justifying his $100 million move. Well no, okay, he won’t… But Jenson Button should have a good shout, now he’s the unquestioned top boy at McLaren.
The crowd gets funded
As Kickstarter launches in the UK, tech entrepreneurs will no longer have to beg an angry Scottish former ice-cream man and a nine-foot-tall computer salesman for help to make their products. As a result, 2013 will be a year of plentiful, innovative, weird and, very possibly, ill-conceived gadgets.
Twitter flexes its muscle
Kiss goodbye to your favourite Twitter clients as the social network continues to force out third-party apps by tightening API restrictions. Expect the company to add photo-filtering and video-hosting services to its stable, as well as an official Windows 8 app.