Android apps everywhere (almost)
Web browsers with support for HTML 5 have already started to appear and that should mean a richer surfing experience, with web pages able to access smartphone functions like GPS and the accelerometer as developers get on the bandwagon.
We’re also expecting to see Android 5.0, possibly nicknamed Jelly Bean, and which is rumoured, but by no means confirmed, to have elements of home integration for computers, lighting and audio-visual gear.
Android 5 Jelly Bean is set to debut in 2012 - but, as we've seen with Ice Cream Sandwich, it may take a while to arrive in phones
Reports of RIM’s demise have been exaggerated, and the first handsets with the Canadian company's new feature-rich QNX operating system - aka BlackBerry 10 - picking up the baton from BlackBerry OS 7 are planned for later this year. RIM's PlayBook tablet OS, just released as version 2.0, implements Google's Dalvik Android app engine, and BlackBerry 10 will too. A Bold or Touch that can run Android apps? It'll happen, it seems.
That it won't run Android apps, at least not through an Apple-sanctioned app, is the one thing we can say about the iPhone 5, other than it'll arrive later this year.
Will the iPhone 5 look something like this?
But the rumour mill is already a-churning, though as ever with Apple, nothing will be definite until the launch, likely to take place in September. Speculation centres on the iPhone 5 being a bit bigger, flatter, quad-core'd to the hilt, and equipped with NFC touch-to-pay tech and 4G networking, but really, who knows?
Virtual Money, Virtual Shops
NFC (Near Field Communication), which allows you to pay for stuff directly from your mobile, looks like it’s set to break out this year. What started with Orange’s Mobile Wallet in 2011 will be further developed now that Vodafone, Orange owner Everything Everywhere and O2 have all joined forces to make NFC payments seamless across UK networks.
NFC will be found in more phones and used in more situations
Soon there’ll be Google Wallet, too. It has already launched in the US and is expected to make it this side of the pond in time for the Olympics.
Next page: The great games
Re: Re: Scanning stuff in shops
It's not just see-before-you-buy-online. Occasionally I see things on offer in shops and I want to check some reviews of them before purchase. Most recently, a fancy VAX cleaner at less than half-price - one quick scan later, and a read of the unanimously dreadful reviews it had - no purchase, money saved on a crappy product.
On the other hand, I recently spotted a PS3 game in Sainsbury's which looked suspiciously cheap. Quick scan confirmed it was a tenner less than Game/Amazon/etc, into the trolley, bosh. Sale achieved!
Re: Cheap Nokias - is this how they hope to compete?
Nokia has been selling a very, very high volume of very, very cheap phones worldwide for a very long time. As developing countries start to move away from Nokia 1100 type basic phones and want to start buying smartphones, the Nokia brand will still be attractive to them, and if there are decent quality, easy to use, affordable Nokia smartphones, I'm sure they will sell plenty.
For a global company like Nokia, its not all about putting yourself up against Apple at the very top end of the smartphone business. There is a tanker load of cash to be made much, much further down the food chain.
What I *actually* want to see
Is a smartphone with a sensible battery life.
The (absence of any) useful battery life on my otherwise pretty cool smartphone is pissing me off so much that I'm seriously considering a £10 Tesco dumbphone as my next handset.
Ecstatic though I am about having a 5-core phone that displays HTML 5 etc, I'd just settle for a smartphone with sensible battery life. My HTC Desire can just about make it through the day if I don't actually use it for speaking to people.
And I'd gladly pay extra for a phone that comes with a cast-iron guarantee that it will under no circumstances transfer money to anybody.
Cheap Nokias - is this how they hope to compete?
If Nokia hopes to compete with Apple and Android in terms of Average Selling Price (ASP) it's not going to do it with cheap Windows Phones!
Frankly, it's already looking like a busted flush when Nokia is having to price its Windows Phones lower and lower in order to attract sales. And with so little interest in Windows Phone it's a coin-toss whether they'll be able to survive medium-to-long term on such razor thin margins, particularly as they're unlikely to backfill the massive erosion in Symbian sales since the Feb11 announcement.
When Symbian had 35% to 40% market share the low ASP was quite tolerable, but with less than 5% market share the low ASP for Windows Phone is going to be something else entirely. And all the while, Apple and Samsung coin in the profits thanks to the hefty ASP their high-end handsets command.
The decision to go with Microsoft as a smartphone platform is looking more and more desperate and doomed to fail with each new cheap model, and with each new price cut at the high end in an effort to shift slow moving flagship devices (the Lumia 900 is already expected to debut in the UK at £399 PAYG in March - WTF, that's way too cheap to make a decent profit and turn around the Nokia smartphone business! And it's guaranteed to be cheaper still in April...)