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The Gadget Helpline’s Top 2013 Technology Predictions – Apple fail, music streaming, the 4G takeover and more

So that’s it, the door has been shut on 2012 and we bring in the changes for 2013, and with the ever-present hands of time moving along the technology world does the same. Technology, however, does not lie dormant for long after the festive period as almost immediately after the start of a new year do the cogs of change start to turn.

In the next few months there will be two major electronics shows, with the arguably the biggest (and most influential) Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Mobile World Congress following in Barcelona, manufacturers will start to churn out 2013’s newest tech and we will start to see just what sort of trends we might see this year.

With this in mind we at the Gadget Helpline have put our collective minds together hand we have come up with our three predictions for 2013 from our team:

Jon – Editor

Apple makes a mis-step

This is my big one for 2013; the untouchable Apple finally gets touched. I think in 2012 the company pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable to promote/release and with the competition for the iPhone and iPad now up to speed and in many cases better than the Apple products I feel that this year may be the time Apple loses ground on its rivals.

In no way am I expecting Apple to disappear but their well-oiled PR and product machine will definitely take a hit which will see the company have to re-think it’s smartphone and tablet ideas.

Android tablets take over

Now, 2012 could technically be classed as the year that Android tablets came into their own, with Samsung launching its 10.1-inch Galaxy and Note tablets, the Asus Infinity Pad and Google’s own Nexus 7, but with many general consumers still not aware of the difference between an iPad and a generic Android tablet, Google still cannot claim to have a great standing on the tablet market.

However, in 2013 the huge price differences and increase in consumer knowledge of tablets will see the Android running slates becoming increasingly popular with the format finally overtaking Apple in the most used tablet field.

HTC steals the show

This one may well be a dud, but with Samsung having a great 2011 and an even greater 2012 I think its time for another manufacturer to step up to the mark and I think it might just be HTC. The Taiwanese giant had a slightly slow 2012, releasing some great handsets but mostly the phones they released were similar if not the same as other handsets on the market. I think that HTC will release a monster smartphone which has new features that will dominate the competition from Apple and Samsung.

Additionally HTC will step into the tablet market and bring us a more flash and futuristic tablet after having a break from the game since launching its Flyer tab over a year ago.

See more news from Jon 

Dave – Deputy Editor

Music streaming services will become incredibly popular

With recent statistics showing that physical album sales dropped for the fifth year in a row, I think that more and more people will start subscribing to streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Rdio. These services present unlimited listening for around £10 per month, which is similar to the price of one CD in the shops – it’s a no brainer really.

Full HD on the go

Remember when Full HD was a big thing on your telly at home? This year it’s going to the THE big thing for mobile devices. We’ve already had a few tablets launched with Full HD displays, but in 2013 we’ll start seeing smartphones rocking ultra-sharp high resolution screens. HTC already has one out, Sony has one in the works, Huawei has revealed one and Samsung are rumoured to be making one.

Crowd funding

The next big thing in tech is going to be crowd funding. Websites like Kickstarter allow somebody to turn a clever idea into a physical, saleable product thanks to the power of the internet. We’ve seen ideas generate millions in funding within just days, such as the awesome OUYA games console which runs on Android. I’m very excited to see what people come up with this year and what will succeed.

See more news from Dave 

Jamie – Staff Writer

All networks go 4G and changes to data-only packages

So it’s pretty much a given that in 2013 all of the major UK networks will get 4G connectivity, but what this will bring is a change in how phone contracts are billed and set up. Gone will be low calls and text packages and in will be unlimited calls, unlimited texts and then a download limit akin to a home broadband contract.

EE already has packages based around data and networks such as GiffGaff also sport something similar, but this could be a pre cursor for a big change across all networks. Free messaging services such as Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp are already taking over so data is becoming increasingly important – more so for some than message and call bundles.

Home and Cinema 3D fad fades

Home consumers will become frustrated with the confusing mine field of passive and active and all the guff that surrounds buying a 3D television and wise up to it being just another expensive tech trend. Cinema-goers will also start to refuse to pay up to £12 per new film just for the gimmick. Subsequently internet piracy hits an all-time high.

Microsoft announces Kinect with holographic interactivity

In 2012 Microsoft showed off its progress with holograms and demonstrated how people will soon be able to easily interact with simple objects thanks to its innovative Kinect motion system. With an expected official reveal of the Xbox 720 could Microsoft also up its game with Kinect – bringing playtime to life through its dedicated drive on user interactivity perfection? We’re hoping they will. This or a working Holodeck would be nice.

See more news from Jamie 

Scott – Junior Staff Writer

Huawei smartphones take over the world

Their claims that they are going to topple Apple may be a bit off the mark but I think they may just become kings of the budget smartphone next year – look out for their take on the Samsung Galaxy Note which is said to launch soon.

An Apple/Samsung employee ‘accidentally’ leaves a new unreleased phone on a bus/in a bar/in a library

This is happening quite regularly these days – in fact a cynical person may feel that this was being done intentionally…

The OUYA is a huge success for a while until Xbox 720 and PS4 come on the scene

As much as I want the OUYA to be a huge success and topple the gaming regime as we know it, I think it will do massively well until either of the big two announce and release a new console and then everyone will flock back to them.

See more news from Scott 

So those are our bold predictions. If you have any of your own or agree/disagree with the ones above then let us know  your thoughts by adding a comment below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Facebook Page.

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