Now that we are pretty much over the excitement/disappointment (depending on which way you lean) of the hoax that was the Apocalypse which was supposed to consumed all of us towards the end of December 2012. Some may not have planned for it, but now that 2013 is here, we are looking towards what may unfold ahead of us.
In this story, we take a look at some specific products that will not see the light of the day, no matter what the rumour mill may have you believe. As it is often said, shouting something repeatedly doesn’t make it true!
Windows 8 has barely been out (at least in the final version), and we are already hearing about the next Microsoft OS arriving this year. Even if we believe that for one second, and assume that Microsoft is looking at a Q4 launch of Windows Blue, the developer versions would have to start doing rounds within the next couple of months. And with Microsoft still talking about the success of Windows 8, however relative that may be in terms of how you read the numbers, Blue’s announcement will only bring Windows 8 into a coma. With a pretty large chunk of users still unsure about upgrading, the announcement of Blue will ensure that any potential sales of Windows 8 will be wiped out.
The earliest we will see Windows Blue is spring-summer 2014. Till then, Microsoft is betting big on the current OS sales and upgrades to drive in the revenue.
Nokia Windows Tablet
This is another rumour that just wouldn’t die, ever since Microsoft released Windows 8 OS. And even became louder when Microsoft said the Surface is now available in stores. Makes logical sense, correct? But, if you look at Nokia’s situation in reality, the tablet is probably the least of their worries at the moment. First, their smartphone market-share is nose-diving like an aircraft that has just encountered a complete fuel supply failure. The company’s devices division made a loss of 683 billion euros in 2012.
Second, the Surface hasn’t sold the way it was expected to; else Microsoft would have been the first to make a hell of a lot of noise about it. At the moment, it is being given a “unique product” spin, but that is only for the market consumption. Nokia is surely smart enough to read into that.
The marriage of convenience with Microsoft still hasn’t paid off the way they expected, mostly because Windows Phone OS is still not up to it when competing with Android and what some say is an already dated iOS. The effort for the Finnish giant will have to come from the hardware and the services side, to differentiate their Windows Phone devices from what the rivals like HTC will be offering. Nokia will, or at least should, pass on the gamble of the tablet.
Apple’s TV Set
According to the “confirmed” reports of 2011, you would assume that the LED TV from Apple has already hit the stores. However, that has definitely not happened. If Apple wanted to make a simple LED TV with iTunes and streaming, it would have already done that. But the Apple TV box does pretty much that. And what Apple is looking for a complete package that let’s you access content from a variety of sources directly on the TV, with no need for an in-between device like a satellite box.
The roadblock in this is simple – how do you get all television networks and content providers on board. And that too in all regions globally – and it is literally an impossible task. Unlike movies, television-broadcasting content is completely unique across regions. The iTunes experience proved that it takes a long time to get everyone around. Till that happens, it is difficult to see Apple going down that road. What you will get this year is a much more powerful Apple TV set top box, doing what it already does, and then some.
BlackBerry Playbook 2
The exact reasons for the lack-of-success of the Playbook are well documented. However, for why RIM will not bother with a second attempt is because the situation is very similar to Nokia’s.
The primary concern has to be about the success of the BB10 operating system, the phones across multiple price points and also trying to keep the corporates on board. RIM’s hands are full in 2013, but the Playbook 2 should be arriving early 2014, with the then latest version of BB10.
4G Across India
It has been a fairly long time since the 4G “trials” started in Kolkata, but since then, it has slowly only reached parts of Bengaluru and Pune. And let us specify – even those cities are only getting limited coverage. Till date, we don’t get 3G network coverage properly across all major cities, and tier two and three cities are still waiting for the most part. The hype about 4G and faster download speeds will still be just hype, and all the claims of “the end of buffering” will only stare at us from the pages of a newspaper. Only expect some major activity towards the end of 2013.