A new year means a new wave of different technological innovations. Considering our mobile phones are generally the single most used piece of technology, innovations in this particular field are of specifically strong interest to many of us. So what can we expect for mobile phones in 2013?
Microsoft & Research in Motion
There are two major companies hoping to be a massive success story in 2013: Microsoft, with their Windows Phone 8 and Research in Motion with their BlackBerry 10. So can any of these two make a real impact this year?
Both companies have put a lot of energy and resources behind their impending major smartphone releases, trying to create a breakout hit. Both will do well enough to keep going and to survive but tech experts don’t see any of them really making a big impact.
Mobile payments and the ability to simply wave your phone over a cash register to pay for items, is a topic that seems to be going nowhere.
From Google to other mobile phone carriers to banks, there are a lot of big players pushing mobile payments as a new solution for the future. Unfortunately however, that hasn’t really happened.
The problem has been Apple. The iPhone 5 did not include Near-Field Communications (NFC) technology, which is the key technology needed for mobile payments to work. As the iPhone 5 does not come equipped with NFC, there is a major stumbling block for mobile payments to really take off.
For mobile payments to really take off, it needs to be implemented almost everywhere and for this to be done it needs to be used by the masses. As the iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC and due to there simply being so many iPhone users, customers aren’t going to see it as particularly useful.
This could change in 2013 with the iPhone 6 however.
One company that could really spice things up in 2013 is T-Mobile. T-Mobile are offering a new way of paying for our phones. Instead of a subsidy, you’ll have the option of paying up front with a lower data plan or paying a little initially and then paying monthly instalments.
Rather than having to sell my Netbook and sell iPad mp3 tablets to be able to afford a pricey smartphone, T-Mobile seems to be introducing a more financially manageable alternative to buying expensive phones.
The big question however, is how T-Mobile communicates this new plan to its new customers. Such plans are actually better overall for their customers in the long term, as it allows those buying their phone on subsidies to pay a lower monthly fee for data, voice service and text messages. The big challenge however is of course, whether T-Mobile can get this message across to consumers.
Right now their plans are working a little bit, but they really need to get aggressive with their messaging.