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2012 Wrap-up. 2013 Predictions, Part IV.

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1st January 2013

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 LG LG

Another struggling tech firm, LG too finds itself dwarfed by the might of Samsung - Samsung's  LG Optimus L7 electronics division has three times the revenue of LG's - but perhaps the problems here aren't just down to marketing budget.

An interesting but ultimately unsuccessful dalliance with 3D phones seemed to coincide with a slump in sales. The LG Optimus range doesn't have the market traction of the Samsung Galaxy line-up, and it seems to lake a "halo" device that stands out as being desirable to consumers.

For some reason, Korean handsets are rarely s"exy". Even the might Samsung Galaxy S III impresses from it's technical specifications rather than attractiveness. But LG have tried hard with their L-Series range of phones, and perhaps this shows some promise for 2013.

 Microsoft Microsoft

 

2012 wasn't the breakthrough year that Microsoft needed, and sales of Windows handsets are still very weak. However, the latest Windows Phone 8 operating system is technically very good and they are getting some positive attention.

 Windows Microsoft shocked many industry observers with the launch of it's own-brand Microsoft Surface tablet, and there are rumours that they might do the same sort of thing with an in-house smartphone design. That could well damage relationships with Nokia who are depending on Microsoft's platform for survival.

 Google Google

Google's Android OS has been hugely successful, but this also been at the heart of several  Android lawsuits fought between (primarily) Apple and several Android manufacturers. But so far, Apple and Google have not gone head-to-head in the courtroom. This may change in 2013.

Google's Nexus devices have done well in 2012, but these are made by Samsung, LG and ASUS and not Google's Motorola subsidiary. There are rumours of something extraordinary brewing in the Google/Motorola camp though with a device called the "X-Phone" but we will have to wait.

The rest

2013 should see the first release of a handset running Jolla's Sailfish OS. Tizen looked promising at the start of 2013, but we haven't seen anything solid. Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE have continued to make progress, although they haven't quite caught the imagination of consumers. ASUS is hardly a household name, but the successful Nexus 7 tablet may help to change perceptions, and we expect them to continue to carve a niche with powerful tablet devices.

A lot of third-tier manufacturers have been shaken out recently, and this will continue to be the case during 2013. Tough times will lead to hardships for many, but regional players such as Lava may well be successful in their own markets. However, the current fashion for lawsuits and the difficulties in licensing mobile phone technologies will mean that few companies will want to enter the market and start from scratch.

Finally

That's it for 2012. We wish all our readers a happy and prosperous 2013!

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