Smartphones: full steam ahead towards a new horizon




Smartphones: full steam ahead towards a new horizon

The year 2013 will not soon be forgotten. In the telecom sector Many developments that everyone saw coming, a few years actually happened this year. The future of telecom finally arrives, but will not be good news for everyone.

Just ask BlackBerry. After years of development came early this year of BlackBerry 10. The operating system was reasonably received, but sales remained far behind. Since last autumn BlackBerry was actively looking for a party that wanted to buy the brand. Wholly or partially Investor Fairfax wanted to, but did not get around. New money and a new director should bring BlackBerry back on course.

“Tweakers looks back on years with a deluge of changes”

Or ask Nokia. The once proud leader and pioneer in the field of mobile telephony is partly absorbed by Microsoft. Of course there are great words about synergy and how Microsoft and Nokia may make. Together a huge comeback The fact remains that the name Nokia will no longer shine. Smartphones The company continues to exist as a supplier of maps and services, but it does not own more devices, that Microsoft is going to do.

There were also things that you can see more positive. Apple introduced its long-awaited overhaul on iOS and came for the first time with two new iPhone models on the market. Dutch providers began 4g, causing many Dutch faster mobile Internet use from this year. The first smartphones with curved screen also saw the light, a technology that has been in development for over five years. Samsung started off with Sony smart watches, Google released an Explorer edition of Glass and the market for mobile phone accessories attracted much attention.

Tweakers looks back on an eventful year, with winners and losers, and especially with a torrent of change
Android: in calm waters

A few years ago there was talk of doomsday scenarios Android accounted for less would be due to patent issues. Late 2013 Who would make Android phones as he then lawsuits must defend himself in an endless stream The answer is: almost everyone.

HTC One There was also this year a seemingly endless stream of Android devices on the market. HTC garnered much praise with his HTC One , with a striking aluminum design, front-facing speakers and a new, minimalist-looking skin. Given the views of Tweakers-review and the topics on the forum was the One among tweakers a great success, but outside the unit brought the comeback which HTC had hoped, sales and profits continued to decline, and in the autumn HTC first wrote red numbers. HTC has been the subject of takeover speculation, especially Lenovo would be interested, if we may believe the gossip. In Taiwan, it seems that there is still to be a panic and the chance of a take-over for the time being not large.

Samsung Galaxy brought back a lot of transfers. While it tinkers years to its own operating system, it still focuses most of his attention on Android. The Galaxy S4 brought some novelties, such as scrolling by nodding the head, but many people see it as a gimmick. In the autumn, Samsung brought sticking a large high-end phone with stylus out, in this case the Note 3 .

LG G2 Sony made ​​an impression with his glasses, waterproof phones Xperia Z and Z1 . It also explored new territory, the Japanese company brought perhaps the greatest smartphone so far off. The Xperia Z Ultra has a screen of 6.44 “and enormous bezels, making it almost a tablet.

LG stood out with a device that is largely only screen and buttons on the back has the G2 . In addition, LG made ​​for a new Google Nexus, the Nexus 5 . The other new Nexus this year, the tablet Nexus 7 is made ​​by Asus.

A newcomer who is successful between seems to wring Huawei. The Chinese company has been making phones for longer, but it threw a lot of money around for the introduction of its 6.18 mm thin iPhone-like Ascend P6 . There were obviously many tweakers curious, the review was nearly half a million page views, with which it has become one of the most widely read reviews of the year.

Chinese companies still fell already in 2013. It came with the relatively unknown Oppo Find 5 to the Netherlands, while we could also make use of the reviews thanks to various tweakers Xiaomi Mi-Two and various unknown Chinese smartphones .

Chinese smartphones

Google showed where it wants to go with Android as a platform. Now Google is using any version of Android on the Nexus important and 5 is Google Now the home screen, at least in code. If Google releases a smart watch next year, and that chance is present, then it will be expected to focus on Google Now.

In addition, Google is trying to push. Logically its own services More and more standard apps in Android have integration with Google services, the latest example of the Gallery app that should disappear in favor of the Google+ Photos application.

Moreover, it is good to note that not every Android Google phone. Analysts Android smartphones were sold, for example, in the summer, around 220 million, but according to Google, there were more than 130 million to 150 million activated so equipped Play Store and other Google apps. The remaining 70 million to 90 million smartphones are so Android smartphones without Google apps, a significant part.

Next page (IOS: a different approach – 3/9) IOS: a different approach

If you would have seen a picture of the iPhone with iOS 5c 7 early this year did you think that this would become a reality? Many people probably do not see it coming that Apple would be upset, this year the helm dramatically but it happened, iOS 7 looks radically different from previous iOS versions Virtually all elements, icons and buttons to the switches in the. menu settings are refreshed. Especially the light elements and bright colors stand out in this new iOS version.

Moreover, Apple changed the strategy with its iPhones. The iPhone 5 is the first model in years became that after one year was achieved. Simply off the shelves Instead, Apple released its most controversial model yet, the iPhone 5c.

The rumor mill was the 5c in the months prior to the release referred to as “cheap iPhone”, but when push came to shove showed the ‘c’ does not stand for ‘cheap’ but for ‘color’. The iPhone has a new look was a suggested retail price of 599 euros more expensive than the second most expensive iPhone ever been. Another detail that struck the ‘Crocs’ covers, with holes at the back which part of the word iPhone fall, making it seem like there is non. For many, this is an illustration that Apple no longer has the attention to detail that has ever had.

iPhone 5, 5c en 5s

The product which Apple probably the most wanted it to be a success, the look of iOS 7 custom iPhone 5c, seems to score than hoped for less. There are few concrete figures 5c, but all signs indicate that it is not going well. Production was already scaled back a number of times and the price in the Price Watch has dropped quite far below the retail price, something just is not for iPhones. The iPhone 5s with its golden color and fingerprint scanner seems to have been received better. Therefore, the question is how Apple will continue, it is another iPhone 5c create or choose the only aluminum products?

Apple also came up with new iPads and to everyone’s surprise was the big iPad also renamed Air iPad, like the eponymous Macbook so called because it is lighter and thinner than the other model. The name is a bit confusing because the Macbook Air was really a new kind of model, with its own characteristics in addition to the other Macbooks. The iPad Air is not that, it’s simply the next iPad.

The other new tablet is the long-awaited iPad Mini with Retina display. With four times as many pixels and a modern processor, the mini is finally a full-fledged mini tablet, though the screen despite the sharpness is not as good as that of his big brother.

iOS 7

Next page (Windows Phone and RT: rotating wind – 4/9) Windows Phone and RT: rotating wind

Microsoft had with Windows Phone, the wind a few years against, but it throws the rudder firmly. For several billion buys the telefoontak Nokia, which now sells nine out of ten Windows Phones. That’s a risky move, because who wants to compete with the company itself sells almost all smartphones with its own operating system? Not that it makes much difference, because besides Nokia has just presented Huawei devices with Windows Phone in 2013. HTC and Samsung remained silent, though there are indications that they have new Windows Phones in the plan have standing. Again for 2014

The fireworks came logically from Nokia. By far the most successful device, as well as in global sales in views on the Tweakers-review, it is cheapest, the Lumia 520 . Because Windows Phone is optimized for specific hardware, your liver with a cheaper device is not very much, and combined with the sleek design that will sell these Lumia have increased.

“By far the most successful device is the cheapest”

Where, however, the cheapest model, the stable stage, Nokia hammered in his last years serious headway with new appliances. The Lumia 925 houses like iPhones antenna in the aluminum rim, but most attention was paid to the Lumia 1020 , the first Windows Phone with a ‘real’ PureView camera with a maximum resolution of 41 megapixels.

A major update of Windows Phone was crazy enough this year. Where does Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 released in October, Windows Phone at GDR2, it remained an update that software except for FM radio to listen to empty not very much fro the memory. Nokia explained there are new features over its Amber update , including the ability to calibrate color from the screen and always time to display the screen.

In 2014, there probably are a few more updates. After GDR3, presumably in January opens with Nokia’s Lumia Black-update, follow presumably Windows Phone Blue. This is done according to rumors in the spring. What goes in will sit exactly is unclear.

Microsoft spent all Blue Windows RT under the name RT 8.1. Many tablets with the new operating system are not. Microsoft released its own Surface 2 , while only one other known manufacturer used RT 8.1: Nokia Lumia in his 2520. But that will soon also Microsoft.

Nokia Lumia 520

Next page (BlackBerry: rescue a sinking ship – 5/9) BlackBerry: rescue a sinking ship

Many media will this year, just like they do with famous people, have laid out. Obituary for BlackBerry Long, it appeared that BlackBerry would not make it. Namely Christmas The Canadian company has had an eventful year, with high peaks and deep valley

The highest peak was early this year. In late January BlackBerry finally came up with his long-awaited first smartphones with BlackBerry 10 , the Z10 and Q10. The launch of BlackBerry 10 marked the end of a few years to develop and waiting, with BlackBerry devices could do then cast his own, old-fashioned BlackBerry 7. little else

“Chen wants to stay with BlackBerry smartphones in any case”

BlackBerry 10 attracted attention and has his own fan base collected, but really good it never got off the ground. That is, BlackBerry’s market share continues to fall and the income also, in the summer, said the company first red.

The consequences were devastating the Canadian company continued sale. The list of potential buyers was long: Samsung, LG, Cisco, Intel, Fairfax, Qualcomm and Google would include among the interested parties. Of those companies Fairfax made ​​an offer. That could just be going through but Fairfax did not get the money together.

When the acquisition did not materialize, investors still decided to take a gamble. They threw a further 750 million euros against it and drew a new director. The German Thorsten Heins cleared the field for John Chen, who is said that he pulled out of the doldrums Sybase.

The hand of Chen is not yet visible in the results or in the software or hardware made, but he wants to stay with BlackBerry smartphones in each case and focus on the business market, where BlackBerry ever great it was. Moreover, he will have to make by Foxconn, which makes handsets BlackBerry 10 phones can be produced and the roadmap presumably can be adjusted as needed. Faster cheaper Whether that will work is unclear, especially since corporate customers increasingly want no BlackBerrys more with the uncertain future of the company and thus support in the future is an important factor.

Meanwhile encrypted BlackBerry hard this year to BB10. The most spectacular addition to the operating system after the release came with 10.2.1, when it was possible to download and install. Installation files Android Apps Therefore, the installation of Android apps suddenly became very simple, instead of fairly complicated. Of course, not all Android apps on BB10, but there are more and more.

The next year is make or break for BlackBerry. Chen will be given some time, but the impact of his reforms will still not be visible at the end of next year, lenders might be nervous. What happens then, is still unclear.

BlackBerry Z30 en Z10

Next page (New competition: the sails – 6/9) New competition: the sails

It was quite a surprise, on the eve of telecom exhibition Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Mozilla held a press conference for Firefox OS, which to the surprise of many large companies such as T-Mobile, Telefonica, LG, Sony, and ZTE expressed support for the then little initiative. It was a huge boost, perhaps the greatest for a new entrant to the mobile market since Google started Android.

The first phones with Firefox OS arrived mid this year on the market, though Firefox OS to mention. been completed with no possibility of adult The aircraft came from countries like Spain and Poland, but a release in the Netherlands is still unknown. The price for the cheapest Firefox OS phone, the ZTE Open, is five decades, including VAT.

Firefox OS, partly by the aid, one of the leading contenders. However, it is certainly not the only candidate, one of the other makers of software for desktops and laptops to smartphones to make the crossing is Canonical. Early this year made ​​foreman Mark Shuttleworth announced that it is a version of Ubuntu for smartphones go. An unknown manufacturer brings a first device from next year.

Canonical also tried to gather for their own smartphone with Ubuntu, the money collected through crowdfunding project, but that was not enough financial support. The Ubuntu Edge will not come, and how the first smartphone with Ubuntu will look like remains unknown. Ubuntu does have the support from carriers such as Vodafone and T-Mobile.

Ubuntu Edge

Samsung also has an iron in the fire yet. It has its own operating system Bada specified for Tizen, which makes it to Intel. According to rumors, Samsung has already spent billions of dollars on Tizen, but a device is still not in stores, which should happen in 2014. However, Samsung’s vision with Tizen concerns not just smartphones and tablets. It wants Tizen serves as the basis for all of your home. Such as washing machines, refrigerators and TVs alll times run on Tizen, which devices can easily work together, the company expects. It launches a closed ecosystem using Tizen.

The dark horse of the mobile market comes from Finland. The company Jolla consists largely of people who worked on Linux distro Maemo at Nokia, which turned to include small tablets like the N810, and smart phones like the N900 and N9. Jolla has called Sailfish OS its own operating system, which is compatible with Android apps. However, the interface works differently and is focused on one-handed operation. Many options can be easily selected. Example with gestures instead of tapping

The hardware includes a new element. The Sailfish device consists of two halves, the ‘other half’ can be replaced. There is a project for the ‘other half’, for example, with a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

All these competitors go Android obviously not the throne in 2014, but it shows that there is sufficient competition lurking. Especially Microsoft and BlackBerry must compete with these new parties, because their position is the least stable.

Next page (D *: watches and eyewear – 7/9) The novelties: watches and eyewear

Is it because the market for high-end smartphones in the future will not grow much? Is it because now flocking Bluetooth 4.0 LE support devices and connections to equipment costs less power? Or is it because tablets and smartphones for a few years on the market and manufacturers are looking for the next hit? Maybe a little of all three, but this year some innovations that are already sat a while to finally come to the market came. They are not very mature yet, they all have to be overcome before anyone will use them the necessary bumps.

The first and perhaps most striking innovation is that of smart glasses. This year Google spread the Explorer Edition of Google Glass, glasses with a screen for corner of your eye, and those photos and videos can make. Tweakers tried the glasses this summer has been switched off. The Glass is a promising technology, but there are still many hurdles. Thus, the battery life is very limited, after three hours, the glasses use it a day. Moreover, you need another smartphone, via bluetooth retrieves all the data within the Glass and has internet connection.

A technology that received more attention this year are smart watches. Of course, Sony ran for last year and had a smart watch, but this year there was shot in the matter. A Canadian student saw when he lived in the Netherlands, the Dutch while cycling on their smartphone trying to look and coined the Pebble, a smart watch with a display of electronic ink. The watch came out this year and received a great deal of attention.

The biggest launch of a smart watch came from the leader in smartphones. Samsung presented early September, after months of rumors Galaxy Gear. The watch was with the release not quite ‘finished’, but does indicate the direction in which Samsung thinks.

The expectation is that Apple comes up with a watch next year, but although it is clear from the many rumors that the manufacturer is playing with the idea, there is still little factual information, such as what the function will be and how he comes out to see.

A third technology, which this year attracted attention, is the flexible OLED screen. First there were the TVs, this autumn for very high prices in the shops were Dutch, but by the end of the year there were smartphones at. Samsung introduced the Galaxy Round, which is horizontally curved. There are strong rumors that although the screen is curved, but not plastic substrate and not bendable.

LG made the biggest impression with its bendable G Flex. This screen is actually bendable. Another novelty in the G Flex is the self-healing back, causing small scratches would disappear. This is an innovation that we’d like to be in smartphones. Commonplace soon

Next page (Providers: full steam ahead – 8/9)
Providers: full steam ahead

HTC One 4g-icoon Netherlands ran earlier this year severely behind. For example, where Americans for several years may on 4G networks, we were in the Netherlands still 3g. That was not the providers, but more to the government. Providers were waiting on the wide frequency auction, after which the necessary frequencies could be used. Only

Meanwhile, providers were already working behind the scenes. All providers announced in 2012, major work on their networks, even before the auction began. The truth was, of course, that all equipment for 4G could then be placed after the 4G network could be. Easily switched equal

That also was evident, in December last year was the auction now and early February began the first provider to offer 4G: KPN. Vodafone followed in August and in November began T-Mobile. Meanwhile, the providers want to make 4g commonplace. T-Mobile gave directly at no extra cost all customers have access to 4g, 4g KPN has integrated all subscriptions, and Vodafone charges 2.50 euros extra and take 4g also many new subscriptions.

“The more people on 4G, the less there are on 3G”

Devices with 4G support were also many on the market. Almost every phone that costs over 400 euros, has been on board 4g and 4g cheapest models cost little more than EUR 200. This is much faster than after the introduction of 3G, when compatible phones sparingly came on the market.

For anyone who does not want the 4G network or to the introduction of these networks is good news. After all, the more people on 4G, the fewer there are, and how slow on 3G network that is so. In addition, providers move presumably at one point the 3G network to the 900MHz band, which now sits 2g. This improves the range and there is more capacity.

The only drawback is that the range is not yet optimal. KPN wants to offer nationwide coverage in March next year, but other providers that lasts until the end of 2015. Tele2, the fourth provider with its own 4G network, has not even officially started rolling. Before everyone reap the benefits of the new network in the Netherlands, we have to wait a few more years.

Besides 4g there is another development. More and more people have their fill of subscriptions devices. They feel cheaper by buying yourself a set and one from cheap sim-only plan to take. at If that trend continues, has many implications. Firstly, the influence of carriers off, in that they only services and no longer provide hardware. This makes it important for fewer people or ‘their’ provider to get a particular extension is. These industries have had a lot about a place on the shelves of the providers, manufacturers, but that place is now less attractive. That opens the doors for more different devices, such as the Dual-SIM phones that providers just do not like to see.

Second, people on average pay much less for a subscription and that is a trend that is already deployed . Providers get lower revenues and therefore have other ways to see their money. How that will turn out is impossible to say.

Next page (Finally – 9/9) Finally,

Not every vessel to weather the storm and the changes in the mobile market is currently going with hurricane force. Nokia is their first ‘big’ victim and BlackBerry escaped through a new investment, as yet, to the same fate.

This keeps the presumably not. A few companies make a lot of profit consistent with the manufacture of phones, especially Samsung and Apple. Some companies, such as LG and HTC, sitting around breakeven and other losses every day a lot of money, such as Google’s Motorola and Sony.

Android continues to dominate, but the mighty Google makes fast enemies. Providers would prefer that no one has as much power as eg Samsung, Google and Apple have now and support any initiative that promises to be. No Android Operating systems like OS Firefox, Sailfish, Tizen and Ubuntu Touch therefore have a serious chance at least to win a spot.

“With a phone only are you in the future might not be complete” ”

How will 2014 look like? There are expensive smart phones with screens in commercials ‘2 k-scenes’ will be called, with 2560×1440 pixels. Hopefully manufacturers come to the conclusion that the pixel race charge to be and they will work on other display properties, such as brightness and contrast. Moreover, high resolutions require more powerful processors. The most expensive smartphone is now graphically powerful than those of a year ago, because keeping the developments in GPUs and resolution are balanced.

A possible trend which we hope very hard that he continues, is the modular smartphone . Why would you need to replace an entire phone, while you can also upgrade parts? The possibilities are endless, but if it is a success, that will make a smaller industry. There are then, after all, although more components sold but less smartphones. However, it is better for the environment and our wallets, and it makes hardware tweaking of phones easier. Also the FairPhone , the Dutch smartphone that ‘fair’ promises to be, we hope that achieves success what the creators intended: to improve the working conditions of the people who use our smartphones together.

The real fireworks will perhaps be seen in cheap smartphones. Motorola has his Moto G market shaken up about what you can expect from a phone of 200 euros and it is waiting for responses from other manufacturers. Who wants to go in the race to the bottom?

We go 4g normally find in the Netherlands. Subscriptions and devices without 4g will get more and more difficult. 3G handsets will be in the supermarket, but also as an offer takes 4g at all levels about. Partly because of the 3G network ironically better, with fewer people and in some cases better 3G coverage is perhaps better than ever. However, what we see above is that the smartphone is no longer a stand-alone device, but spindle various devices. Whether watches, eyewear and other accessories, with a phone only are you in the future might not be complete.

We hope for next year, like every year, the telecom industry is now even going to look at where we often hear complaints: limited data limits and short battery life. The biggest problem with smartphones, we have to address itself, because many people slowly turning into zombies smartphone . Let’s not forget how in 2014 the ratios are, we own a smartphone, but the smartphone does us not to possess.

Einde jaar 2013 op iOS 7

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