Tomorrow we’re going to close 2013 and move on to a brand new year in 2014. Change is definitely in the horizon for the local tech and gadget industry. There were already a lot of signs this December which foreshadows what will take place in the next three months. We’ve made a short list of predictions we have for 2014 for the local gadget scene. Feel free to share your own in the comments section below!
Octa-core First Quarter Storm
This one is already as sure as the sun rises in the morning. With THL and Starmobile announcing availability of octa-core smartphones in January, it’s not far off that other local brands like MyPhone, Torque, and Cherry Mobile will join in on the fun. With octa-core processors abound, we can expect more full HD devices as well since that’s probably the main purpose for having a MediaTek octa-core processor in the first place, lol.
Rise of Local Branded Accessories
We expect NFC to be staple among all flagships by the first quarter. That said, there’s a high chance that we will see more accessories for local smartphones like wireless speakers to hit store shelves. Again Cherry Mobile drew first blood here with their Rave 2.0 smartphone which comes bundled with an NFC-capable wireless alarm clock/speaker.
LTE Handsets Take the Stage Second Quarter
Cherry Mobile drew first blood on the LTE front with their new Cherry Mobile W900 LTE which is actually already available TODAY. However we still think that Php11,000+ is still a high price point given the specifications of the device. Hopefully Qualcomm will lower the prices of their LTE capable processors so that we can start seeing LTE-capable smartphones under Php10,000 in 2014.
It’s Going to Boil Down to Software and Design
All local players are trying to differentiate themselves via custom software and so far the only one who’s made significant progress is MyPhone. Starmobile isn’t too far behind but Cherry Mobile and the rest still have a lot of catching up to do. Since Cherry Mobile is playing more on the volume and price level, we don’t see them investing heavily into the software so it will really be up to MyPhone, Starmobile, and the rest to come up with fantastic local exclusive apps.
Software will become very critical because local brands can’t rely on hardware-related features forever. What comes after LTE and octa-core? Right now there’s probably still wireless charging and NFC accessories but after that everything is up in the air.
And those are our initial predictions for 2014. What about you guys? Please do leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!