The Vodafone eForum's Community Experts are pretty switched on when it comes to mobile, so we're pretty keen to know what they think is coming next...

3g phones

Although we’re still in January the tech year is well under way. We’ve already had CES, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show of the year and we’re just a matter of weeks away from Mobile World Congress – the mobile show that acts as the launchpad for many of the year’s best new handsets.

But what’s coming next in the world of mobile that’ll make us really sit up and take notice?

 

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We’ve been asking exactly that and our, ever-clued up, eForum Community Experts have answered. Nabs and JeffKinn, two of the eForum’s most prolific posters, have been dishing out their opinions on what’s coming up in the next 12 months and beyond…

JeffKinn

jeff kinn“2014 is likely to be another year of evolution, rather than revolution,” Jeff says. “Rumours suggest that Samsung is almost certainly going to launch the GALAXY S5 in March, and there’s all sorts of chat about what that will contain. Samsung is accused of being gimmicky by some, but personally I like its approach; it’s good to see a phone manufacturer pushing the envelope and not playing it safe.

“Bendy and curved phones look as though they are going to be all the rage, and wearable devices will forge ahead this year too. That type of device is likely to be a really exciting area to watch.”

“Bendy and curved phones look as though they are going to be all the rage.”

So how will the mobile market shape up? Jeff believes it’s anyone’s game: “From a general market perspective, it will be very interesting to see if Apple and Samsung can maintain their market dominance in the face of stiff competition from the likes of HTC, LG and Nokia – The level of innovation in the industry only stands to benefit consumers and it would be great to see this start to pay off.

“I also think Android will continue to compete with iOS’s premium positioning in the smartphone market, but I don’t see the perception of Apple as the smartphone that all others are judged by to change any time soon.”

And, of course, there’s 4G, which Vodafone will be continuing to launch across the UK throughout the year. “4G is hopefully going to come into its own this year, and really deliver on the promises that have been made about it for some time,” says Jeff. “Vodafone is very well placed to make a real impact in the 4G marketplace, and if the overall network can be improved in terms of both 3G and 4G that will be the most exciting thing that could happen this year.”

Nabs

nabs“I think 2014 is going to be an exciting year for mobile tech,” says Nabs, with an interesting range of new phones starting to make an appearance. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing how Firefox OS manages in an already crowded mobile OS market – with big names like LG and Panasonic on board there’s sure to be some great devices in the pipeline.” Firefox OS you ask? There’s all the info you need on that and the other emerging mobile platforms here.

“The idea of curved or flexible smartphones is something that has been teased for the last few years, and I think this year we will see more of it,” adds Nabs. “I’m still not sure of the real benefits flexible phones might bring but if nothing else they’re going to look pretty cool!”

bendy phone

And, just like Jeff, Nabs is keen to see where the wearable tech trend is heading: “Elsewhere, I’m looking forward to seeing just what manufacturers bring to the next iterations of the ‘wearable’ devices that started to emerge last year, and I’m intrigued to see what new and different products come into that market. And finally, one thing I would like to see more of is better integration of mobile devices with the rest of our technology.

“I think things like ChromeCast and Apple TV are going to see a renewed popularity as people become more aware of what they can do for such a small price.”

Interesting thoughts from both, there. With tech ecosystems, flexible screens, wearable tech, new platforms and of course 4G all ticked off, it looks like 2014 is shaping up to be a huge year for mobile. Do you agree? Got any airtight predictions yourself? Let us know in the comments section below.

More on the eForum… For all the information you need on the Vodafone eForum, click here. We’ve also got top tips from Nabs here and JeffKinn here.