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Well, 2011 is quickly coming to a close (seriously, where did the year go?) and I think it's safe to say it has been an amazing year for the entire mobile world. (Well, except for all of those currently being sued over patent infringements, so we'll forget about that for now.) We've experienced so many changes and so many new devices, for better or for worse. Nokia is in bed with Microsoft making Windows Phones, AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile, Google is trying to acquire Motorola, the tablet market is bursting at the seams – that's only scratching the surface.

I have no doubt that next year will be big. If this year is any indication as to what we can expect, 2012 will be monumental. While we could stand to see less new phones total, I'm sure we will see just as many advances in display technology, camera technology, new and improved form factors and a slew of other things. What exactly will we encounter? It's impossible to say, but here are the top five pieces of tech I'm certainly looking forward to:

 

1. Different tablet designs and form factors

Through 2011, most tablets were plain, black, rectangular devices that were, for the most part, all the same. This led to Samsung and Motorola getting sued by Apple for "infringing on their design," which is ludicrous and hypocritical. I digress. While a rectangle is the most logical design for a tablet, other logical designs are also possible.

The dual-screen tablet was at one point going to be a reality, but Microsoft canceled the Courier project. I'm hoping at least one manufacturer opens this box and tries again, if only as an aftermarket attachment, like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer's keyboard dock. But there are also other possible designs, like a collapsible "flexibook." And there is belief that Samsung may show off flexible, transparent tablets next year. It also looks like Samsung is prepping at least one larger tablet model at 11.2-inches. To sum this up, while we know very little about what tablets will entail in 2012, I look forward to all of the possibilities: design, attachments, size, etc.

 

2. Wearable peripherals

As we learned just the other day, both Apple and Google have been working diligently in research and development over the last year on wearable computing. Whether those may be full, working devices themselves or solely peripherals, we're not sure. But the idea of wearing your smartphone – or at least a device that can control your smartphone without it ever leaving your pocket – is novel. A watch with these capabilities wouldn't be the first of its kind, but clothes that send health information to your smartphone or a pair of glasses with an integrated interface in the place of a lens would be.

I don't expect things so futuristic (such as a contact lens with a connected display) to make an appearance in 2012, but with two of the largest tech companies in the world – with the deepest pockets – putting a year of R&D into a technology has to lead to something big. Here's to hoping we see the beginning of this in the new year.

 

3. Flexible phones

Both Nokia and Samsung have shown great interest in creating flexible phones in the not too distant future. Samsung showed off their flexible AMOLED panels earlier this year and allegedly has plans to show off (potentially launch) flexible devices as soon as next year. What the benefit of such a device is, I'm not sure. Nor do I know why I would even want one. But I am definitely intrigued by it and want to get my hands on one, if only to say I have.

Nokia is also hard at work, dabbling in flexible technology. They released a concept video and showed off a prototype of a flexible, kinetic phone that allows the user to navigate the interface by flexing the device itself. I'm not sure whether any flexible phones will actually make it to consumer hands in 2012, but I at least look forward to seeing and playing with bendy phones (and maybe tablets, too) at CES 2012.

 

4. Apple iPhone 5

Where do I start with this one? I think we all can agree that not seeing the iPhone 5 in 2011 was a huge letdown. While the iPhone 4S is a decent upgrade to last year's iPhone 4, it wasn't the iPhone 5 and wasn't at all what we were expecting from Apple. I'll admit that I wasn't sold on the idea of the alleged teardrop profile, but the mere thought of an iPhone with a larger display was enough to hook everyone.

So, what will the iPhone 5 bring? A larger display or radical hardware redesign?

There are a million questions that can be asked about it. The fact of the matter is, we won't truly know until Tim Cook takes the stage and announces it himself. Whether it is an incremental update to the 4S or a revolutionary upgrade, the iPhone 5 will be a memorable device for years to come. As Ashok Kumer of Rodman & Renshaw wrote, the iPhone 5 "was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design." It's expected to be a "cult classic."

 

5. Mobile camera technology

I'm no photographer, but I take a ton of pictures, of everything from the finest plate of sushi to an amazing sunset. I'm a firm believer that the best camera is the one you have with you, and this year was an amazing year for mobile cameras. It will be a long time before they reach DSLR quality, if ever. But with phones that have cameras capable of such quality pictures like the iPhone 4S and a handful of Nokia and HTC phones, I'm interested in how far 2012 will take mobile camera technology.

All we can do is hope that OEMs quit spec-bumping cameras and actually make them worthwhile, fitting them with proper optics and improving the software, respectively.


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103 Reactions to this post

"Now that Christmas is over, what are you looking forward to in 2012?"


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Joshua Lawson IPhone.......is it suppose to have a hologram I don't believe it
Ali Redwolf Since I just got my smartphone in Nov. 2011, I'm looking forward to understanding the silly thing. Seems it's a lot smarter than I am. Just found out today how to update FB so I can see the latest posts by sliding my finger down the screen when I open FB. Only took me 7 weeks to figure that one out & someone had to tell me. Duh!
James Golder Ps Vita
Anonymous better mobile battery technology
Mohamed Zidan phone dog galaxy fit or nokia 500
Tom Parker I can't believe you bastards are suing Noah.
Reggie Johnson HTC Edge
John Paul Sweeny IV Yes!! By the way Aaron here are some phones that may be geared more toward the Asian markets but will be released in the US that are amazing..Sony Vivaz pro(4,000 horizontal resolution or 4k with 1280 p and 12 mgpxl rear camera) Samsung Beam(comes with projector,8mgpxl rear cam.3.7 super amoled,1080p) Windows 8 phone or xp2 (4.3 retina display.1.6 ghz,26 mgpxl rear cam.112gb storage!!) Acer liquid to name a few so lets get on the ball guys and throw some exitement towards the show. Sometimes I feel like your doing one long Best Buy comercial. Still love you guys-JohninLA
Joshua Feld iPhone 5 :-)
Ben Conover 5G, 1080p screens, and 3000 mAh batteries...I wish!
Henrick Rawlins Galaxy S3
AJ Goren Verizon is not trying to acquire Motorola. Google is. Lol
Gary Hardt iPhone 5
Henry Murillo That's cool Chris B, it'll be at Angel stadium. Gonna be sick!
Brandon Paul Galaxy S III
Shahid Khan @cory wood, ... Merry xmas to you too, bt dont get d part where you say iphone 5 will never exist, what do you mean? You have any info that we dont? Ps: you sending me to hell, Cheer up man, you sound depressed! Wheres your season of good will gone?
Adam Beneke Come back later.
Anhtien Ta I'm looking forward to the end of the world.
Chris Baham @henry - right on... Is it at Anaheim stadium? I used to live about 15 minutes from there
Cory Wood @shahid you should take some of your own advice! First of all, ppl die for others all the time! There no such thing as a iphone 5, cause it will never exist! Merry Christmas! Happy holidays and whatever anyone else calls it! Freedom of speech!
Henry Murillo Chris Baham, no but will be flying there to catch the event :)
Charles Shell My upgrde!xP
Robert Skeen Verizon correct their data problems.
Shahid Khan Now back on topic, im looking forward to the release of the Iphone 5 & ipad 3. Im curious to see how much further they can enhance the mobile & tablet markets. Also hope samsung release a galaxy S3 (or upgrade to it). I know Nexus is out, but thats just a waste, it cant even compete with the galaxy S2, so whats d point if it?....(its a gimmick!)
Shahid Khan @Cory Wilson go to hell! How can some1 die fr anyone else? No one died for me. Just read what you write & if you have a brain you'll realise how redicilous you sound. Wise up. Open your eyes & ears to the truth!!
Chris Baham Henry.... U live in Anaheim ? I grew up there
Chris Baham The apocalypse ?
Stephan Wright Seeing 2013.
Henry Murillo To be honest, the AMA Monster Energy Supercross season opener at Anaheim, CA on January 7th :D
Adrian Anguiano The look on people's faces when the world doesn't end haha scientist are full of shit.
Mark Hellard Cory you said it all
Marco Raymond @Cory Wilson : Brother, I'm christian also and there's no problem with loving technology. I think there's a place and time for everything...you shouldn't be preaching on this page.
Sheunesu Dominic Mugabe iPad 3 & iPhone 5
Roman JuicyFruit Galaxy tab 10.1 shits on ipad 2 hah got both for christmad
Raul Garcia Cory read up on ur languages cuz x is not taking christ outta christmas it is the greek way to write christ
Marco Raymond I'm a WP7 user so I can't wait to see the new windows phones! Also I'm sure the tablets will be way cheaper, less smartphones will come out in 2012 than in 2011 and the top devices will be insanely powerful and all have HD Screens!
Nathaniel Hull christmas isnt over... it will still go for another week for some... maybe happy holidays woulda been a good post
Paul Alexandru iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3 or iPad3 or 2S...
Cory Wilson Phone dog if phones are your God, then your doomed
Cory Wilson Christmas not over yet, an it's Christmas not x mas, Jesus is the reason for the season, not the latest phone
Jones Robert ...GALAXY S3.
Cory Wilson Stop worrying about phones an say thank you Jesus for dying for me
Warren Saunders Ice cream sandwich and playstation vita
Adrian Jordan I want the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 :)
Kyle Mezrahi Nokia Lumia 800 but bigger screen, more colors, front camera, and on AT&T with 4G LTE. This will probably be the Lumia 900 and be announced at CES.
Tatiana Lee Christmas is not over. I haven't even had breakfast yet. Smh. Tomorrow it will be over.
Signore Mp end of the world?
KoDy Designed ByCrime Christmas is just beginning
Andre Watts Christmas isn't over.
Ruben Rivera The end of the world
Joe Noyola I know the Galaxy Nexus just came out but looking forward to the next one ..I luv me some Pure Android..
Kaylee Sill Good thinking phone dog! 2012 phones will be great
Ricardo GallegosSanchez Getting ICS on the Galaxy SII I got for Christmas.
Perro Rosello Windows Phone 8 Apollo
Samuel Balderrama Samsung galaxy s3
Brandon Mims ICS on GS II or the GS III
Raquel Mejia To make it to 2013
Paul Davis Quad core salad chopper!
Lanh Nguyen Christmas is not over...just cause people unwrap their gifts in the morning it's suddenly over?
William Jones Christmas not over yet
Goh Guang Xiang in asia now is 12.54
Miguel Sahagun Ice Cream Sandwich on my GSII, the GSIII, and Intels Ivy Bridge
Arvydas Grušeckas Where are Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and new Nokia phones?
Josh Avondoglio Good article. I seriously doubt, however, that phone cameras will ever be as good as free standing cameras.
Detrick Douglas Isn't phone dog in Charlotte, NC? So how is Christmas over?
Joel Diaz Um its still Dec 25
Cesario Brito Jr. Quadcore phones of course. Galaxy S III is on top of my list. Interested to see if the new EVO will not disappoint this time around.
Terry Jr. Christmas is not over. What is wrong with yall. Its still morning
Daniel Quintero Sprint nexus galaxy or better
Miguel A Navarrete an iphone 4g with a 5 inch retina display!!!
Melvin Tuggle Still got about 16 hours of christmas :D
Cory Wood Over? I haven't had Christmas yet! Its not even noon here yet! Why everyone so much in a rush, to get to the next day! Why can't we ever enjoy the day we are actually on! Especially, the holidays! Merry Christmas to all! enjoy it, cause its only comes once a year!
Kenneth A. Hayes Jr. Christmas isn't over just yet. Maybe you should ask this question on Monday Dec. 26
Daniel Cuadrado It's not over yet. 12 hours left.
Jake Ayo 2.3.4 on my G2x like my kids' LG mytouch
Jordan Paul Well Bah-HUMBUG to you too! Jeeeeez! still the holidays here!
Angela Schmidt Playing with my Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch. And a new phone in January...hoping to get the new Galaxy Nexus!
Matthew Signore It's still Christmas. It'll be over tomorrow!
Law Karoumy Christmas isn't over!
Teron Facey The rumored HTC Zeta and getting my hands on a Asus Prime and Jellybean OS
Justin Edwards Quad core & iPhone 5
Jeremy Gross a smartphone i will actually buy
Ken Clement Some legitimate information from PhoneDog instead of thoughtless questions.....such as this one! Christmas is still going on until midnight!!
Darrion Smith Christmas Aint Over, Its 8:26AM In The Morning Lol
Darrell-James Martin Christmas isn't over yet :/
James Miranda Nokia Lumia 800!
Eric Casanova Motorola Nexus with jellybean
Christina Beebe Gomez Christmas isn't over geez!! It's over at midnight. Some of us haven't even opened gifts. Quit rushing in the new year already.
Mark Belkowski well xmas isn't over as its still dec 25th here.
Chepo Shakur ThE IpHoNez 12 wiT thE 3.2 cAmERaS m3GaPIxElS
Derwayne Travis Humphrey lmao @ will funny
Ahmad Sachoo Purchasing the Galaxy Nexus :D
Brian Edwards And we have 11 more days of Christmas. :-P
Brian Edwards Quad core baby!
Will Cowell The end of the world
Niko Lapcic im lookin forward to the end of the world ;D
Ethan Shrago An htc nexus. cheaper tablets. and a galaxy s III and also quad core phones.
Barron Richardson Over? It's 10AM central time. Don't be a scrooge
Jacob Eckstein good one luis?
Luis Hernandez ur mom...
Mike Sanders-Demott christmas isnt over... it started only 11 hours ago... there is still another 13 hours left




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