Will 2012 be the year of revolution, or more evolution?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 17, 2012

We are all waiting for the big thing in technology. We’re all waiting, for all intents and purposes, to get our socks knocked off. In the mobile industry, that revolution could come in any capacity, and seemingly out of nowhere. We’ve watched as the technology in our phone displays have gotten better almost exponentially. We’ve watched as our phones have become smarter and more advanced, and yet thinner the whole time. All of these things are indicators that the technology is still getting better, but it’s all been an evolution, rather than a revolution. Which has me wondering when we’re really going to see something really impressive come down the pipe.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still impressed by the devices that have released recently, perhaps not as much as I should have been, though. Admittedly, while I don’t consider myself all that jaded, I know that with a few launches last year, I was thinking the whole time, Well, that could have been better. But, I know that evolution is necessary before we can really reach the revolutionary stage, and maybe I’m hoping beyond hope that 2012 is that year.

But, let’s face it – it probably isn’t, is it? We know that we’ve got quad-core phones coming down the pipe this year. This year, we’ll probably see even more impressive display technology than we did last year, which is probably going to blow some people’s minds out there. But, what else are we going to see? Software wise, we’ve really seen most everything, haven’t we? Android 4.0 is only going to get skinned, so there will probably only be some “minor” tweaks added to the mix when companies like HTC and Samsung release their phones with the mobile OS is pre-loaded.

Personally, I think that the year 2012 is going to be about hardware and camera technology. Cameras in our phones are getting ridiculous, and with the months ahead it will only get better. And, as the companies out there figure out the best ways to implement quad-core technology, and other hardware elements, our phones are going to be even more powerful than they already are.

But, can devices like the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple decides to call it), or the Galaxy S III really do much to impress the masses? I don’t have any doubt that Samsung is going to launch the Galaxy S III and it will rightfully take its place as the Android flagship for 2012, but I think it’s Apple that has the best opportunity to really showcase something groundbreaking. Why? Because the last version of the iPhone was the marginal update to the iPhone 4, and with the release of the iPhone this year, Apple has to shock the world.

I use the phrase “has to” pretty loosely, of course. It’s anyone’s guess if Apple would actually lose any of their fan base this year if they didn’t launch a revolutionary iPhone this year. But, I would be willing to guess that Apple is already thinking that the iPhone 5 has to be pretty impressive, even more impressive than their reality distortion field (that’s sarcasm) would have people believe.

Is the year 2012 going to be the year of revolution, or more evolution? Let’s hope that we see some signs of revolution out there, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more gentle steps forward.