Which company are you expecting the most out of in 2014?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
I'm sure you've heard the sentiment that a New Year is a Fresh Start. With 2013 closing out, just as any year before it, the days ahead are a way to wash the slate clean and start anew. For people all over the world, that'll mean moving to a new place, starting a new job, ending a relationship, or just changing some bad habits. The New Year's resolution isn't anything new at all, and tonight people prepare to initiate those plans starting tomorrow. But, it's not just people that think ahead and try to make decisions that will ultimately better their lives. The folks inside companies do the same thing, and many of them make those decisions with their companies in mind, hoping that the next year can bring plenty of good tidings, money, and customers.
It's almost funny to think of any new year as a clean slate for a company, considering they've got so much riding on the year prior. When it comes to a new device, like a new Galaxy S model, or a new iPhone, we know that there are going to be plenty of leftover bits from the last handset. In most cases we're dealing with updates, and not revolutionary changes that alter the whole playing field. That's one of the "benefits" of a yearly refresh cycle. There could be some surprises here and there, but mostly we know what to expect -- even before all the leaks and rumors start churning out.
But, 2014 seems different, doesn't it?
The year after 2013 starts tomorrow, and my excitement for the mobile industry is spiking. I've already told all of you that I'm excited for the new year in general, and think that there's going to be a lot of great things to be excited about when our favorite companies get around to announcing new things. (Waiting is the worst.) But, at the same time, I feel like there could be a lot riding on 2014 for several companies out there. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but 2014 just feels like a big year to me, across the board. Sure, it might end up that nothing much changes in our favorite industry throughout the year, but I just don't think that's going to be the case. I think it's going to be quite the opposite, actually.
Why? Because there's so much that's supposed to be changing this year. From companies that we've expected to do things one way for so long, to companies that we've grown accustomed to seeing bi-yearly big changes from, this is the year that it all happens. It's not just one or two companies in 2014, but maybe all of them, in one way or another. And, let's face it, companies like Oppo and BLU and others similar to them are getting far more attention moving into 2014 then they ever have before -- that's only going to get better next year. Carriers are getting more attention, too, as they change things up. Or at least try to.
2014 could very well be the time of the Great Change, and it looks like everyone in the mobile industry is on board with the new direction. The question is, though: will it make a difference?
There are several companies out there that are either standing on shaky ground, or who simply don't have a lot of everything they need to compete against the heavy hitters in the mobile industry. 2014 is looking to be a fantastic year, but that doesn't mean it's a guarantee, or that it will be great for everyone. There's a strong chance that some companies just don't make any real noise next year, no matter how hard they try.
Which is why I'm curious about expectations geared towards the companies in general. Obviously devices play a big part in this, but I want to keep the conversation geared towards the companies that create those things. I want to know which companies, or maybe just a single one, you think is going to have the biggest impact in 2014. And, perhaps at the same time, which company you think will have the biggest turnaround. As I said earlier, there are companies that we know aren't doing as well as they should be, or would like to be doing, so there is room for them to grow, or better their position. Do you think 2014 will be the year for that to happen? Can HTC turn their misfortunes around in the New Year? Is LG going to continue building great devices like the G2, and capitalize on the attention they received in 2013? Can Motorola come up with new ways to customize our phones, other than Project Ara? And, what do you think waits in the wings for BlackBerry? Is 2014 really the year of Microsoft's Windows Phone?
Let me know what you think!