Lately, there's been a change of tone when it comes to a few upcoming devices from certain companies. While nothing's changed in regards to the focus on wearable technology, it's starting to sound like a few companies that were pegged as taking more risks in 2014, or at least changing a few key things, will actually be playing it pretty close to the vest. I'm sure a lot of it is still just noise at this point, but it's starting to squash my enthusiasm for 2014.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's still going to be plenty to be excited about this year, especially from the big companies that have a lot hanging on each new release, but there's starting to grow a sense that maybe it won't be *as exciting* as it could be.
Just off the top of my head, there's been a slight alteration to the course that Samsung was reportedly going to take this year. We heard for most of the latter half of 2013 that the company behind the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lineups would be finally going "high-end" with the materials for their devices, and dropping the plastic design aesthetic. Some folks who hated plastic may have finally come around, but there's no doubt a lot of people out there who want to see some metal designs from the company.
It's been a little while since we've heard anything about HTC's tablet future, or aspirations for the wearable market, too. It'll be interesting to see if those devices, those plans, are unveiled along with the One's successor, which is right around the corner (more than likely).
There's still some hope, though. And while I think LG's got some great momentum from 2013, I think it's Motorola that may be the biggest triumph of 2014.
At least, the possibility is there.
First, I'm not sure if Motorola can ever get to the point that Apple or Samsung are at. At least, it won't happen overnight (or in 2014). Though, while Samsung did catapult to the top spot in the Android Army, it didn't happen instantaneously. It took time, a lot of releases (some of them noteworthy), and dedication to take over the segments they wanted. Motorola can put the same focus and effort in, especially in the areas they're currently aiming for.
It's clear that Motorola doesn't want to strive for the high-end, where the iPhone 5s, Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3, G2, One, and others reside. There's nothing wrong with that. And if Motorola does indeed want to attack, and dominate, the mid-range market, then the Moto X was a great first effort. Truthfully, it's one of the greatest first efforts, but there are some things that need to change.
First and foremost, the price tag. Motorola has to do a better job at pricing the Moto X's successor accordingly, so that people don't walk into a store, see a high-end device priced the same, and go with that phone instead. Motorola's marketing for the Moto X has to pick up, and stay consistent after the device's launch, but that could be one of the most difficult speed bumps to overcome.
Everything else will be changed with the fact that the Moto X's successor is new, and will host new features. The camera's going to get better, because I have no doubt that Motorola has been listening to the feedback for the current device, and planning accordingly. And let's be clear here: the Moto X garnered a lot of attention for good reason. It's a great device. Yes, it has some flaws (every phone does), but it was the Android darling of 2013, and that's a great jumping off point for the company.
With 2014 just getting started, Motorola should be working on making even more customization options for their next "hero device," and be ready to price it even more aggressively right out of the gate. Don't wait months to do it. And make sure that Moto Maker's availability, with all of its options, stay as widely available as it is now. Don't limit your customers.
Honestly, I think Motorola's got some of the best momentum working for them this year. They've got a great device to work from with the Moto X, and hopefully they can make everything about the device better this time around. I'm excited to see what they unveil this year.
What do you think of Motorola's chances in 2014? Do you think they'll be able to capitalize on the attention they received last year, or will they fade out just as quickly? Can they keep up a sustained battle against the other players? Let me know!