Tech Sector in 2013: It's All About Smartphones and Tablets
Yasir is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
2012 was an important year in the tech industry, with some of the biggest names in the industry releasing some outstanding smartphones and tablets. The previous year saw a decline in the PC market due to several Android based tablets being released.
The tech industry has been growing at steady pace and 2013 is another important year in this particular sector. Investing in the tech industry might not guarantee high returns, however; volatility in the stocks is one of the reasons why the industry is so exciting for investors.
Also, the buzz/hype around the industry is irresistible, which is why some investors like to gamble on the biggest names in the industry. Computers and laptops are still being shipped around the world in millions of units, however; the current year will be vital for smartphones and tablets due to the growth of these devices, while the PC market declines.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been the center of the industry, ever since Steve Jobs’ revolutionary press event in 2007. Today, many analysts believe that Apple lacks that innovation when it launched the first generation iPhone. While the audience might not be expecting a total game changer from Apple, many still believe that Apple, in recent years, has lacked even the slightest of innovation. The opinions grew stronger after the release of the iPhone 5, with analysts claiming that the new iPhone is "boring" and lacks excitement, although, the iPhone 5 has enough to maintain Apple's dominance in the sector.
The newest iPhone did extremely well after the initial release; however, sales have been weaker in recent months, especially in the holiday season. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to release a cheap iPhone 5, which will feature plastic in most parts of the design, but many Apple users still believe that the company will avoid the option of making a cheaper version of iPhone, targeted towards individuals with lower budgets. Reports still suggest that 2013 will feature another iPhone from Apple and that Apple needs to release the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6 or the "iPhone Mini" as soon as sales start fade away in order to maintain its position in the ever growing smartphones market.
In the tablets department, Apple still has a relatively solid market share with its latest iPad 4 and iPad mini. While the larger iPads sales have dropped, the iPad mini offsets this as target customers now have 2 different devices to choose from. The iPad mini might have impacted the larger iPad sales, however; there is evidence that cheaper Android tablets is a reason why the 9.7 inch iPad is losing significant market share quickly.
Apple's latest earnings report showed a record revenue of over $54 billion with over 47 billion iPhones sold in Q1 of 2013. However, with the successive growth of cheap and premium Android devices, this could be the year when users, finally, get fed up of Apple.
Another tech industry headline in 2013 is the BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) 10. The Operating System BB10 along with 2 new smartphones, the Z10 and the Q10, were unveiled in January. As expected, both smartphones have touchscreens and are targeted towards all sorts of customers, with the aim that the OS can cater to the media and entertainment needs of users, as well as, to the business and corporate needs of long-time BlackBerry users.
If BlackBerry 10 fails, which many analysts claim, it would be because of two major reasons. One being the lack of apps with users missing popular Android/iOS apps, such as Netflix and Instagram and the other being BlackBerry's late entry into the new smartphones market, which might not be enough to attract a decent portion of the 80 to 90% market, comprising of loyal Android and iOS users.
While the new BB10 is definitely something totally new in the smartphones market, it could well mark the end of BlackBerry, as a whole. The company has gambled its future over the latest OS and 2013 will be a vital year for judging BlackBerry 10's overall reception. After the flop BlackBerry Playbook, a new BB10 tablet is almost impossible this year, with Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry's CEO, claiming that entry into the tablets segment is rather difficult and that the company will only look to invest in areas where it thinks it could be profitable
Samsung is another leading name in the smartphone market, with the brand having over 40% share in the Android smartphone market. Samsung's year end saw the company dominate the market with highest smartphone sales worldwide. Samsung's Galaxy series has received an impressive feedback in recent years and the company is set to announce several new devices this year.
While it is certain that the new Galaxy S4 will be released this year, the only question is when, with reports claiming that Samsung might launch the smartphone at the Mobile World Congress later this month or at its own event in March. The S4 mini, successor to the S3 mini, will also be released sometime this year, along with the some low-end Android based budget smartphones.
Samsung is also set to unveil at least one, if not more, Android tablets this year as the Android tablets market continues to grow at good pace. Rumors suggest that Samsung will be releasing a trio of tablets at the MWC event later this month, in Barcelona
Make sure that you read the second part of the post.
yasirrfc has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!