Will the real IT superpower please stand up?

Published: 29 December, 2013 08:13 IST | Nimish Dubey |

Will India finally emerge as the IT superpower that we all dreamt of for so long? When it comes to launching new phones, tablets and other gadgets globally, India is still more of an afterthought. The year 2014 might be our chance to change that, either by launching a grand, legitimate 'Made in India' phone, tablet, search engine or game. Also, dare we hope that Apple products be made more affordable?

Apple will get mass-y Oyez, super affordable iPhones and iPads
Right, we know now that the ‘c’ in the iPhone 5c did not stand for ‘cheap’ (does ANYTHING in that fruity named company stand for that?), but that has not stopped us from hoping that 2014 will be the year that Apple will get bored of the classes and turn to the masses.

An iPhone for R25,000? An iPad for Ra 15,000? Yes, some might call it dream territory, but well, Apple has always been a difficult company to predict, and it did make both touchscreen phones and tablets mainstream. So why not make a product that is mainstream in the first place? And well, it really is about time that we had a super affordable Apple product in the market -- they did not even refresh the iPod shuffle this year, for God’s sake!

It may be the time for USB connectivity on tablets and phones
People have been asking about them for ages, and manufacturers have been putting up defences ranging from hardware architecture to concerns about piracy of content, but 2014 might see that change.

All right, we SO hope, it will see that change. We have seen a few manufacturers try to incorporate USB connectivity of some sort on tablets and phones, and hopefully some heads in the bigger brands will figure out that firstly, it takes more than the absence of a USB port to deter the Jack Sparrows of tech, and secondly, that many people prize convenience as much as sleek looks. I mean, we saw Nokia add USB connectivity to the N8 years ago using an adaptor, but not too many followed suit. May 2014 see that change, so that we can stop carrying multiple memory
devices around!

Mera Bharat (tech) Mahaan - 1 India’s first killer consumer tech product cometh
It has been called an IT power for quite a while, but let’s be honest, India has not really seen that one killer consumer tech product that pretty much takes the world by storm. But well, it is imminent -- it had better be, given all the blood, toil, tears and sweat (not to mention hype) that is being put into the sector. We have made some decent starts, but nothing that has really rocked the world, so to speak, and come purely from India. 2014 will change all that, we say (all right, we hope). Will it be a tablet, a phone, a search engine or maybe even just an incredibly addictive game? We know not. What we DO know is that it really is about time that the IT power had a few weapons that were desi, but were lusted for globally. No, low-cost programmers and call centres are not included
in that.

Mera Bharat (tech) Mahaan - 2 Products will get released first in India
Why has it been released late in India or has not released at all in India?” -- if we had a penny for every time we have heard that wail of despair from an Indian geek, our revenues would have got us into the Fortune 500. Well, we are hoping that 2014 will see the big brands giving greater priority to the Indian market when it comes to launching major products, and that we will not have to keep hearing “India mein release nahin hua hai”s from salespersons in electronic retail stores. A simultaneous release of the iPhone in India? The next Galaxy Note being released first in India? Amazon holding the release of its next Kindle in Delhi? It would be awesome if that happened in 2014.

Goodbye glossy plastic, as Samsung may get a massive design makeover

It is by far the biggest phone company in the world in terms of sales and market share. And yet people continue to complain about Samsung’s product design and build (yes, even as they line up to buy their products). Most of the angst seems to be directed towards the company’s fondness for glossy, relatively thin plastic. And well, there were signs in 2013 that the company was realising this -- the Galaxy Note 3 had a faux leather back. We think the trend towards design change in Samsung will continue in 2014 and while plastic will not be discarded (why on earth should it? It works perfectly well), it will definitely get used in a manner that will be more classy.

Return(s) of the tech Jedi BB and Nokia will mix it with the best... once again
Their doom has been predicted before, and some say that in the case of Nokia, it hath already arrived with the big M(icrosoft) taking over its mobile phone business, but a glance at our crystal ball (which has a soft corner for oldies) reveals that Nokia and BlackBerry will take recover their glory in 2014. In the case of Nokia, that already seems to be the case, with decent sales of the Lumia range. BlackBerry has a more difficult path to tread, but if products such as the Z30 are any indication, it certainly knows in which direction to head. Oh yes, and that direction has full QWERTY keyboards and very good cameras in it, or so we writing types would like to believe. And who knows, maybe even a notebook?

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