Weekly mobile news wrap: New Year’s Resolution edition

With a whole new year upon us, filled with promise and free of any oppressive habits built up over the previous twelve months, it is customary for people to set resolutions with the intention of bettering one’s self. In layman’s terms, it’s a plan to suck less as a person. Lose weight, quit smoking, get finances in order; These are all common choices for people. For me, I want to write more. Partially for creative reasons and partially because that’s how I make money. Whatever you may choose as your plan for self-improvement, I look forward to joining you in giving up on the resolution before January is even over. Let’s look at what some of the biggest names in mobile has resolved to do in 2013 as we look back at the news from December 31-January 4, 2013. 

HTC: Be more productive 

Perhaps no Android phone maker had a tougher time in 2012 than HTC. Despite some great phones from the Taiwanese manufacturer, the market was overwhelmed with other options and HTC was lost beneath the waves of the competition. Treading water is not on the agenda in 2013 as the company gears up to rebound with increased productivity and better sales figures. A leak of HTC project code names earlier this week is a sign the company is planning to make good on its word. The list seems to confirm the rumored M7 phone that appears to be the company’s next flagship handset and also lends more credibility to the ever-growing legend of the Facebook phone. 

Microsoft: Get organized

One would think of all companies, Microsoft has to be one of the more organized. I mean, it even redesigned its logo to fit together better. But the operating system that was supposed to tie everything together, Windows 8, hasn’t exactly been doing its job, so far. The operating system seems to be loved on phones, hit or miss on tablets, and a total miss on PC. What better time to get your stuff in order than at the start of a brand new year? Microsoft appears ready to follow through on this strategy, as Windows 8 Pro for tablets will make its debut in January. Despite a high price point, Microsoft swears this is the version that’ll win people over. If that doesn’t work, it can always just sell more phones. There are plenty more of those in the works.


Samsung: Get more creative

It’s hard to argue that Samsung wasn’t the most successful name in mobile last year. So where do you go when you’ve already hit your highest note? Well, you start branching out and getting creative. The Galaxy Camera is a pretty good example of what the company may be capable of but, as a great philosopher once said, “[that’s] so 2000 and late.” Samsung is all about 3008, but it has to ease into it a bit. It’s starting by just giving the Galaxy Note II a couple new colors. After that, though, Samsung has a new plan: Tizen smartphones. This platform would give Samsung the chance to continue owning the Android market while creating an entirely new one all its own. It makes my plan to read a few more books this year seem far less ambitious.  

Sprint: Meet new people

Sprint spent some time trying to make more friends in 2012, but it just couldn’t quite figure out how. Then it got a penpal from Japan who is planning to come visit. 2013 will be all about getting out and meeting people for Sprint, and it’s starting by offering a pay-as-you-go, contract free phones. It’s a good way to go – low commitment and if all goes well, maybe some of those new friends will want to hang out more. 


Devices: Try something new

It’s easy for routines to become stale, and adding a little spice to your life is never a bad thing. For the devices of 2013, variety is the way to go. Too much same-old-same-old made the market flooded with similar looking, similar behaving portable options. And there’s a ton of them out there. We’ll see next week exactly how much uniqueness the year will bring, but lineup for CES 2013 looks like it won’t disappoint. Sure, there will probably be some outlandish things there that never hit mass production, but it’s about trying new things. What these devices will be running might be the most interesting question, with Firefox OS on the way, the aforementioned Tizen-powered smartphones, and Linux based portables planned as well. 2012 was the year of the clones. Let’s get weird in 2013.

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