Image courtesy: Microsoft Corporation
Image courtesy: Microsoft Corporation

Coming in 2013: New iPhone, flexi-screens & new Xbox Gaming system

By Sorab Ghaswalla

Mumbai, January 5, 2013

Today, I shall talk of all the new things that may be introduced in the digital world in 2013. It’s been less than a week into the new year but there’s already a buzz around the new things to come, some in the range of speculation, others confirmed.

I think this year will see hardware taking a major leap ahead. Don’t be surprised if, by the end of the year, you find the displays of your smartphones or tablets suddenly turning into flexible ones. Mould them to the shape of your wrists or twist them anyway you want. The world has already seen some early prototypes, work on this front has been on for 20 years now, but if things pan out according to plan, 2013 might well turn out to be the year which will see the start of the commercial production of flexi-screen display products.
Basically, flexi-screens are not made out of glass, the traditional material used in all display screens, but out of a certain type of plastic. Embedded in between are the film transistors and other tech stuff that make the display functional. There are many advantages to such flexi-displays – it will make the devices slimmer, lighter, more user-friendly, less prone to scratches and breakages….the list is long.
By all reports coming in, electronic giant Samsung may well become the first kid off the block on the commercial production of devices with flex-displays, although almost all the major electronic companies are competing in this race. Samsung has already showcased prototypes last year. It now promises to show off some more such products at the global Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013, coming up soon. I am told that the first product that Samsung may introduce with a flexi-display could well be the Samsung Galaxy S4.
A new iPhone and iOS coming?
While Samsung goes about its business comes news that could gladden the hearts of Apple product lovers. There are reports doing the rounds that Apple Inc. is definitely working on a new iOS (operating system), which may be numbered the iOS 7. Not only that, the company is said to be working on a new iPhone, (iPhone 6?).
How is all this known?
Well, a little bit of old-world sleuthing seems to have gone into arriving at this conclusion. According to this report in The Next Web, the software developers’ logs showed up the first hints of Apple working on a new iPhone and iOS software. One developer, says the report, showed TNW that Apple had been testing hardware ‘related to the new iPhone 6,1’. The last product from the Apple stable was the iPhone 5, and these had turned up in developers’ logs as ‘iPhone 5,1’ and ‘iPhone 5,2.’ Plus, as further proof, the developers’ logs have been traced back to the Apple software development teams in its Cupertino campus. 2+2=4.
If you were to ask me, the global response to the iPhone 5, launched in September last, was lukewarm except in certain parts of the world like the United States. Regular readers would remember my column in this very section when the phone had been launched. There has been talk post the iPhone 5 that Apple, reacting to consumer feedback, would come out with a new version, soon. Hard luck to those who bought the iPhone 5?
This one, as they would say in the good old world of print journalism, is hot off the press. News is just filtering in that software giant Microsoft, fresh from its success of the Windows 8 software, may introduce a new version of the Xbox Gaming system mid-year.
Online reports point to a countdown timer (a promotional gimmick) posted on his blog by the Director of Programming, Xbox, Larry Hryb. Larry is also popular as Major Nelson. Though the blog post does not say anything more, the countdown is timed towards a popular video gaming global conference, the E-3 held in June. What else can it be if not a new Xbox, question gaming experts.
So, there it is. Looks like 2013 may have something for everyone. And if the above products do come online, remember, you read it here first.
Previous columns by Sorab Ghaswalla

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