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BW Businessworld

Tech Up Next

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If we are to believe the Mayan and Hopi Indians, the world as we know it is due to end in 2012. Just when so much hi tech is coming our way. Here's what we might miss — or not.

iPad 3: The King Of Tablets
The world has long been indulging in its favourite Apple activity — rumour mongering on the next iPad. Not just the iPad 3 but the iPad Mini. Since Apple doesn't have a tradition of even hinting at what one of its new products will be like, everyone theorises and looks for the smallest shred of evidence. This time the evidence is as small as an internal cable shown on a Chinese site which may or may not be intended for the iPad 3.  And all it shows is that it will be housed in a different design, possibly thicker than the iPad 2. A stronger rumour is that the next iPad, probably launching in March on Steve Jobs' birthday, will have a high-resolution display. Whatever shape it takes, predictions are that the iPad 3 will continue Apple's tablet dominance.

But for all those waiting for a 7.85-inch iPad Mini, chances are as mini, say Apple watchers.

Windows 8: Operating Smartware
The stunning user interface of Microsoft Windows 8, says Win rumours and many others, is due to grace computer and laptop screens in February or even earlier. Just maybe, there'll be a tablet in the works as well later — that too from Nokia. But, the Windows 8 tab may not be sold to consumers over 2012. But this much is for sure: more Windows phones are coming from Nokia to follow up the Lumia 800 including a possible Lumia 900 at the CES in January. Windows 7.5 smartphones are easy to use and have an interface that many say should have come from Apple, but their market share is still under 3 per cent.

Digital Illustrations by Champak Bhattacharjee

BlackBerry 10: See You Soon?

Things don't seem to be getting better for BlackBerry makers Research in Motion. With  global market share and financials plummeting, they really need to hurry up with that one panacea for all their troubles — the BlackBerry 10 operating system and the related Playbook OS. Promised for February, the OS will mean we may finally see brand new BlackBerry smartphones and Playbook 2 able to offer competition to the iPhone and Android phones. At least that's the plan.

Ultrabooks: The Next Little Thing
More fact than rumour is the flood of Ultrabooks we will see soon. These thin, svelte imitations of Apple's MacBook Air are sub $1,000 and give you power which is not compromised by size. They run an Intel Sandy Bridge processor and have varying but adequate RAM and storage to work fast. There's no optical drive. The battery life is at least five hours and hooting up and resuming is quick. Ultrabooks are already around from Asus, Acer and Samsung, but more are coming and Intel says by 2013 they will have replaced laptops.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 09-01-2012)