It’s the new year, complete with resolutions, hangovers and thoughts turning to exactly what 2012 will bring.
In terms of smartphones, 2012 is certainly looking like it will provide even further major advances in technology, with the likes of quad core mobile processors just around the corner.
So what are the top smartphones to look out for in 2012, and who will fare the best?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, brain surgeon or consulting detective to deduce that Android is going to continue to rise in popularity, and Apple’s next iPhone is likely to do very well indeed.
The two biggest smartphones of 2012 will undoubtedly be the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III.
This year’s iPhone 4S was a more minor upgrade of hardware with Siri thrown in, but the iPhone 5 promises the new body design which was rumoured last year.
The rear of the next iPhone will be fashioned from Aluminium, with a rubber bumper-style bezel joining that to the display at the front.
NFC is also very likely to be on board, and a processor with more horsepower, naturally. We’re also wondering if Apple will finally make the move to increase the size of the display from 3.5 inches. As that’s starting to look a little small compared to the bigger Android screens.
Speaking of which, as we’ve already mentioned, Samsung’s S III is bound to be the lead device when it comes to Google’s high flying OS – which will continue to eat more market share throughout 2012.
The S II has already outsold the iPhone 4S throughout December, certainly according to Uswitch.com’s sales tracker, and the S III is rumoured to have some really juicy hardware upgrades.
We’re talking a 1.8GHz quad core processor, and the S II is already very snappy as it is.
A 10 or even 12 megapixel camera could be on board, and other whispers have mentioned 3D support for the display. It seems clear that Samsung is quite rightly making a big push after the success of both the previous Galaxy S models.
The iPhone 5 is expected in the third quarter of this year, although the S III should be out in the spring, possibly even early spring.
HTC will also want to stay near the top of the Android pecking order, and the company has a phone called the Edge on the horizon (expected in Q2).
The HTC Edge (or it may be called the Supreme) also packs a quad core processor, rumour has it, with a capacious 4.7 inch display. It’ll likely have an 8 megapixel HD capable camera – but will also likely be very much in the shadow of the S III.
As for the other smartphone players, Rim is likely to see further decline, with its new BB10 (BBX as it was previously known) handsets not due until later in 2012.
And Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 will continue to be sluggish, if early sales of Mango-based (and Nokia) handsets are anything to go by.
Apollo, the next major advance on Mango, isn’t due out until towards the end of 2012 either, meaning Microsoft will be lagging seriously behind Android when it comes to the introduction of multi-core “superphones”.
And that really isn’t good. MS will, however, have more of a crack at the budget Android dominated market with the Tango update due in the second quarter of 2012, so that might help grow a modest user base.
Which would at least be something, as thus far Microsoft’s mobile OS has made no real impact whatsoever, despite the critical acclaim for Mango.