To 2014 and beyond! Babel PR’s industry predictions for the next twelve months

Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is in full swing. Here at Babel we’ve been casting our predictions for the world of technology in 2014. How many of these do you agree with?

Check out the Babel team page to put a face to the name!


“More publically available free Wi-Fi will be deployed across the UK as town and city centres become more connected. The use of Wi-Fi already far outweighs that of cellular, and I expect this trend to continue. However, with consumers now using more data overall than ever before, we will continue to see a rise in cellular data consumption as well.” – Ash

“The 4G price war in the UK will finally kick off. With O2 and Vodafone starting to catch EE in terms of cities covered, EE may be forced to dramatically drop its prices. Speaking of EE, this will probably be the year when we say goodbye to the ‘T-Mobile’ and ‘Orange’ brands with the likely scenario that we will have 4GEE and 3GEE available. I would also expect to see the ‘new’ EE (without Orange and T-Mobile) floated on the FTSE this year.” – Matt

“Going beyond Europe, I think we will see Africa grow in importance as a target region for many of our clients with more and more markets rolling out 3G, and early adopters taking up 4G. In India the focus will be on LTE rollout, with widespread scepticism on whether operators will make any money from it.” – Anu

Mobile devices

“Samsung legs it from Google – although not entirely. Samsung has been seriously losing some of its brand value – especially with its flagship products – as it relies heavily on Google’s Android operating system. However the time has come for the brand to bring back its own OS. This could be through an acquisition later this year. Samsung will bring out its own OS to differentiate its products in the market and give its premium handsets a new look and feel. However, it will still use the Android OS for its cheaper models.” – Ash

“I think we’ll see an influx of partnerships between developers of new mobile operating systems (think Firefox OS, Sailfish and Tizen). Without supporting one another, these smaller entrants will struggle to gain a foothold in a market that’s already well served through Android and iOS. After all, consumers can be quick to dismiss a mobile OS if it falls short of their expectations, often with disastrous consequences – just look at what’s happened to BlackBerry.” – Andy

“With Microsoft buying Nokia this year I expect the relationship with HTC will become increasingly strained, resulting in the end of that agreement. HTC gambled on Windows Phone in 2012/13, which didn’t pay off. Combined with HTC’s financial difficulties, 2014 may see the company focusing on affordable Android devices, or even exiting the handset market completely.” – Ian

“Samsung will buy (or attempt to buy) Blackberry in 2014 and also end its brief dalliance with Windows Phone. With such success in the consumer market the only real room for growth for Samsung in the business sector. Android here is perhaps considered vulnerable and unstable for business, so BlackBerry – along with its BB10 platform, patent portfolio and business pedigree will make an interesting acquisition. Any perceived distancing of Samsung from Google (especially in the business sector) could leave the gate open for Motorola to make a long overdue return to prominence, it owned by Google after all…” – Chris

“2014 will be the rise of Apple once again. Samsung’s S3 and S4 may have taken its crown in the last few years, but Apple will fight back!” – Clare

Consumer technology

“With self-service tills now commonplace in supermarkets, I expect self-service shopping to become equally as popular by the end of 2014. WH Smiths and Boots have already kicked off this trend, so it won’t be long before others fall into place.” – Narelle

“I personally think wearable watches will bomb, simply as this technology has been hyped so much. Fewer people are wearing watches nowadays, and I don’t think a tech watch (which it is, essentially) will make people any more likely to wear one.” – Clare“

Cars are going to get a lot smarter. We have already seen the self-driving car and smart chips installed along the A14. Now Google and Apple are fighting it out to get into the smart car, expect this area to boom! Smart cars will pave the way for other M2M communications and we will begin to see the connected city come into fruition at the tail end of 2014 – don’t expect it to happen in the UK though.” – Max


“In 2014 there’s going to be even less linear consumption of TV content. Today’s consumers don’t like having their viewing habits dictated to them. They’d rather play ‘catch up’, watching TV online through a smartphone or tablet at a time that suits them. This shift in consumer habits has also paved the way for OTT services to grow considerably in the next 12 months.” – Andy

“I think satellite, terrestrial and cable TV providers will be subject to increased competition – not only from OTT players, but also from mobile operators. In 2014, operators will look to bring their live and on-demand TV services inside the home while also leveraging their large, pre-existing footprint on mobile devices. In order to keep subscribers from switching services, traditional TV providers are likely to enhance their offerings to deliver IPTV, moving beyond a dumb pipe to upsell and engage customers with the next generation of digital entertainment.” – Paul


“The world of gadgets is going to become increasingly tied to connectivity in 2014. Cameras, TVs, watches, health and fitness tech will all require an internet connection so that consumers can share their favourite moments online at the click of a button. For instance, at CES this year there has already been talk of connected wearables like “smart” bras, socks and other clothing. Even toys are being controlled by smartphones, and headphones can now keep track of your heartbeat! So, if your gadget doesn’t have some sort of wireless connectivity in 2014, don’t expect consumers to rush for it.” – Ash

“The connected home is still a way off from being the norm, but a washing machine that sends alerts to your smartphone telling you it’s finished a load may not be beyond the reach of the average family looking to replace existing household appliances for much longer.” – Max


“Businesses are starting to feel more upbeat about their futures and are looking for new technologies to help enable growth. In 2014, we’ll see greater adoption of established technologies, such as cloud and analytics software, to provide employees with the tools they need to work more efficiently. We’ll also start to see new emerging technologies make their way into the workplace, whether that’s in the form of new business apps or more widely connected devices and the Internet of Things. We’ll have to wait and see.” – Kathryn

“The Big Data bandwagon will continue to roll. However, people are now questioning the hype and want to see real world implementations. In 2014, I expect to see some interesting case studies come out about how people are using big data as the first adopters begin to see value in implementing data crunching solutions.” – Ash

Closing thoughts…

“Business executives will suffer from ‘social media overload’.” – Narelle


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