2011 was a roller-coaster of a year in the tech world. New products such as the iPad 2 and the Kindle Fire created fresh excitement among consumers, while economic uncertainty and the death of Steve Jobs brought a despondent tone to the technology industry. Innovation was not lacking in 2011, but it seemed to be a year of shifting trends more than a year of new products. I think 2012 will be similar to 2011, but we may see even greater shifts in technology trends. Of course, this means there will be several new products announcements as well. Below are a few of my predictions.
iPhone 5 - Apple disappointed many people by only releasing a modified version of the iPhone 4 this year, rather than a completely redesigned phone. Clearly, it wasn't too disappointing, since the iPhone 4S has been the fastest selling iPhone yet. I think the iPhone 5 will be released this summer and will be the first iPhone to have a larger display, but with the same resolution as the iPhone 4S. I think it will also be Apple's first true 4G phone.
iPad 3 - It is hardly a prediction to say the iPad 3 is on its way. However, I believe this will be the first iPad with a high-resolution "retina display" and will have a much improved camera that can actually take decent still photos. There have been rumors that the new iPad will come in multiple sizes, but if Apple increases the resolution, I expect the iPad 3 will only come in one size.
Windows 8 - I am excited about Microsoft's next operating system, but based on my experience with the developer version, I don't expect it to be released by the end of 2012. Instead, I expect some official announcements from Microsoft about Windows 8 in the middle of the year, with the actual release slated for early 2013.
Android - Google's mobile operating system has already made huge inroads the mobile market, and I expect that trend to continue in 2012. While Apple's iOS will still be successful, I think Android will take over 50% of the mobile OS marketshare in 2012.
HiDPI Monitors - My boldest prediction of 2010 came partially true this year as Apple and Microsoft added support for high-resolution displays to their operating systems. While we didn't see any "HiDPI" monitors released this year, I believe we'll see the first models become available in 2012.