With 2011 now in the rearview mirror, let’s take a quick look at the bevy of goodness heading our way this year. There are many devices on the menu for 2012, but it is the prospect of seeing these six hit the market that really has us chomping at the bit. So join us in rubbing our hands together as we take a quick look at some of the choice items coming up.
Nokia Lumia 800
Some might say that until Mango, there really wasn’t a Windows Phone contender. But this OS update kicked things up a notch, and now we get to look forward to one of the most interesting entries in the WinPho playing field. If you’re not familiar with the Nokia Lumia 800, I urge you to take a look — it’s not just stunning hardware, but it’s also perfectly suited for that attractive and now functional platform. It made a splash when it debuted last year in Europe, and we’re anxious to see what kind of in-roads this can make in the U.S.
Granted, there was no real market for tablets before the Apple device arrived in 2010. Since then, with each new tablet entering the fray, there’s always talk of whether it’s an iPad killer. As of now, however, one still has yet to emerge. While some pundits say that the long wait for a Windows 8 tablet is killing off its chances of success, earlier reports had cited tremendous interest in this device. (Some consumers even said it looked more compelling than the iPad.) Personally, I know more than a few people who are holding off on any tablet purchases until they get a gander at a Windows 8 version, and to be honest, we’re itching to put it through its paces too. But could it actually be some real competition in this space? Well, if it offers Office support and Xbox features, and that sexy Metro UI pairs tablet functionality to its sexy looks, then it might have a decent chance. We can’t wait to find out.
At one time, hardly anyone paid much attention to the Apple TV product line. It was too expensive at first. (Now they cut the price.) It was half-baked. (Then it got some juice from iOS‘ Airplay.) It was Steve Jobs‘ hobby, nothing more. But my, how times have changed. Since his death, every comment Jobs ever made took on legendary status — not least of which was his utterance to biographer Walter Isaacson that he “cracked” the TV. Now the blogosphere is holding its breath, waiting to exhale next year when the reimagined device is expected to emerge (that is, if it indeed exists). Given all the focus on streaming entertainment lately, not to mention app-driven television experiences, the time couldn’t be more ripe.
We didn’t get it in June, which used to be the typical timeframe for iPhone announcements. We didn’t get it last fall, when hopefuls around the world crossed their fingers, wishing for practically any modern upgrades — be it LTE, a 4-inch screen or even just a different form factor or UI. Instead, we got an iPhone 4S, which some argue is only an incremental upgrade. But disappointment turns to hope yet again, as users turn their attention to 2012, figuring the company must surely include at least one of these advancements in the bona fide iPhone 5 next year. The latest rumors are pegging a larger screen, even rubber bumpers, and a very different form factor backed by aluminum. Whether it will have all or any of these things remain to be seen, but certainly the first iPhone to debut following Steve Jobs’ passing will be hotly anticipated.
The first Wii was a revelation for many mainstream consumers, as gaming made the leap from hobby kit/niche to mass consumer–level gaming/streaming/fitness all-in-one unit. Not to take anything away from the other console units, but the Wii’s innovative motion-based interactivity converted legions of unassuming people into living room gamers. Now, as we look to the Wii U, we’ll find out if the next generation of this now-iconic device can bring back the glory days. This iteration grabbed our attention from the moment we first peeped the touchscreen goodness at E3, and although it’s not slated until the second half of 2012, we’ll be looking for signs of this new version throughout 2012, from this month’s CES to E3 and beyond.
Galaxy S III
The Samsung Galaxy S line of phones rocked the smartphone world, so much so that its maker nabbed the coveted Android flagship this year. And now, with the launch of the Galaxy Nexus behind us, what can we look forward to? The follow-up to the wildly successful Galaxy S II, of course. According to the latest buzz, the S III might bring us more everything — with features like quad-core 2 GHz processor, glasses-free 3D, more RAM (1.5GB), 10 MP camera (with 1080p vid capture at 60 fps) and, of course, the stunning display that has become a hallmark of this line of smartphones, but beefed up as a Super Amoled HD III/Plus display (at 4.65 inches). And unlike certain previous Samsung devices, you can bet this baby won’t have any problem with ICS. Truth is, if even one or two of these specs come true, then it looks like 2012 could be a great year to be an Android fanatic.
So there you have it — six incredible items that we can’t wait to see hit the market. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. No doubt, there will be tons of new devices that haven’t even been hinted at yet.
What are you dying to get your hands on? Anything from this list? Another hot device? Weigh in on what has you excited for the new year.