Each year, we see hundreds of phones being launched across all categories and across all brands. Each one of them brings something to the table in the form of either features or improved performance. Events such as CES are the best time to see what the future of mobile might be. It gives us a glimpse into the future.Mobile World Congress 2011 is just around the corner and we’re looking at what we can expect to see in the year to come. Last year, we saw a number of things happen. Android was probably the biggest success story and 3G finally took off in India. 

Dual core processors
Processing power on desktops followed a similar pattern that we’re seeing with mobile processors these days. Core speeds went up at a ridiculous pace and then multiple core processors were announced and they’ve been a success story on desktops. The phones and tablets coming out this year will see many processors running at 1 GHz and higher. Dual core processors have already been announced and products with multiple cores are expected soon.

Android’s next big update – 2.4 include support for multi core applications. Everyone seems to be catching the dual core processor fever. Broadcom too announced that were going to start building dual core mobile processors. The BCM28150 is a 1.1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 complaint dual core processor and will head on against NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. The added core should be able to take advantage of multithread applications. This increase in performance might see competition between mobile PC processors and those designed for the smart phones.

Windows Phone 7
The few Windows Phone 7 devices in the market run the early versions of the platform. When we reviewed the WP7 powered HTC Mozart, we noticed that the platform was refined as yet so we felt that there was still some work left. Windows Phone 7 will receive updates this year which should make it a more formidable competitor to the Apple iOS and Google Android. 

Windows Phone 7 updates should make it a more refined product

Just yesterday, Nokia and Microsoft announced a partnership where they would work together on the software front.  Expect a few from Nokia running Windows Phone 7 really soon. Nokia has seen a slump over the last year with strong competition coming from Google Android handsets and well, the Apple iOS devices. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 hasn’t taken off with the intensity as initially expected.

3G might have just made an entry on the Indian stage but the rest of the world is steaming ahead with 4G. 4G LTE networks are expected to crop up all over the world starting with the USA. Handsets from Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Motorola are expected to be showcased during MWC 2011. Those of us in India will have to wait a while to see the day of light.

Localised services
As GPS functionality become more and more standardised, applications that give localised information will start appearing. We’ve already seen this happen on the Android and the iOS platform over 2010. A week back, Zomato, an online restaurant directory site launched an Android app which is the perfect example of localised content made available in India. These services and apps are only going to get larger in the year to come in India. The flipside to this news is that localised and customised ads are bound to make their way into free apps across many of the platforms.

Applications and Mobile Gaming
Many more applications will be developed for the various platforms that have appeared through the years. The most popular ones as of now will be iOS, Android and of late Windows Phone 7. Gaming was limited to handheld gaming consoles such as the Nintendo DS and the Sony Playstation Portable. With the introduction of large touchscreen phones and versatile platforms such as Android and iOS, game development focus has shifted in their directions. The success is obvious from games such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Plants Vs. Zombies and many others. Flash support on the Android platform and also better hardware geared towards graphics and multimedia processing will only improve the quality of games and boost sales even further.

3D has been a phase in the past and its back again across all devices – PCs, TVs and games. At CES this year, we saw many more 3D players and TVs launched.

3D will transition to mobile phones in some format or the other

Even gaming consoles such as Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS will have 3D support. Mobile phones will see some major developments in that field too. Faster processors will ensure that the hardware as enough muscle power to deliver 3D experiences to users on the go.

Cloud computing
As internet penetration increases, dependence on cloud computing will become widespread. A lot of your data will remain on the cloud and apps will seamlessly be able to access the data and it will be synced across all your other devices and PC. As native applications and cloud base applications merge into one, we’ll better convergence with the cloud.

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