Quartz: 2013 a “Losing” Year for Technology Industry

27 Dec
Brian Ho

While 2013 saw the introduction of record-breaking smartphone devices such as the iPhone 5s and Galaxy Note 3, not all market watchers appear to be impressed with where the industry is headed. Quartz’s contributing writer, Christopher Mims, has recently written an interesting article expressing the overall disappointments and problems that he sees in existing tech companies.

“All in, 2013 was an embarrassment for the entire tech industry,” Mims wrote. “Innovation was replaced by financial engineering, mergers and acquisitions, and evasion of regulations.”

According to Mims, neither the iPhone 5s nor Samsung’s new Galaxy phones could be counted as big leaps from their previous generations, as they showed mostly incremental, rather than radical, changes. The wearable computing trend, Mims adds, also isn’t impressive due to the technology’s general lack of maturity, absence of truly useful features, and obtrusive nature.

“The tone-deaf design of Google’s Glass headset—which to anyone but its user is a head-mounted video camera without the tiny light that all other video cameras have to tell you you’re being filmed—made the device such anathema that one pundit wondered whether he should be ashamed to wear it in public,” Mims noted.

Looking at the statuses of wrist wearable computers and major flops like the Galaxy Gear, Mims appeared to be equally disappointed.

“Smart watches were easily the biggest letdown of the year. Despite the fact that nearly every big electronics manufacturer is working on one, the battery and display constraints have stumped designers. Again and again, reviewers have declared existing models unfit for widespread adoption, with both Sony and Samsung unveiling devices that failed to make a compelling case for themselves.”