After a 2022 full of novelties but without major upheavals, 2023 could be more refreshing for the new technology industry. In this article, Numerama summarizes the rumors about the most important big brands.
What will we remember from 2022? If the year has been rich in technological innovations, it’s clear that none are likely to mark its time. Rather, the most striking events of the last few months are the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk and the emergence of new forms of artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT. For once, new products take a back seat.
Will 2023 get better? While the threat of an economic downturn might suggest brands stay smart, many of them should nonetheless move into new categories. Enough to predict a significantly better balance sheet at the end of the year.
Apple, finally the year of the mixed reality headset?
As every year, Apple is the most anticipated brand. It’s normal, Apple has incredible power to tell the industry what to do. Whether you like Apple or not, it’s impossible to overlook this phenomenon. When the California company does something, its competitors try to do the same. It’s systematic.
What to expect with Apple in 2023? According to rumors, here is the list of products that the brand should announce in the coming months. We’ll start with the classics that everyone could have predicted:
- That iPhone 15presumably with a USB-C connector and a new Ultra model with a periscopic zoom.
- L’AppleWatch series 9 and theApple Watch Ultra Series 2.
- New, more powerful revisions of the iPad.
- updates for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.
- New Macs with more powerful chips (M2 Pro, M2 Ultra, M3, etc.), starting with the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 inches, then the first Mac Pro without Intel.
If that’s all classic, we expect Apple to enter new verticals in 2023 as well. Apple’s year could be interesting here:
- After years of rumours, Apple was able to reveal this his reality helmet dedicated to mixed reality. This could be a major announcement that would usher the industry into a new era.
- The connected home could be in the spotlight with new versions of HomePod including a model with a screen and webcam for telephoning.
- For the first time, Apple could launch a big one MacBook Air with 15 inch screen.
Apple’s headset is highly anticipated as it would propel the brand to launch a new operating system and pave the way for augmented reality, which Apple has firmly believed in for several years. If this announcement comes in 2023, it could be the most important of the year.
Samsung, renewals or innovations?
Samsung is a brand that does many, many things. Smartphones, tablets, computers, refrigerators, stoves, TVs, sound bars… Koreans are everywhere. Predicting the year 2023 is extremely complicated as Samsung has a habit of launching hundreds of products every year. It is therefore better to be interested in the big trends.
Samsung has been criticized for being less innovative for some time. Will the Korean surprise again in 2023? While there are areas where innovation may be limited in 2023 (QD-OLED TVs are already here, and we doubt microLED will suddenly become affordable), Samsung could surprise us in a few categories by the end of the year:
- At CES in early January, Samsung is likely to talk a lot about home. In addition to new household appliances, the focus should be on the Matter Standard, which unifies the networked home. Will there be new products compatible with all ecosystems?
- Samsung is expected to start the new smartphone season at the beginning of February. That Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra should be slight revisions of their predecessors. One of the notable changes would be the abandonment of the Samsung Exynos chips in favor of the more reliable Qualcomm Snapdragon. You could also innovate in the photo with a 200 MPix sensor.
- As the year progresses, Samsung is expected to release increasingly affordable products. As he usually does.
- Logically, we expect this summer new folding smartphones. After a very successful Galaxy Z Fold 4, but very close to the previous models, Samsung has to react. The arrival of Chinese players like Oppo and Vivo could push the Korean to release new, more sophisticated models. We also expect Samsung on other products, such as Tablets or folding computers.
- Finally, what about virtual and mixed reality? A pioneering time, Samsung has left this market. Rumor has it that the Korean brand would hit the market a mixed reality headset in 2023, just to keep Meta and Apple from being too quiet.
Meta, a Quest 3 to make mixed reality affordable?
Meta isn’t faring very well, as evidenced by the layoff of 11,000 employees. Facebook’s parent company has also closed most of its hardware divisions, such as portal screens/speakers. Social networks and the metaverse are the focus of his interest.
In 2023, however, there should be a material announcement from Mark Zuckerberg and his teams. After the virtual reality headset Quest 2 (449 euros), which is extremely popular in the USA, and the extremely promising but ultra-expensive mixed reality headset Quest Pro (1799 euros), Meta is to offer a hybrid product between these two objects.
The only product really expected at Meta in 2023 is this search 3, the successor to the Quest 2 with color cameras so you can see the real world without removing it (the Quest 2 is content with black and white). In order to lower the mixed reality prices, Meta will certainly make material concessions. It’s hard to imagine the Quest Pro controllers and eye tracking surviving this consumer product.
Oppo is no longer afraid of the high-end
Gradually, Oppo rises. The Chinese brand, well-known to the public for partnerships with world-renowned events (Roland Garros, Champions League, etc.), has repeatedly proved that it can compete with Samsung and Apple. The Find X5 Pro, its smartphone released in early 2022, is undoubtedly the most compelling of the year.
In 2023, Oppo is expected to embrace even more of its status as a high-end Chinese brand (it somehow adopts Huawei’s positioning held back by the United States). While it knows it won’t sell as many as its $200-300 products, Oppo has already announced that it will launch a competitor to Samsung’s foldable Galaxy Z Flip earlier this year. The Chinese brand that offers augmented reality glasses in China also stood out with its drop-screen smartphone. Will it be marketed this year?
Google, finally a foldable smartphone?
What about Google, whose material ambitions we don’t fully understand yet? The Pixel 7s are excellent, but the company still seems a long way from competing with the top 5 bestsellers. Also very surprising is his way of announcing products several months before their announcement.
In 2023, these are the products expected at Google:
- News on the site smart home : The emergence of Matter could prompt Google to refresh its Nest speakers and launch new generations of its accessories with the Thread standard.
- Some new ones smart phone : Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 7a are logically expected by autumn 2023.
- A piece of news shows : After a very disappointing Pixel Watch, can Google release a more powerful and durable product?
- The tablet Pixel tablet : Announced in mid-2022, to be launched in 2023. Until then, we can only hope that Google improves its design to make it truly competitive.
- Finally, after two years of rumours, Google is set to launch one pixel wrinkle foldable screen. Its design should inherit that of the Galaxy Z Fold, namely a tablet that can be folded in half.
Xiaomi, the return of low prices?
Wang Xiang, the president of Xiaomi, resigned in late 2022. After a complicated period (the Covid has played nasty tricks on Xiaomi), the Chinese brand wants to reinvent itself to gain market share and get back on track to conquer the world. Extremely popular in France, Xiaomi is counting on William Lu, its vice president in charge of the low-cost Redmi division, to take over. Considering the designated personality, logic would dictate that Xiaomi refocus on the entry level by further lowering the prices.