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January 3, 2013

Roller’s top trends to watch in 2013

Written By Martin Sandhu
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We’re sure you’ve already read a number of these types of posts, despite the fact it’s still the first week of January! But, we thought we’d put our two pennies worth into the debate and predict how we think 2013 might shape up…

Tablet domination
There’s no doubt that 2012 was the year of the smartphone – the latest figures show half of the UK population owns one! And 2013 is set to be the year of the tablet.

As people realise the potential of apps and get over the initial ‘Why on earth do I need another device that’s somewhere between my phone and my laptop?’ conundrum, the tablet market has grown rapidly. Apple have no doubt laid the foundations, but last year saw an influx of new competitors such as the Nexus, Kindle Fire HD and Microsoft’s Surface. As the price of tablets falls – many are predicting below £100 – and the screen quality, overall capabilities and range of apps improve tablets will likely outsell laptops and netbooks in 2013.

Ecommerce
As the use of tablets and mobile devices increases still, ecommerce will see a huge benefit. Already figures from 2012 are showing a massive increase in people shopping online via desktops and mobile devices. And digital sales of music, games and films hit an all time high, with over £1bn spent on downloads last year alone.

Sale shopping online is set to get even more popular too. Without the need to route through rails and rails of clothes only to find the item isn’t in your size, shopping the sales online is hassle-free and can be done at any time of day. Stats from Experian Hitwise show that Christmas 2012 was the busiest ever for online retailers in the UK, with consumers making 84m visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve and 107m visits on Christmas Day – an increase of 86% and 71% respectively compared to 2011.

However Boxing Day eclipsed the hem both to become the busiest day ever for online retailers. UK consumers spent 14m hours online and made 113m visits to retail websites.

4G

One of the most significant technological changes for 2013 will be 4G, as we should see all the major networks offering 4G mobile broadband at some point during the year. Once again this goes hand in hand with the use of tablets and online shopping…we don’t just throw these ideas together you know!

By the end of the year most large urban areas should have exceptionally fast mobile coverage. 4G promises faster data transfer – four times the speed of 3G – and it’s more robust, promising more reliable mobile connections, meaning the internet can be surfed quickly and easily, regardless of where you are.

HTML5
HTML5 has been rattling around for a while now, but we’re yet to see the full impact. HTML5 is a web standard that allows apps to run on any mobile operating system (iOS, Android, etc.) through a web browser. The benefits of this are huge and could see the price of smartphones fall significantly.

Whilst the infrastructure has been in its infancy for some time, the launch of open source mobile operating systems Firefox and Tizen (Mozilla and Samsung, respectively), which are expected at some point this year, will lead to an explosion of HTML5-capable phones. Some analysts are already predicting the market to be in its billions by the end of the year.