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article imageHoliday Tech List: The big trends for this holiday season

By Daniel Edwards     Dec 19, 2013 in Technology
With several major releases of new products from Smartphones to gaming consoles in the months leading up to the holiday season, the consumer tech market is saturated with new products and potentially great gifts.
2013 has been an extremely busy and productive year in the consumer technology industry. Smartphone sales have hit record highs and have become the standard in the mobile industry, tablets have matured beyond the niche market and appear to be here to stay, while Microsoft and Sony have finally come out of its long hiatus and released the much awaited gaming console successors sparking a much hyped new console war. For those who have the daunting task of shopping for a tech lover this holiday season I give you my sincere apologies on behalf of the consumer tech industry as they purposefully made it really hard to choose the perfect gift. Although there are numerous tech toys available from laptops and televisions to portable speakers and noise cancelling headphones, the vast majority of purchases will probably fall into the categories of Smartphones, tablets, and the much awaited Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles.
The growth in Smartphone usage was not an over night conversion, but after many years on the market Smartphone’s have become the standard in the mobile phone industry. The rapid growth in the market has contributed to numerous devices being available, offering an ever growing selection. There are many great devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, but very few devices have effectively combined great user experience with exceptional build quality. Two phones that have achieved this pinnacle are the iPhone 5S and HTC’s One and One mini variation. These brands have managed to delivery devices which have veered from the industry standard plastic design with solid aluminum frames while offering exceptional features and updated operating systems. Although these are not the newest devices on the market, they are both all around performers, especially the HTC One which has won Smartphone of the year.
The tablet market is heating up primarily because people love tablets, and by tablets I really mean iPads. Tablet’s give you the portability of a cell phone with the experience of a laptop making it really hard to dislike it. All the major corporations have released its own tablet variation, but even though there are models out there with better features than the iPad, for the time being Apple’s effective marketing secured the iPad as the go to tablet. With the recent release of the slimmer and faster iPad Air as well as the smaller and less pricey iPad mini with retina display, the choice comes down to which features are worth paying extra for. For the non Apple fan, the Google Nexus 7 tablet is the way to go.
After eight years of anticipation Microsoft and Sony have released the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 within days of each other inciting what many are calling a console war. To say the Xbox One and PS4 are just gaming systems would be an understatement. These devices are the embodiment of innovation and proof that the gaming consoles are not only for the gamers but are now an all round home entertainment system. The Xbox One offers the integration of gaming and live television, as well as music, Netflix, Skype and more. The PS4 design and features, such as being able to play games while downloading and a 3D blu-ray player, seems to have the upper hand on the Xbox One, but at this point, with the lack of big title game releases and similar gaming graphics, the choice between these two devices has less to do with the $100 price difference but with brand loyalty.
When it comes to consumer technology there are a plethora of options to choose from which can fit the needs of everyone on your list. And if all else fails there is always the beloved $110 billion gift card industry to give you a helping hand.
More about Apple iPhone, xbox one, Ps4, Android
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