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Smaller tablets, bigger phones among mobile trends for 2013
[December 27, 2012]

Smaller tablets, bigger phones among mobile trends for 2013

Dec 27, 2012 (Tulsa World - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Mobile trends in 2013 will revolve around the fact that more and more people are using their phones as computing devices, Noah Kravitz said.

Kravitz, a national mobile expert, has been covering the mobile industry for seven years and recently founded the new consumer buyer's guide He's also partnered with U.S. Cellular to provide his mobile predictions for the year.

Phones are now like walking computers in your pocket, Kravitz told the Tulsa World last week.

But Kravitz said he sees many more technological advances in the future.

"We're like maybe at the top of the second inning of a baseball game," he said. There's still a long way to go.

Below are some of his predictions for the mobile trends of 2013.

4G LTE The expansion of 4G LTE will continue next year, with more parts of the country, and the world, getting access to the super-fast wireless network.

"4G LTE is a pretty big leap from 3G," Kravitz said. The network's fast speed will put "productivity in your pocket." Streaming music and movies, uploading photos, and browsing websites and social networks will become much faster for smartphone and tablet users who have access to 4G LTE.

Bigger phones Kravitz said he's also seeing a trend toward bigger phone screens and a shift in people's attitude toward them.

"When the first giant-sized phones came out, the 4-inch-plus screens, people -- myself included -- were a little skeptical, and now it feels like people are really embracing them," he said.

The shift in attitude reinforces the idea that people "use the phone as a computer more than anything else," Kravitz said.

People want to be able to check their email and watch videos on their phones, and they want to do so on bigger screens.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II, which has a 5.5-inch screen, has already sold 3 million units in three months.

Kravitz, who has been testing the Note II and other phones with bigger screens, said people eventually stop noticing that what they are carrying is so big.

Smaller tablets Tablets are also gaining traction, and Kravitz expects this to continue in 2013.

"As phones get bigger, we're actually starting to see tablet sizes get smaller," he said.

The Google Nexus 7, with a 7-inch display, was released this year. And Kravitz said there is a rumor that the next Samsung Galaxy Note phone will have a 6.3-inch screen.

"There is kind of this convergence going on, so it'll be interesting to see where it all lines up," he said.

Feature phones For those queasy about the seemingly smaller selection of regular, feature phones available through carriers, Kravitz offers his assurance that 2013 will not be the year the feature phone dies.

"I think talking to one another is still one of the most vital forms of communication," he said.

Although smartphones are becoming more dominant, feature phones will not disappear yet.

Nour Habib 918-581-8369 ___ (c)2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) Visit Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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