CES overview: Five big trends for 2012

CES overview: Five big trends for 2012
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You've seen our hot tech predictions for 2012. Now read the tech trends that we think may be moving in the wrong direction...

3D displays


Critics have been predicting the 'death' of 3D displays pretty much from the moment they launched. However, we think 2012 could see the technology begin to teeter on the outer edges of the consumer market -- if it doesn't plummet off for good. 

While 3D still had a presence at CES 2012, it did not enjoy the same level of prominence or fanfare as previous years. Tellingly, some of the flagship models announced at the show didn't even come with 3D functionality. Last year, it was almost impossible to buy a high-end TV without it being a 3D model; whether you wanted it or not

Windows Phone

Despite Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's 'upbeat' overview during the company's CES 2012 keynote, it can't be denied that Windows Phone is currently in a tough spot. Despite wowing most critics, flagship offerings like the Nokia Lumia 800 have failed to sell like hot cakes and developer support remains limited.

With Intel throwing its chips in (literally) with Android, 2012 could be the make-or-break year for metro-based blowers. Personally, we're really rooting for the platform to succeed: the Nokia Lumia 900 in particular looks lovely.


Ironically, while video creation is more popular than ever (just look at YouTube for proof), dedicated camcorders are slowly fading out of existence. Most of the big 'video camera' announcements at CES came from the smartphone market, where 1080p video recording is becoming the norm.

According to Consumer Electronics Association analysts speaking at CES’s State of the Global Economy, camcorder sales went down 5 per cent in 2011. Expect this trend to continue over the coming year. (Read also: When was the last time you used your compact camera?)

Video game consoles

As we mentioned earlier, gaming enjoyed a big presence at many of the keynotes and press events at this year's CES. Interestingly, one of the few exceptions to this rule was Microsoft. During the company's final keynote, the Xbox 360 was described variously as a "family entertainment hub” and “all in one entertainent device for the living room”. No games or Xbox 360 hardware accessories were announced at any point during the keynote. 

Granted, CES isn't traditionally a gaming show, but if Intel, Nvidia and Lenovo can get in on the act, surely the Xbox brand can to? The lack of gaming news suggests to us that Microsoft didn't have anything worth announcing. While gaming will continue to boom in 2012, we think it's going to be a quiet year for the dedicated console market. Until the next-gen consoles make their appearance, sales are likely to keep declining. 

Apple to take a stumble in 2012?

Apple might be a no-show at CES, but you can bet the Cupertino juggernaut is keeping a close eye on the various innovations coming out of the showroom floor. At the risk of enraging Apple loyalists, we humbly submit that 2012 may be a trying year for the company.

The endless onslaught of Android devices will continue to beleaguer the iPhone, while Ultrabooks will present a viable alternative to the MacBook Air for style-conscious consumers. If a new iPad is released this year, we suspect it will be a minor upgrade in the style of the iPhone 4s. With its visionary ringmaster no longer in control, it will be interesting to see what direction the company heads in throughout 2012. (Then again, they might just sue everyone else into oblivion.)

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