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Crystal balling 2019 in tech

As 2018 draws to a close, the team at What The Tech Australia would like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. 2018 has been an exciting year chock full of new products, great games and a lot of breakthroughs in science and technology. Of course, the year is drawing to a (very quick!) close and in this post we’ll be looking ahead to 2019 in tech. What cool stuff will we see coming soon?

2019 in tech – Personal computing

In the grand scheme of things, we don’t expect much change in the software environment. Windows 10 will continue to receive half-yearly updates to bring new features to users. Indeed the next update scheduled for April 2019 should be bringing Windows Sets (groupings of apps) and more changes to the overall look and feel of the operating system.

Windows 10 S

Apple users will of course expect to receive a similar free annual update for iOS, macOS and watchOS. More details of what these new updates will include will be made clear during the annual Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). This event is usually held around June.

Of course the software is totally useless without the hardware to run it on. 2019 should be a cracker of a year for hardware.

With Intel’s continuing struggles to get its next CPU manufacturing node up to scratch – new products are slated for late 2019 – it continues to release mild updates to its CPUs. It’s also experiencing a massive shortfall in manufacturing such that there is a worldwide shortage of parts for new computers. Prices have increased as a result.

AMD Next Horizon

Meanwhile, AMD will try to take market share from Intel in its own right by launching the Ryzen 3000 series. These will be the first desktop components built on a 7 nanometre manufacturing process. We already have some idea of the performance uplift, both from an efficiency perspective, and a clockspeed perspective. Could AMD usurp the performance crown once again?

Nvidia will undoubtedly try to continue asserting its dominant market share in the video card market and a lack of real competition in the high end. Whether it will release any RTX components below the 2070 to fill out the product stack and replace the GTX 1060 is unknown at this stage. But AMD – Nvidia’s only real rival – is set to release its Navi GPUs this year. Depending on the accuracy of some leaks, this could be AMD’s come back in a big way, or a massive disappointment. Either way, wait for independent benchmarks.

2019 in tech – Mobile devices

We also look forward to starting off the year with a slew of big Android phone announcements. We know Samsung will be refreshing its Galaxy line in March. Most likely, the device will be a further iteration on the S9 with upgraded internals, including the Snapdragon 855 and Samsung’s own Exynos equivalent.

We’d also expect an improvement in the mid-range as well. With the huge competition in that space for market share, companies like Nokia, ZTE, Huawei, Oppo and Oneplus would all love to get more of each other’s slices of the pie. Most will take advantage of the increasingly diverse feature set of Qualcomm’s midrange 6 and 7 series offerings.

What will also be interesting is how laptops will be powered in the short and near term future. With Intel’s manufacturing woes, AMD should be picking up the slack with its APU solutions, which integrate Ryzen and Vega GPU cores into one neat package. However such products are few and far between in the market. With the upcoming Ryzen 3000 series and their increased performance and power efficiency, OEMs must be tempted to switch sides or at least offer more than the odd token product.

Of course one of the biggest things that is being promised is 5G telecommunications. It is promised to be the greatest thing ever, allowing the world to become ever smaller. We know that Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are building their networks with operations to begin in 2019 for Telstra and Optus. Vodafone says it will follow in 2020 once its network is completed.

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