Tech trends set stage for mobile, playful 201414 december 2013, 13:03
Twitter's triumphant market debut, the rise of smart fashion and a new generation of game consoles highlighted the tech world this year, portending more mobile and social trends in 2014.
Meanwhile Apple regained some lost momentum and Microsoft sought to reboot by announcing it was seeking a new chief executive.
The one-to-many messaging service made the most hotly-anticipated stock market debut of the year in early November. The San Francisco company, which has yet to make a profit, saw its shares leap out of the gate and is credited with helping to fuel a stock market rally along with fears of a new Internet bubble.
The Twitter logo is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 8, 2013. Twitter Inc shares jumped 73 percent in a frenzied trading debut that drove the seven-year-old company's market value to around $25 billion and evoked the heady days of the dot-com bubble. ©REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Faith that the online streaming television and film service showed in digital content is paying off, along with its investment in original shows such as hit "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey. "House of Cards" became the first exclusive online production to win an Emmy Award, the highest prize given to US television. Netflix competes with HBO and its share price more than tripled in 2013, but growing competition includes a streaming video service by Amazon.com.
Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the premiere of Netflix's television series "House of Cards" at Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center in New York City January 30, 2013. ©REUTERS/Stephen Chernin
"Grand Theft Auto V" set new records in production cost as well as speedy sales. The title published by Take Two Interactive cost as much to make as a Hollywood blockbuster, but racked up more than $1 billion in sales in the three days after its release. In November, Microsoft and Sony released new-generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 video game consoles, respectively, each selling more than a million units in the first 24 hours on the market and getting status on holiday gift wish lists.
Customers hold aloft their Xbox One consoles purchased during a midnight launch event in New York November 22, 2013. ©REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
This digital currency weathered a mini-crash and rebounded by year's end, at one point soaring above $1,000. Popular with geek treasure hunters who "mine" bitcoins online, the Internet version of cash is also tempting to criminals. It was used for payments at online drug black market Silk Road, which was shut down by US police in October.
Bitcoins created by enthusiast Mike Caldwell are seen in a photo illustration at his office in Sandy, Utah, September 17, 2013. Caldwell produces physical coins Bitcoins, which have been around since 2008, are a form of electronic money that can be exchanged without using traditional banking or money transfer systems. ©REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Google's Android software has come to dominate a smartphone and tablet market once ruled by Apple gadgets. But spins put on Android devices by ranks of device makers frustrate "app" developers, and titan Samsung has started to pull away from the California company by emphasizing its own platform. Google is also getting attention for innovations such as Internet-linked eye wear, robotics, and high-speed cable lines. Google shares broke the $1,000 mark.
Google founder Sergey Brin (L) and designer Diane von Furstenberg sit and watch the rehearsal for her Spring/Summer 2013 collection show during New York Fashion Week September 9, 2012. The show was used as a launching event for Google's new product "Glass by Google". ©REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Big screens on smartphones have become big hits with users, with handsets growing nearly as large as tablets.
People attend the launch ceremony of Nokia's first tablet and two large-screen smartphones in Abu Dhabi October 22, 2013. Nokia unveiled its first tablet and two large-screen smartphones, known as phablets, at the annual Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. ©REUTERS/Ben Job
Global PC sales continued to slump as smartphones and tablets became more central to accessing the Internet. Microsoft, which built its technology empire on packaged software for PCs, is under pressure from the trend and its Windows 8 operating system overhauled with mobile and cloud computing in mind received a mixed reception. Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer announced plans for an early departure to give the helm to someone better able to navigate the tides of change.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gestures during his keynote address at the Microsoft "Build" conference in San Francisco, California June 26, 2013. ©REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
The culture-changing California company rolled out slick new iPhones, iPads, and Macintosh computers while an arguably spoiled marketplace watched in vain for "the next big thing," such as an iWatch or revolutionary iTV box. If Apple sticks to its pattern, the time to wow the world will be in 2014. Meanwhile, iPhone remains a bestseller and appeared poised to debut on the colossal China Mobile network.
A man works on an Apple PowerBook 540c laptop during the "History of Computers" exhibition in Sarajevo November 30, 2013. 110 computers from the 1970s to 2008 are displayed during the exhibition, ahead of the opening of the Sarajevo museum of old computers. ©REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
The smartphone that pioneered the market, and once ruled workplaces, missed with a new BB10 platform seen as crucial to its revival, if not its survival. Between job losses, an aborted sale of the company and departure of the boss and other leaders, the group is at the brink.
A Blackberry Z10 device is displayed at a Rogers store in Toronto February 5, 2013. Tuesday marks the first day the Blackberry Z10 with the BB10 operating system goes on sale to the public in North America. ©REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Bracelets, pendants, eyeglass frames and other accessories infused with sensors, computing power, and connections to the Internet through smartphones or other means kicked off a "quantified self" movement. The merging of fashion, wardrobe and computing is likely to accelerate in 2014, with devices promising to help people stay fit, informed, comfortable, and more.
Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, talks about the new "Toq" smartwatch at the Uplinq 2013 conference in San Diego, California, September 4, 2013. Qualcomm Inc will begin selling its "Toq" smartwatch, a wrist-worn device that can play music and handle phone calls and messages, in the fourth quarter, marking the chipmaker's entry into the consumer electronics and wearable computing arenas. ©REUTERS/Fred Greaves
Tumblr was bought for more than $1 billion by aging Internet pioneer Yahoo and Snapchat reportedly turned down a multi-billion-dollar offer from Facebook as established Internet giants seek to stay young and hip by snapping up promising new technology enterprises.
A photo illustration shows the applications of Yahoo and Tumblr on the screen of an iPhone in Zagreb May 20, 2013. Yahoo Inc said it is buying blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion cash, giving the struggling Internet pioneer a much-needed platform in social media to reach a younger generation of users. ©REUTERS/Antonio Bronic