Published by Designzillas on December 31, 2013
Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. The time where we say goodbye to all of the mistakes we made and all of the trials we faced and trudge into the new year with our heads held high, ready to take on anything that comes our way. That’s right — it’s the end of 2013. We’re ready for some great new beginnings in 2014, but before we start all over again, we wanted to take a second to commemorate all of the awesome things that happened in the tech industry in 2013. Some was weird (the internet’s undying love for cats), some was awesome (Google Glass), and some we still have to wait for (Amazon Prime Air), but either way, we can all look back and remember all of the cool toys we got to play with this year.
2013 was a great year for smartphones — particularly for Apple and Samsung who seemed to be duking it out all year long. Apple saw continued sales from its iPhone 5, and later from the release of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5c. Samsung’s Galaxy series, including the S4 and Note 3, also hit the top spot for smartphone of the year. But all in all, Apple still reigns supreme. At the end of Q3, they took 56% of industry profits, while Samsung came in a close second with 53%. Apple is not only in the lead fiscally, but on the customer loyalty side as well. 20% of Apple’s customers came from Android, while only 7% of Samsung’s customers made the switch from iOS.
These two companies are leading the industry — together they take 109% of profits, while everyone else is pretty much losing money. While Apple made a little bit more money in the end, the two companies both had a pretty successful 2013.
Interestingly enough, the most popular and highest grossing app for iOS devices this year was Candy Crush Saga. Hard to guess, right? You were probably playing it 15 minutes ago, weren’t you? Don’t lie, we caught you. But not only is it the most popular game for iPads and iPhones, it’s also the most popular Facebook game as well. It has been installed more than 500 million times across all kinds of devices and operating systems. Why is this so strange? Because Candy Crush Saga is a free game, yet it is the highest grossing app on the Apple App Store.
It seemed to be the year for free apps — they dominated Androids with Facebook, Pandora, and of course, Candy Crush. Behind Candy Crush for iOS were Clash of Clans and Pandora Radio, both free apps. This is great news for both the app developers, and us! It’s great to have such entertaining and innovative ways to distract ourselves while waiting in line, for free!
Laptop Magazine has named Apple as the number one best notebook brand of 2013. Particularly, their highest rated notebook was the MacBook Pro 13”. This title was based on a combined score of existing reviews, design, keyboard and touchpad, tech support, displays and audio, value and selection, innovation, and software — Apple came out with a score of 89.
In second place came Lenovo, with special attention given to their ThinkPad and Yoga lines. Laptop Magazine gave Lenovo the highest scores in value and selection, as these computers are a bit more affordable than Apple’s. Overall, Lenovo’s total score came out to an 81.
Third place went to Asus, who has turned heads with their computer’s keyboards and touchpads this year. In particular, the Zenbook Prime and Ultrabook were mentioned as having great high-resolution display and discrete graphics. They had an overall score of 72.
Apple has pretty much become the household name for great technology, but keep your eye open for these other brands in the coming year. Big things are expected!
Which brands did the best in 2013? Let’s check out the numbers:
- Overall Company: Walmart — $469.2 billion in revenue, $16,999 million in profits
- Computer Software: Microsoft — $73.7 billion in revenue, $16,978 million in profits, overall rank of 35
- Computer Company: Apple — $156.5 billion in revenue, $41,733 million in profits, overall rank of 6
- Internet Service: Amazon — $61.1 billion in revenue, -$39 million in profits, overall rank of 49
- Telecommunications Company: AT&T — $127.4 billion in revenue, $7,264 million in profits, overall rank of 11
Apple was 2013’s largest seller of tablets — their iPads bring in the second largest portion of their revenue ($70 million this year) behind the iPhone. Anywhere you search, including Laptop Magazine’s definitive ranking in every category, the year’s favorite seems to be the iPad Air, with the iPad Mini coming in a close second.
Not an iOS fan? It’s ok, there’s the Google Nexus 7. With a thin and light design, and a slightly smaller price tag, this tablet was a fan favorite this year and Laptop Magazine’s pick for the best Android tablet of 2013.
YouTube packed a huge punch this year. Whether you were logging on to watch Miley Cyrus twerk at the VMAs or find a how-to video on how to DIY a cheap, yet stylish light fixture for your dining room, you were all over YouTube in 2013. The advertising industry even jumped on the bandwagon, making their ads so interesting that people actively searched for them to watch on the website. The three most popular advertisements watched on YouTube this year were:
3. “Child of the 90s” by Microsoft Internet Explorer (47,943,975 views)
2. “Real Beauty Sketches” by Dove (59,553,696 views)
1. “Baby & Me” by Evian (66,249,340 views)
In 2013, marketers had to quickly respond to the rise of mobile devices and find a way to reach all users no matter which device they were using. This (and Google’s Penguin algorithm change) brought about a focus on content optimization for users on various devices. From smartphones to tablets, to desktops and even smart watches, marketers had to find out how to optimize content for each situation.
Social Media also made an impact on marketers in 2013. Countless blog articles and e-books aim to give you information regarding the benefits of using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn…if it’s a social media site, there is some resource out there talking about how great it is for marketing.
And of course, all three of these trends tie in together! The rise of mobile devices has made it so that users can access their social media pages quickly and on-the-go. Businesses realized that this is where their customers are spending the majority of their time, so they use these social media websites as a way to show them the content that they are writing. We can only imagine what 2014 will bring for marketers!
WEB DESIGN TRENDS
In early 2013, Awwwards put together a list of the top 10 web design trends they looked forward to seeing this year. In our opinion, they were pretty spot on with their predictions. Let’s take a look:
- Content First: Content was definitely king in 2013; it was #1 on marketers’ lists!
- Simplicity: Less was definitely more in 2013; no more cluttered websites filled with all the bells and whistles on the internet — it was all about that clean and sleek feel
- UX Centered Design: This also has to do with simplicity — the user’s point of view and experience was the most important thing this year
- App Style Interfaces: This plays in with the insistence of responsive design and simple layouts
- The Unification of Desktop and Mobile…: It was definitely all about responsive this year!
- SVG and Responsive Techniques: With all the devices out there, it was crucial to look at how to best integrate everything for the best user experience
- Flat Colors and No More Skeumorphism: Many websites took this route this year, getting rid of any skeumorphic design and replacing it with flat colors and graphics (think iOS 7!)
- Technology Agnostic: This refers to the combination and use of many different types of languages, frameworks, and technologies available to web developers
- Experimentation and Innovation in Device Sensors and Interaction: Just look at the new iPhone 5S and Google Glass!
- The Internet of Things: Almost everything is connected to the internet nowadays — this year, we saw the Sony Smart Watch — what will we see in 2014?
WE’RE READY, 2014!
As you can see, this was a great year for technology. And there was so much more that didn’t even make this list! At Designzillas, we’re excited to see what 2014 has in store and we wish all of our fans a safe, happy, and FEROCIOUS new year!