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On the eve of the New Year 2009, I consulted my crystal ball to find out the most happening gadgets of 2009... and it had come out with the top 9 predictions that will make waves in 2009. These would be the Gadgets of 2009 and I am sure these (equally expensive) gadgets would mesmerize you as well!
1. Android phone
The first Android phone may have been released in 2008, but 2009 is going to see Google’s mobile platform come into its own. With the likes of HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and even Garmin working on Android-based phones, users are going to be flooded with options. Not all of which will be as bulky as the G1. On offer will be innovative interfaces and stacks of applications, at relatively low prices.
2. Garmin Nuviphone
After most major manufacturers lined up iPhone killers (most of which turned out to be duds), it is now the turn of GPS expert Garmin to offer an alternative. The touch-driven Nuviphone has been earning rave reviews and is expected to take GPS on phones to the next level (it switches to GPS mode automatically when you slip it onto its mount in a vehicle). Many, though, feel Garmin’s newcomer status among phones may work against it. But they said the same thing about a certain Cupertino-based company in 2007.
3. Mac Netbook
Since every major computer manufacturer has come out with its own netbook, all eyes are now on Apple. Although the company is tight-lipped, it is speculated that Apple intends to do something radical. Will it have a touchscreen? Will it sync over Bluetooth with iPhone? Will it manage to pack in an optical drive without compromising on weight? One thing is for sure, though. If released, Apple’s netbook will be nothing like its competitors. After all, the company does have a reputation of thinking different.
4. Operating systems
2009 is going to be the year of operating systems. While Apple is expected to release a new version of its Mac OS, Palm is betting on the Nova to shore up its rapidly-sinking fortunes. Then there is Nokia, which is taking its Symbian Series 60 into the touch territory with the Fifth Edition. This, even as it works with the Symbian Foundation to come up with an opensource Symbian operating system. Black-Berry will further tweak its operating system, while there’s a fair chance that iPhone’s next edition will offer something new. Looming in the background are Windows 7 and several Linux versions.
5. Nintendo DS 2
After releasing an update of its dualscreen gaming console in 2008, Nintendo is now expected to go the whole hog. It may come out with a completely revamped DS in 2009. It is rumoured that the new device will have more connectivity options, dual touchscreens and perhaps even a touch of the motion-sensing magic that has made Wii such a hit. Nintendo is keeping its lips sealed about it.
6. Nokia N97
Nokia might have come to the touchscreen party with its 5800, but it is the N97 that is expected to provide real competition. Expected in mid-2009, the phone will combine a touch interface with a QWERTY keypad and a 5.0-megapixel shooter. With just about everything on board, it promises to redefine both the multimedia and enterprise segments. Although some say the device is more likely to compete with Nokia’s own Communicator rather than the iPhone, I must admit it appears to be a most powerful device we have ever seen.
7. Diablo 3
There is no doubting the game that is going to hog the headlines next year. After almost a decade out in the cold, Diablo returns to the PC in 2009 and expectations are great enough for Dickens to have written another book. Gamers can expect loads of demons, numerous character development options, stunning graphics and gameplay that remains relatively simple, in best Blizzard tradition.
8. New Zune
Industry observers are betting on Microsoft unleashing a completely revamped version of its Zune media player. On the table, if rumours are to be believed, is Windows Live compatibility and options that will bring the Zune closer to a PDA. In fact, some even believe that Microsoft might take the plunge in the phone business and come out with a Zune phone.
9. iPhone 3
Its first two versions completely changed people’s perceptions of phones and touchscreens, so expectations for the next iPhone are in exosphere territory. I am betting on a more powerful camera, cut and paste facility, Flash support for the browser and significantly beefed-up enterprise features. Rumour has it that work is also underway on a “mini iPhone” which has a form factor similar to the iPod Nano. Let’s see.