The hottest tech of 2008

Update: revealed - the year's essential new gear


The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will ultimately define many of this year's tech trends. Expect big TVs, HD DVD vs. Blu-ray (again), Linux computers and iClones of everything Apple-esque. Here's what the team believe will be big in 2008...

Dean Evans, Editor: While 2008 will be another cycle of product polishing, i.e. of version 2.0s and 3.0s, it's bound to be dominated by mobile phones. Specifically, smartphones. It pains me to bang on about it, but Apple raised the bar in 2007 with the

Crucially, though, the traditional mobile phone manufacturers (Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola etc) will want to fight back against the iPhone, hoping to produce a handset that has similar widespread appeal. The mobile phone is evolving from a simple portable telephone into a fully-fledged convergence device. Ironically, it's almost as if we're seeing the rebirth of the PDA. But while the old 'Pocket PCs' never lived up to their name, 2008 should see a rush of new and powerful smartphones that can.

Google will also make a play for the mobile market in 2008 and we'll see the first fruits of its Android platform. Don't expect the version 1.0 handsets to blow people away - they're likely to be functional rather than slick. But the transference of desktop computing and Internet browsing to mobile phones should be one of the biggest themes of this new year.

Rob Mead, Associate Editor: Since my Mac fanboyism knows no bounds, I'm really looking forward to the 3G iPhone, which is rumoured to surface in May or June - it'll be one less thing for Apple-haters to whinge about, and will actually make the phone even more fun to use - provided the battery gets a boost in the process.

I'm also really, really looking forward to getting my hands on a decent version of Mac OS X Leopard. The current version runs feels more like a sloth on my Power Mac G5 and it crashes so often I even started to feel sympathy for Windows Vista users. My third great hope for 2008 is see a 1080p HDTV that doesn't suffer horribly from motion judder and doesn't cost the earth (in some ways literally) to own.

J Mark Lytle, Contributing Editor: Here in Asia, it's a safe bet that many countries will be getting their first look at the iPhone in 2008 and it'll probably be a 3G model. In Japan, the smart money's on a W-CDMA version being made available to NTT DoCoMo's 50-million-plus customers and repeating the stellar sales numbers seen in the West.

Aside from that shiny Apple bauble, several new super-slim tellies will hit the shelves next year at more reasonable prices than the 3mm OLED set from Sony that has just gone on sale in Japan. Then there's the Beijing Olympics, where it will be interesting to see if the Chinese propaganda machine can deliver the 3G mobile phone network it has been promising for over a year now.

On the domestic front, shoppers in the West are likely to see more of the entertainment and kit robots currently popular in Japan and Korea. The recent (very delayed) arrival of Pleo, the robot dinosaur, is a perfect example, although I'd personally like to get my hands on one of the breakfast-making droids we saw in November - what's £100,000 next to a decent fry-up?

Martin James, Reviews Editor: Technology never stands still, but I've got a feeling that the next 12 months are going to see consumers given a chance to catch up with the industry a bit.

I'm looking forward to seeing an all-high def home entertainment setup becoming more affordable, and for there to finally be enough decent Blu-ray and HD DVD players around to make one worth buying. And I want to see better content to back it up. That means more high-def TV and movies, and more games that take advantage of all that technology that's waiting to be set free in the PS3.