Class of 2013: The 10 tech names to watch out for in the next few months

So who are the companies set for success this year?

When Nokia recently announced it would not pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time in recorded history, it was a shock for many to hear the Finnish mobile phone maker was flagging.

Once the darling of the mobile industry, there was a time when it produced all the must-have handsets. But over recent years has fallen down the pecking order, surpassed by new rivals such as Apple, Samsung and HTC.

Even BlackBerry is suffering, with its new BB10 operating software a last-ditch attempt to regain ground surrendered to the smartphone competition. 



Other well-known names across the whole of the technology industry have now either faded or all but disappeared - including Compaq, the Sony Ericsson brand, Motorola, Kodak digital cameras and Polaroid among others.

But it's not all bad news in the tech space. This week portable computer maker Asus announced it was gaining momentum having just sold more than one million notebooks, netbooks and tablets in the UK in 2012 - a whopping 176% growth year-on-year.

So who are the other companies set for success in 2013. Here are 10 tech and web names to watch out for.

Lenovo
The Chinese computer hardware company has invested heavily in making a series of innovative hybrid products with the Windows 8 operating system on board. These include the Yoga, a laptop that flips 360 degrees to become a tablet and the Thinkpad Helix, a tablet that can slot directly into a keyboard to become a laptop.

Huawei
Now the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, Huawei provides back-end technology for the mobile industry and had made many mobiles and smartphones badged up by UK networks as their own. Now thought it is branching into its own handsets and devices such as 3G and 4G portable internet dongles, rightly becoming a big player in its own right. 

ZTE
The fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world is another that made devices for others to label up. But its own consumer products look set to compete with the likes of rival Huawei and other big mobile names with the firm expected to unveil a handset based on the Mozilla Firefox internet browser later this month at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona. 

Qualcomm
You might not have heard of them but the company's technology powers a wide-range of mobile communication devices and smartphones with patents on a range of 4G technology. Its mobile-based Snapdragon chips are contained in everything from sat-navs to the latest handsets and tablets. The work done by Qualcomm behind-the-scenes will have a big say on how fast and powerful a range of future devices will be.

Leap Motion
We've gone from physical keyboards to touchscreens on our tech but movement-sensing is certainly the next big thing. While Microsoft and Sony have weaved some into their games consoles and are sure to conjure even more motion-sensing magic with the next Xbox and PlayStation, Leap Motion are quietly crafting a whole new movement so-to-speak. The company's software and little control box can sense individual hand and finger gestures to change the way you interact with the technology around you such as computers.

MakerBot
With the Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer, MakerBot look set to bring three-dimensional printing to the masses. It's certainly not cheap at around £1,500 but it's the most affordable starting point for what is certainly set to be a fun "professional" hobby. It's capable of far more colours and detailed designs than its closest competitor the Cubify Cube, a more fun-aimed £1,000 option that can bought for the home and will print funky coloured objects within minutes.

MySpace

This original social network was once the darling of the internet until its own fall from grace. Now it has been "rebuilt, redesigned and reinvented" after being bought, in part, by megastar Justin Timberlake. It still has a major focus on songs, bands and tune discovery with an integrated streaming music player and a side-scrolling rather than top-down layout. It is now in a public beta testing phase with the older version still available.

MySpace is back

Branch/Medium
Created by Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, the two independent sites can be accessed through your Twitter login. The first aims to "bring the intimacy of a dinner party conversation" to the internet with chats not limited to 140 characters and, it hopes, with people that matter to you and the subject itself. You can 'branch' off and have sub-conversations without ruining the flow of the original thread. Medium is still very much in its early stages and is aimed around online publishing - creating collections of thoughts and images into a system that promotes and shares, ranking for quality rather than the most popular.

Vine
This video-sharing site has just been launched by Twitter and is the mini-movie version of the short and sweet social network. Instead of having 140 characters to write with, Vine offers you six seconds in which to tell your story with film and sound. It is available via an iOS app with other platforms on the way. A similar system is Viddy for iOS and Android, which restricts movies to 15 seconds.

Square
Another former Twitter big cheese Jack Dorsey is behind this mobile payment company. Having proved popular in America, it launched in Canada late last year and the UK could prove another successful market should it arrive here in 2013. Using an iOS and Android app, anyone can take credit card payments via their smartphone attached to a tiny swipe device provided by Square. With a small fee for transactions and no other charges, it could revolutionise life for small businesses and ultimately save them money and increasing their profits.
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