Reporter’s Notebook: Tech innovation in 2014 broke new ground

Global Business

Apple effectively moved it into ‘phablet’ territory by combining a phone and tablet to create the iPhone 6 and 6 plus models. iPhone sales were a huge success, providing a jolt to Apple’s stock, but also raising questions as to what’s next for the iPad. CCTV America’s Mark Niu reported this story from Cupertino, California.

“Once people get used to using a larger phone, it’s hard to go back to a smaller phone. This is another challenge quite honestly for the tablet market. One of the challenges we are seeing is that once people get a large phone, their need to use a tablet goes down,” said Bob O’Donnell, Founder of TECHnalysis Research.

Reporter\'s Notebook: Tech innovation in 2014 broke new ground

Reporter\'s Notebook: Tech innovation in 2014 broke new ground

Apple effectively moved it into 'phablet' territory by combining a phone and tablet to create the iPhone 6 and 6 plus models. iPhone sales were a huge success, providing a jolt to Apple's stock, but also raising questions as to what's next for the iPad. CCTV America’s Mark Niu reported this story from Cupertino, California.

But some analysts say it was another service introduced that was even more important — Apple Pay — Apple’s mobile payment app that stores credit cards and processes charges.

And after years of mystery surrounding whether the iWatch was a rumor – Apple finally unveiled what it calls the Apple Watch which is expected to hit the market in early 2015.

But it faces an already crowded field of wrist offerings from Intel to Motorola to numerous startups like Pebble.

Wearables also go hand-in-hand with the exploding market of health and fitness tech.

The ability to measure heart rate, sleep, relaxation state and skills at dribbling a basketball have all become realities.

One major reason for the influx of tech gadget choices is one of the biggest stories of the year, crowdfunding.

At no time in history has there been a better opportunity for someone to build an expensive piece of hardware and get the money to make it happen.

“Crowdfunding platforms have enabled a route to pitch your idea to end customers, and not only do you get pre-orders of that so you get customers, but you get validation from the market, which in turn investors will look at and say maybe there is demand for this,” said Jay Eum, co-founder of Translink Capital.

Finally, this year saw Silicon Valley tech companies being valued at prices that some say are out of control.

Twitch, the company that allows video gamers to stream their game-playing feats, was purchased for nearly a $1 billion by Amazon.

Facebook bought the popular texting app from Mountain View, California, WhatsApp, for $22 billion. Investors are now valuing San Francisco-headquartered ridesharing company Uber at $40 billion.

An abundance of capital and ideas continues to help Silicon Valley lead the world in tech innovation.