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Three Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014

By Michael Essany | Small Business

Every year, millions of holiday shoppers not only set out in search of great deals to gobble up for friends and family, but also for themselves.

Unfortunately, the best deals of the holiday season will soon be topped early in the New Year across a wide array of products, but particularly in the realm of consumer electronics.

While you can’t delay the holidays to satisfy your shopping list for others, the chance of a bigger bargain in the New Year should give you reason for pause when shopping for personal reasons for the remainder of 2013. According to industry analysts and market watchers across the tech and retail industries, prices will be falling in 2014 on a number of products that you would likely never expect.

1. 3D Printers

Three Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014 image 273398 a 3d printer for 10 year olds 2Three Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014

Image: PCMAG

3D printers – small machines capable of making a three-dimensional solid plastic object of almost any shape from a digital model – arrived with gusto on the market in 2013, quickly becoming a hot novelty item of the holiday shopping season. But due to their lofty price tags and rudimentary 3D printing proficiency, most consumers say the technology must improve and become more affordable before they’ll consider procuring one.

Well, it looks like they won’t have to wait much longer. In 2014, 3D printers are expected to ascend to the next level in quality while declining a few rungs on the ladder in price. Why? Early in 2014, a number of patents pertinent to 3D printing will expire, the result of which will open the flood gates for competing makers of 3D printers to cook up a greater number of alternative products to those presently available.

Specifically, the liberation of patents related to “laser sintering” – a process by which 3D printing is conducted with a high degree of precision and resolution – will no longer prevent tech makers and entrepreneurs from capitalizing on this resource to dramatically bolster the quality of 3D printers.

By mid-2014, the market for 3D printers may look entirely unfamiliar from what we see today.

2. Smartphones

Three Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014 image smartphones cheaperThree Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014

How could something like a cutting edge current-generation smartphone produced by any of the world’s top mobile device makers possibly get cheaper in the New Year when demand remains so strong? The anticipated price drop across many leading smartphone lines can be attributed to substantially lower component costs.

From HD touchscreens and batteries, to processors and cameras, virtually every component of a smartphone is getting cheaper to mass produce. And that will translate to lower prices (although modestly, of course) for smartphones.

With emerging mobile markets like China and India hankering for more affordable smartphones, the world’s preeminent manufacturers are expected to give these markets and the rest of the globe connected communities exactly what they want – cheaper smartphones that in no way compromise a quality experience.

3. Mobile Apps

Three Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014 image apps cheaper 2Three Things That Will Get Cheaper in 2014

The last and probably most surprising entry on our list is the mobile app. And not just one. We’re talking most of them. The overwhelming majority of iOS and Android aps will either be cheaper or available for download at no cost at some point next year. The reason for the cascading prices of mobile apps is due, in large part, to changing customer preferences and outright demands. The basic fact of the mobile matter today is that smart-device owners don’t want to pay much for content.

In reality, most are willing to tolerate a handful of ads or other small-screen nuisances in order to get their games, music, or general reading material at no charge. Consequently, the average price of the top selling mobile apps of 2014 could be dramatically lower than those that topped the 2013 list.

Most excitingly, perhaps, is the reality that technology – especially in the realm of consumer electronics – is evolving so quickly that by the end of 2014, the rundown of technologies that managed to get cheaper during the year could surprise us all and be much, much longer than it presently is.

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