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What's Next For Personal Technology?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Smartphones, tablets, HDTVs are what customers want to buy. What's next? That same industry doesn't seem to have many fresh ideas.

Tastes, wants and needs change almost hourly - and the electronics industry thrives on change to survive. But, instead of great leaps of innovation we're being offered more of the same.. Take Apple. For the past decade they've been the innovators. But, based on this week's announcement of upcoming, new products Apple (AAPL) is interested is currently more interested in leveling the feature "playing field" than in innovating as they once did.

In midday trading, Apple was off 0.75% at $443.32.

And, it's not just Apple. Microsoft (MSFT), for instance, has been trying to figure out how to gain traction with all of the new computers, tablets and smartphones that run Windows 8 operating systems. So far, with a small measure of success. Others are struggling too (Blackberry (BBRY) and Dell (DELL) for instance) or getting out of the business completely. Remember IBM computers or Palm?

It's more than companies or their products suddenly losing favor. It's progress. As technology improves both hardware and software have to keep up. For instance, transistor radios of the '50's and '60's were replaced by hi-fi systems and boom boxes in the '70's. Then it was Sony (SNE) Walkman in the '80s and '90s. Apple iPods in the 2000s. Now, it's digital music files, digital downloads, streaming music services and smartphones.

For the most part, TV and radio as we once embraced them are dead. The advent of HDTV helped revived sales in the past few years. But, now that younger viewers prefer to watch shows, via the Internet, when they want to. And, on whichever device is nearby. The TV industry is hoping that the next generation of ultra-high-definition television. The new technology is called 4K (meaning it's nearly four times the resolution of current HD televisions). 8K isn't far behind. New products will be priced accordingly. That means expensive. Many are banking on it.

Remember newspapers? Or books made from paper? Barely. You'll soon be able to say the same for electronic devices which only let you read books. Everything is rapidly moving to smartphones and tablets.

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