Looking ahead to 2014

Amid new deals and developments, one tech giant will stumble

Top tech picks for the new year

Apple Goes Wearable

It seems like we've been waiting on an Apple iWatch for years now, but 2014 is the year it could finally happen. Why? Wearable-tech developers who have talked to the company say Apple is ready to launch—a move that could upset Samsung, which just last month announced that its Galaxy Gear sales beat expectations. Apple's smartwatch comes at a good time, as iPod revenue in fiscal 2014 will drop well below $4 billion for the first time since the gadget's early years.

Amazon, Google and Samsung: One Stumbles

All three seem invincible now, but they're quietly gunning for each other. Google's pushing into infrastructure as a service, which will ultimately pressure Amazon's cloud business. Samsung is aiming to steal Apple's unit share crown in tablets, which will pressure the other two. Amazon is attacking Google's stock Android. With such fierce competition raging on the mobile computing front, one of these three will likely see its stock take a tumble.

(More predictions: Apple 2014—Don't call it a comeback)

Goldmund Lukic | E+ | Getty Images

Yahoo bids for Bing

A deal probably won't get done in 2014—these things take time—but if Microsoft's new CEO considers spinning off the search business, look for Yahoo to show interest. The big catch: Microsoft would want Yahoo to stay on its data-center platform.

2013 Scorecard

I predicted Apple would tweak its iPhone lineup to release a new, cheaper, cloud-dependent model or suffer consequences. The 5C came out, but not soon enough to keep Apple's stock from sliding: A

I said Samsung would press its independence from Google. Its Galaxy S4 launch extravaganza was notable, in part because there was hardly a mention of Google or Android: A

(More predictions: Social Media in 2014 is about show, not tell)

I predicted a shakeout. Companies most at risk of crumbling: Barnes & Noble, HP, Nokia and BlackBerry. HP was the only one to fight fate.

—By CNBC's Jon Fortt. Follow him on Twitter @jonfortt