2009 Predictions: Rob’s Take

Rob BushwayI love the beginning of a new year due to having a clean slate – anything is possible and the plains are wide-open.

Here is my best guess for what 2009 holds for us mobile tech enthusiasts:

  • Windows 7 will get released in time for the 2009 holidays, and it will get rave reviews. Corporate customers will upgrade in huge numbers, going straight from XP to Windows 7.
  • Most Tablet PC OEMs will begin switching to capacitive touch screens, but we won’t see an uptick in adoption until 2010
  • 2009 will be a telling year for N-Trig as the numbers line up on who switches to N-Trig and who goes with Wacom Capactive Touch – my guess is that Wacom will be the winner of 2009. InPlay’s new digital pen technology will show up on a few notebooks, but we won’t see it make a lot of headway until 2010. 2009 will be about going with a proven winners in the space. N-Trig and InPlay will have to continue to make their case.
  • Multi-Touch will be a dominate story in 2009, with many families opting to get HP TouchSmart All-In-One type of systems in their homes
  • Dell will release the XT2 early next year, but it will fall along the same pricing scheme as the XT, minor upgrades only. Dell and N-Trig will not do anything about current XT problems and that will plague them going in to the XT2
  • Lenovo will continue to dominate the corporate tablet pc space
  • HP will continue to be creative in its approach to the consumer tablet pc space
  • Slate tablet pcs, like TabletKiosk / Motion Computing / Fujitsu, will continue to be a quiet, but strong vertical market.
  • OQO will come to market with a Model 03 – capacitive multi-touch, the keyboard tweaked a little. They will have a low end model under $1000.
  • The pricing of Netbooks will force regular notebooks down in price, and people will begin making size vs feature trade-offs, likely opting for features. Netbooks will still be a big item through 2009, though, due to costs, the economy, etc.
  • Book readers, like the Kindle and Sony eReader, will continue to make strong headway. The new Kindle will spark another fire in eReaders. They will show up in more places like coffee shops, student centers, etc
  • We won’t see much innovation in the tablet pc software space until late 2009 / 2010 when Windows 7 is released.
  • The software story of 2009 will be about sync, with solutions like EverNote and Microsoft’s LiveMesh leading the way. Sync will continue to head-off cloud-only computing, with people not trusting whether Web 2.0 companies will make it through 2009. As a result, they will want their documents and files local, but available on other platforms through seamless sync.
  • Video recording will finally show up on the iPhone, the camera will still stink, though.
  • The Blackberry Storm will become the laughing stock of the year
  • The Google Android OS will make major headway against Apple’s iPhone, coming in to its own toward the middle / late of 2009.
  • There will be an Apple Netbook, but no Apple Tablet.
  • In large measure, I see the first three quarters of 2009 as a “hold steady” time. By the 4th quarter, money will begin to get released again, and we’ll begin to see alot of technological releases that were being worked on during the first three quarters. Tough times beget innovation, and we’ll see the benefits of that going in to 2010.