Grading My 2010 Predictions

Well, 2010 is almost gone and it is time once again to gear up for some predictions for the next year. But before I do that, here’s a look back on my predictions for 2010 and how I scored with those.

In my view, the biggest story of 2010 was Apple and its iPad. It disrupted existing markets and changed the plans of many who had similar Tablet/Slate plans. We’re still just at the beginning of what all these changes will mean but 2010 was a turbulent year for many who had gotten used to traditional models. Note as you go through the list below how much has changes because of the iPad and the Tablet/Slate market. And keep in mind that at the point these predictions below were made they were still just a rumor and speculation.

All in all I think I did reasonably well.

The Big Stories

Consuming content on mobile devices (dedicated and otherwise) will be one of the biggest stories of the year. (Accurate. We’ve got an entire new category of devices now that are based on the consumption model. Unfortunately we’re still waiting for the big players in the content game to figure out how to take advantage of it.)

  • eBooks, eBook Readers, and reading eBooks on other devices will be one of the biggest stories of the year. We’ll see lots of Kindle Killer stories about devices. (Accurate)
  • Publishers will work to roll out delivery mechanisms that bring content (both interactive and static) to mobile devices and also allow them to charge you for consuming that content. (Accurate)
  • An eBook format war will break out. (Not accurate)
  • Amazon will release a new Kindle. (Accurate)
  • The Nook will continue to struggle but hopes for it being a Kindle Killer will keep it alive. (Mostly accurate. The new Nook with Android is going to keep things interesting)
  • e-Book Readers will be on sale at CVS, Walmart, Walgreen’s and the everywhere else come Christmas 2010. (Mostly accurate)
  • Amazon will make its Kindle offerings available on more devices. (Accurate)
  • Publishers will try to take back their margins and fight Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and the rest for every dime they can. (Accurate)

Android has been a big story in 2009 and will become a bigger one in 2010. More and more Android devices (phones and more) are hitting the market and look for more in 2010. Will Android begin to dominate in 2010? I think we could see that, but honestly I think we’re looking at 2011 for the real year of Android. Developers are the key here, and Google could help things along and probably will. (I’d say this was accurate although 2010 proved to be the year Android began dominating on a number of fronts. That will continue. So much so that it now has its own big issues lumped together as fragmentation.)

  • There will be a Google phone in 2010. (Sort of accurate. Google didn’t make the Nexus One or the Nexus S but both were viewed as pure Android phones.)
  • The Google-Apple rift will widen as Android devices will have unique apps that Apple won’t be able to deliver in 2010. (Accurate)

Other Fronts
Microsoft: A lot of folks are counting Microsoft out on a number of fronts. Perhaps they are hopeful, but I don’t understand why. Microsoft will continue its comeback in 2010 but it will also stumble a few times. (Accurate)

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  • Windows 7 will continue to flourish. (Accurate)
  • Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy will come more into focus and because of its ties to the Office platform will see some early signs of success, but won’t gain real traction in 2010. (Mostly accurate. The cloud strategy still needs some work and definition. Ray Ozzie’s departure signals that Microsoft hasn’t figured it out yet.)
  • Microsoft will release a version of Silverlight for the iPhone. (Not accurate)
  • Microsoft Office 2010 will perform better than most are expecting. (Accurate)
  • OneNote 2010 will still be a big secret as far as Microsoft is concerned. (Sadly accurate)
  • Microsoft will finally release Windows Mobile 7. It will be too late. Before Windows Mobile 7 is released we will hear rumblings of what will replace it. (Not accurate. Microsoft changed the name, the platform, and possibly its future with Windows Phone 7)
  • Touch will continue to be a story, but the story will be why is no one developing for it. (Accurate in terms of Microsoft’s products)
  • Microsoft’s retail store strategy will move forward but we will begin to see some early cracks in the brick and mortar. (Accurate)

Netbooks and Notebooks

  • The dividing line between netbooks and notebooks will become more blurry. (Accurate as far as it goes.)
  • Netbooks will still be a dominant story, but that story will begin to fade as everyone looks for the next big disruptive force. (Somewhat accurate. Netbooks began to fade in the mindshare game as Tablets came on)
  • Notebook manufacturers will still struggle to find the sweet spot when it comes to margins. Those who opt to follow Apple to the higher end will fail unless they can change the point of sale dynamic. No one wants to buy a > $1400 notebook in Best Buy. (Accurate)
  • USB 3.0 will begin to trickle out but no one will care. (Accurate)

Mobile Tech in General

  • Carriers will begin to see the wisdom of changing their ways but will still be too tied to old business models to do so. (Sadly accurate. They changed their ways. Say goodbye to unlimited plans and hello to tiered pricing.)
  • Apple and Google will continue to dominate the mobile tech news. (Accurate)
  • MIDs will disappear as a category. (Accurate)
  • Nokia will continue to sink and its downward spiral won’t be helped by all of the posts and news articles saying that it is faltering. (Largely accurate. Nokia’s woes prompted some executive changes. Too little too late? We’ll see.)
  • The Palm Pre will become an afterthought. (Largely accurate in 2010. We’ll see what HP does in 2011)
  • HTC will continue to make intriguing devices as long as they stick with phones. (Accurate)
  • The move to subsidize Netbooks will continue but lag as more customers realize there are no savings to be had. (Accurate)
  • AT&T will try to punish heavy data users in some fashion and will gain yet another black eye in the public’s perception. (Accurate)
  • We will still be treated to lies about battery life. (Accurate, even though Apple changed the dynamic on this with the iPad.)

Tablet PCs

  • Every new device will somehow get labeled a Tablet. (Accurate)
  • There will be nothing new on the original Tablet PC front. We will see more of the same, even though the traditional Tablet PC OEMs will release new models. (Sadly accurate)
  • Lenovo and HP will continue to dominate the Tablet PC space. (Largely accurate. Motion made some impressive moves.)
  • There will be no new applications for Tablet PCs in 2010. (Accurate)
  • Internet Tablets will be released all over. They will not succeed. (Not accurate)
  • N-Trig and Wacom’s woes will still be a mystery. (Accurate)

Apple

  • Apple Tablet rumors and hype will rise to an even higher fever pitch. (Accurate as far as it goes or went.)
  • Apple will release a 4G iPhone in 2010. (Not accurate)
  • Apple’s App Store woes and successes will continue. Every bit of good news will be accompanied by a story of bad news. (Accurate)
  • Apple will feel the pressure from Google’s Android and Google’s Apps will start to lose focus on the iPhone. (Accurate)
  • Apple’s shiny sheen which has already dulled a little bit will continue to dull as 2010 unfolds. (Largely accurate. There are definitely chinks in the armor from 2010.)
  • Apple will release a Tablet like device in 2010, but it will be late 2010. The verdict won’t be known until 2011. (Only the first part is accurate. We all know what happened here as Apple changed the dynamics of so much with the iPad release in April 2010.)

Google

Google’s Chrome OS will be unleashed. It will still be in Beta and we won’t really know if it will have traction until 2011/12. (Still mostly accurate, given that we won’t really see it for real until mid 2011 at the earliest.)

  • Google will continue to stretch its competitive muscles against Apple and Microsoft and begin to make even more inroads. Google Voice and other apps will become the wedge. (Largely accurate)
  • Eric Schmidt will be rumored to be heading into government service. (Accurate)
  • Google Wave will make some noise but still be looked at as a curiosity. (Accurate)
  • Fart apps will show up on Android devices. (Accurate)

The Best of the Rest

  • Cloud Computing will continue to gain focus, but consumers will still opt for more traditional computing. (Largely accurate)
  • The real-time experience will get closer, gain some traction, then lose momentum. This will all happen in real time. (Accurate)
  • Facebook will make 3 changes to its user interaction and tick off everybody on at least two of those occasions. (Accurate)
  • Copyright will become a hot button issue. (Accurate)
  • Twitter will begin to lose its luster. (Largely inaccurate)
  • The FCC will continue to make noise about telecom issues but take no action to change things. (Accurate)
  

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