Behold my predictions for the great, forthcoming year of 2009. The following thoughts are what I’d like to see happen with a dash of what I believe will happen. Gaze with me into the crystal ball:
- The term “netbook” becomes a household name because many homes have adopted one or two as a second computer, child’s computer, or mobile companion. Features, build quality, and battery life improve while price points still hover around $350. More options for Integrated, 3G wireless develop with mixed reviews.
- MIDs struggle to exist as competition from netbooks, the iPod/iTouch/advanced personal media players (PMPs), and cell phones dominate. The high price factor and impracticality prevent widespread adoption.
- Atom-based Tablet PCs like the 3rd generation Intel Classmate PC begin to flourish and become popular in the school setting and start to trickle into the consumer market.
- Tablet PCs obtain better and more sophisticated multi-touch support.
- The TechCrunch tablet grows from the original prototype, but the price is higher than anticipated and doesn’t experience success due to competition from the iPhone/iTouch and the flood of netbooks. Look to Nokia for a Tablet that is inspired by the simplicity/hardware of a netbook and could have success if the price is right.
- Traditional Tablet PCs continue to be overpriced and marketed as business niche.
- Other laptop manufacturers follow Apple’s lead and implement multi-touch trackpad support but keep the button(s).
- HDTV prices will drop as the DTV transition takes place, and more people will use their HDTVs as the entrance to their Internet and media world (see general computing space, below).
- Battery life will increase and manufacturer’s will release true all-day computing in a package that isn’t ugly or extra heavy. However, consumers will still pay substantially more for the extra hours of juice.
- The push to USB 3.0 begins, although the standard does not experience widespread implementation until late 2009/early 2010.
- Green technology continues to be popular but is under implemented, mostly used as novelty, and expensive. Computer manufacturers focus primarily on reducing overall power consumption, using SSDs, and LEDs.
- The push towards cloud services continues and features improve greatly, but consumers are still more comfortable using local software that always works regardless of an Internet connection. File synchronization options like Windows Live Mesh improve in terms of features, reliability and grow in popularity.
- Social networking sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn continue to flourish, becoming even more socially accepted among adults and non-tech geeks.
- Additional builds of Windows 7 receive favorable reviews for being lightweight, battery friendly, stable, and featuring full tablet/inking capabilities.
General Computing Space
- Traditional news and media outlets will experience continued decline in reader/viewership as Internet-based news and entertainment services/sites, such as Hulu.com (free) and Netflix (not free), continue to expand in popularity.
- A few companies that you should definitely keep an eye on: Apple, Nokia, and Palm. Apple will of course continue to push their iTunes platform and the iPhone/iTouch. Nokia and Palm (they’ll have new life and new products) as well as other manufacturers will begin to produce devices that merge the usefulness of netbooks with the form factor, call quality, and Internet capabilities of cell phones. WiMax will become the word of ’09.
Like looking into the future? Check out Warner’s scoring of his ’08 predictions and stay tuned for additional glances forward in time from the GottaBeMobile team.