It’s the end of the year and its time for wrap-ups, predictions and more crystal ball gazing than you can shake a branch of holly at. As usual before I make any predictions for 2012, I go back and grade my predictions for the this year now ending.
The one thing that is predictable as the sun rising in the morning is that things will constantly change. 2011 was certainly a year for that, although many of the main players remained exactly where they were heading into the year. Tablets and mobile tech continues to dominate the news and the markets, as well as continue to cause great disruption. So much so, that we saw two major players (RIM and HP) take some serious lumps that threatened those companies to their core.
Like it or not, Apple and Google continue to dominate mobile tech and Microsoft is still waiting for next year. It also looks like the economy, mother nature, and market turmoil are having as much impact on things going forward as key individuals are.
So, below is how I grade myself on what predictions I made last year. I think I did reasonably well.
Stay tuned for predictions for the New Year coming soon.
The Big Stories
- Smartphones and Tablets will dominate the gadget sector of the industry. (Accurate)
- Apple will continue to dominate the news and the industry because it has successfully changed the calendar to fit its aims. Apple owns the calendar and influences everybody else’s decisions, coverage and success. (Accurate)
- The media will be happy to say that Apple still rules or that Apple is being beaten. Either way it will be a good story. (Accurate)
- Google will also dominate and Android will continue to be one of the largest stories of the year, if not the largest story. (Accurate)
- Tablet fatigue will begin to set in by the end of the year. While we will see lots of new Tablets, the introduction of a Tablet enhanced Android OS, the hardware won’t offer anything really newer than what we already have, and after the buzz over iPad 2 and Honeycomb Tablets subsides there will be a lot of stories asking “what’s next?” (Somewhat accurate: Tablet fatigue hasn’t really set in, but we are looking ahead to what’s next because of the failure for Tablets beyond the iPad to really take hold. But then again, there’s Amazon. The hardware still doesn’t offer much new.)
- Governments and Old School Media Corporations will fight tooth and nail to hang on to control. They will have some success because they own the content but the Internet will start to push back in ways that will create tension. (Accurate and increasingly becoming a major issue. )
- The carriers will be hyping 4G and and hoping that no one notices how consumer unfriendly their data plans really are or the fact that the speeds aren’t really 4G. (Accurate)
- Again, Cupertino will dominate the news and the product cycle. iPad 2 will be big news and continue to be what everyone compares everything else to. (Accurate on many levels from products to the death of Steve Jobs.)
- Apple will continue to innovate in its laptop business and push that segment of the industry further into chaos. (Accurate. See Ultrabooks.)
- Apple will continue to struggle with Big Media and Publishing Companies and not get the deals it wants for content. No one is going to make the iTunes mistake again. Or at least they hope not. (Not Accurate. Apple got what it wanted with iTunes Match.)
- Apple will not release a 7 inch iPad. (Accurate)
- The next iPhone will be announced as another game changer. It won’t be. (Somewhat Accurate. The hardware certainly wasn’t. Siri is a potential game changer. But only as potential.)
- We will start to hear increasing talk about Steve Jobs leaving Apple. (Accurate. And he did leave and later die.)
- Google holds many of the trump cards and has eager eyes watching it with intense scrutiny. Android will be the big story but Chrome OS will get some play but not until later in the year. (Somewhat accurate. Android was and continues to be a big story. Chrome OS surfaced with Chromebooks and seems to be a lackluster success so far. )
- Android fragmentation will become a bigger buzzword than it already is. The question will be if it is really a problem or not. (Somewhat accurate. It’s still and issue. The question still remains how relevant it is.)
- Honeycomb Tablets will be “the next big thing.” There will be a lot of these “next big things.” Too many in fact, making it tough for consumers to gauge what’s what. (Somewhat accurate. Honeycomb Tablets were the next big thing. Then we discovered Honeycomb wasn’t any good and we didn’t see too many Honeycomb Tablets, but enough to get the patent lawyers involved. Now it’s on to Ice Cream Sandwich.)
- Eric Schmidt will continue to make stupid statements. (Accurate)
- Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s big hope (outside of Kinect). It will continue to lag behind in 2011 due not to product problems but PR and marketing problems. (Accurate, even with what is hailed as a great update with Mango.)
- Microsoft will release a CE based Tablet of some kind. It will not be a success immediately. (Not Accurate)
- Windows 8 will become a big story. (Accurate)
- There will be more calls for Steve Ballmer to step down. (Accurate)
Other Mobile Players
- HTC and Samsung will continue to dominate in the handheld sector. LG will make some inroads in the US, but not enough. (Accurate)
- RIM will finally let someone hold its Playbook. It might actually make it to market. It will fail. (Accurate)
- HP will release its WebOS Tablets. These devices will become a significant competitor. (Largely inaccurate. The webOS Tablets were released. HP killed it, then resurrected it for a short time, then open sourced it.)
- Motorola will continue its resurrection thanks largely to Google and Android Tablets and Android smartphones. (Somewhat accurate. Motorola Mobility was bought by Google and looks to have a leg up in the future.)
- Talk of NVidia’s Tegra 2 will quickly fade as NVidia starts hyping Tegra 3 about the time that Tegra 2 devices start getting shipped. (Accurate)
- Dell will continue its decline. (Accurate)
The Best of the Rest
- Cloud Computing will gain even more focus but the concept will take some hits because of privacy and bandwidth issues. (Accurate)
- Verizon and Apple will launch a Verizon iPhone (Accurate)
- Net Neutrality will become a bigger issue once people realize that the FCC’s new rules essentially say there are two Internets: One for mobile and one for more traditional broadband connections in the home or office. (Somewhat accurate)
- Amazon will continue to dominate in the eBook Wars. Google Books will have little impact. Barnes & Noble will stay a respectable competitor. (Accurate)
- Facebook will continue its march to Internet dominance but will begin to lose its luster by year end. (Somewhat accurate. Facebook shows no sign of losing its luster.)
- Notebook and Laptop makers will focus on slim and thin trying to duplicate Apple’s success with the MacBook Air. (Accurate)
- We’ll see Tablets in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Debates about which size is best will continue forgetting that a Tablet experience is a very personal thing and that choice is a good thing. (Somewhat Accurate. We did see different sizes, but not that many different shapes. Apple and its lawyers seized on this against Samsung. We still forget how personal a device Tablets become when we compare the differences.)
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