I’m about the least unopinionated guy I know. 362 days ago, I made a whole bunch of predictions. Let’s see how I scored…
- Every major cable company will increase it’s rates by more than 3%. Nobody will complain, and our government will (again) fail to protect us from them. — Well, I don’t really have the time to review all the packages from all the service providers, but I know my rates went up. I’ll score this a Yes.
- A resolution above 1080p starts appearing in demos and labs, I’d predict a bump up into the 4000 vertical lines space. — Yup.
- Bluray and HD-DVD continue to duke it out while consumers continue to not care. — Well, HD failed, and Blu-ray is still in the doldrums. But, since my prediction was they’d be fighting through the year, I guess this is a No.
- One of Hulu, Joost, etc get integrated into the Xbox 360 and/or PS3. — Netflix on Xbox for the Yes.
- Google launches “Android for Set-Top Boxes” but gains little traction in the foreseeable future. — Nope, didn’t happen (though I still believe they are working on it).
- Anyone who is not a telephone company that tries to launch an IP-streaming set top device has a very rough year. — Vudu, Sezmi, etc. Yes.
- Despite near-constant predictions of their demise, TiVo makes it through another year, possibly getting acquired (by DirecTV, Comcast, Netflix, Blockbuster, or someone out of the blue like Amazon or eBay). — Yes.
Portable Devices That Are Not Cell Phones
- Zune 3.0 launches. It’s very very good. Further, iPod’s market share dips, although they still have an increase in overall unit sales (in other words: the pie gets bigger faster than their sales do). That said, a new iPod is even more betterer than all previous versions, making everyone who recently bought a prior generation a wee bit annoyed, but gosh that Steve Jobs is so charming they just don’t care. After all, that’s technology! — No, pretty much completely wrong (though there is a rumor for a new Zune at CES 09)
- At least two major camera vendors introduce integrated wifi cameras, but no more than one uses an open service, the rest have some proprietary, closed, annoying-to-use system. Ideally one of them buys Eye-fi. — Correctamundo (but still waiting on the Eye-Fi acquisition)
- Digital picture frames continue to grow in market share, but still don’t “tip” into the mainstream. — Anecdotally I’d say I’m right (duh), but I can’t find any stats either way. That said, there were enough units sold to get some malignant pusbag to put a virus on one. I’ll leave this one unresolved for now.
- More companies introduce e-book readers despite general malaise in the category. Kindle II is launched with mild improvements. — Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even if I don’t “get it”, apparently Oprah does, so it looks like the category’s doing fine. Probably one of the biggest surprises to me this year…
- I have no clue, I don’t follow the space. Hello, this is a consumer tech blog! — This statement certainly wasn’t enough to prevent clueless PR flacks from pitching me on their enterprise technology products.
- Apple’s new laptops will include an ultramobile, a tablet, and a “desktop replacement” OR a “gaming model” (they may combine the first two). Enhancements will include a card reader, 3G access as a built-in option, and new gestures. Market share continues to climb. — Other than the market share comment, I’m quite wrong again. I should’ve just said “one solid piece of aluminium” and left it at that.
- Microsoft continues to spin about how amazing Vista is. Michael Gartenberg’s observations are probably the most poignant as to why it isn’t. — Right, and with a huge budget to boot.
- Asus or Dell acquires or merges with one of HP, Acer, Toshiba, or other “meh” PC maker. — Wrong.
- Sony continues to make subpar Vaio laptops. And for the last time (I think) in 2007: don’t buy the Sony Vaio VGN-SZ4xx series laptops, they are just plain terrible. I’ve now had the chance to voice my discontent directly to the Vaio PR team (at Ruder Finn) who have yet to write me back on the topic. — Completely right. If I’ve had the opportunity to cost them some sales, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. And a note to that PR team – how about dropping me a note one day? Since you pitch yourselfes as being good at this “social media” thing, maybe you’d like to show your prowess?
- Nobody makes my awesome dual-screen laptop concept, thus leaving me the opportunity to make zillions one day. — I have the pleasure to say that I’m wrong, and Lenovo owes me zillions.
- Facebook continues to get backlash from the media and tech community, meanwhile its user base continues to skyrocket. Further, they hire another 1000 people, yet only make modest improvements to the site itself. I’d add a 33% chance that they “pull a Netscape” and go after the desktop or the browser or some other place they really don’t belong. — Re backlash: right; Re growth: right; Re staffing: close; Re improvements: right; Re target a weird space: right (Beacon). Cmon, I get extra props here!
- Randomly pick some names from the huge list of other social networking sites and some of them merge. — AOL bought Bebo, but that was about it for the year.
- Adults who didn’t grow up with social networking services experience burnout of being bitten by zombies after a few months, and many stop checking in four times per day. Those who went to school during the Facebook era continue to complain about all the old fogies (like me) polluting their sacred resting ground. They also continue to put radically inappropriate pictures of themselves online, blissfully unaware of the interviewing process. — Right on all counts.
- A few Android-powered phones ship, but not as many as the tech community would like to see. Again showing why the Razr can utterly dominate the market despite a closed architecture and terrible user interface. — I guess I should’ve said “One or more” instead of “a few”, but I’m gonna go with a yes here.
- Apple launches the iPhone 3G, the iPhone nano, and the iPhonePro. Ok, I’m not 100% sure on the third, but I am betting on the first two. Also, one of these new phones comes unlocked OR on a carrier other than AT&T. — Mixed, so for the count I’ll have to say wrong.
- Some major lawsuit occurs between a carrier and either a cable company or a broadcaster, all about mobile video rights. All parties involved appear as nothing but greedy to outsiders. — Wrong (it’s still brewing, trust me)
- Something new comes out in the phone space that’s more astounding than the iPhone. It’s possibly: uber-small, has a radically better battery life, does something funky like synchs with the Wii, or works with all US carriers. — Wrong, instead a bunch of lousy, boring, poorly built touchphone replicas come to market. Fail.
- With lots of stealth, a new console comes to market. It might only be a moderate shift from a prior model, or possibly be a whole new entrant. — Nope.
- Rock Band 2 and 3, and Guitar Heros 4, 5, 6, and “Eddie Van Halen” editions come out, however nobody licenses the Harmonix engine to make “Jazz Trio”. — N/A, was just sarcasm.
- Someone comes up with a really impressively new concept for the Wii. Good odds, however, that they wrap it inside a crappy game. — Don’t know, didn’t pay enough attention to the Wii. Anyone?
- More really amazing HD gaming occurs, continuing to drive HD adoption faster than the meager channels the cable companies try to placate us with, despite the fact that they raise prices again. Did I already say that? — Yup.
- A wide swath of “Web 2.0″ companies will go dark, primarily out of an inability to either figure out a business model for their product, or an inability to successfully market their service outside of the Bay Area. They will quickly be forgotten and replaced by new ones with even goofier sounding names like Froobooloo.com. — I guess this has to be a “not quite yet”, but it’s-a-coming…
- No major Wimax deployments occur. — Right-o.
- The digital transition date looms, starts creating a lot of media hype a la Year2000 mania. — Very right.
- RFID continues to be a fun topic for the media, but all that happens is Walmart continues to make small vendors spend loads of money for the privelege of selling there. — Goes under the not enough information to make a call category.
- Bloggers fret about not being recognized as “press”, yet continue to spend too much time/energy gossiping about other bloggers, an activity the general public remains disinterested in and doesn’t give extra respect/credibility for. This circular logic is baffling, I know. — Right.
- We lose even more rights to big media, because few Americans are willing to take even the tiniest steps to do anything about it. PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG (start here)! — Right.
- I still don’t Twitter. — 1005 updates at the time of writing. Complete and utter fail. I’m so lame.
The verdict… 16 correct predictions, 13 incorrect ones, and 3 with insufficient information. Not too shabby, but I’ll try to do a little better next year!
Pretty good. Will next year’s predictions include “I no longer Twitter”?
Digital photo frames are definitely sold in mainstream locations. I’ve seen them in Target, Kinkos, Best Buy, etc for as low as maybe 40 bucks. The Best Buy had maybe a dozen models today (Kodak, HP, Insignia, Westinghouse, Sony, and some others), when we picked up two (for the grandmas). Some of the models, including the HP and one of the Kodaks, were sold out.
Regarding WiMax, Clearwire+Xohm may not have a national footprint, but they’re making decent progress. At least in terms of antennas… not sure, how many customers they actually have. (Xohm is lit up here in DC and in Philly, though not officially launched yet.)
“Someone comes up with a really impressively new concept for the Wii. Good odds, however, that they wrap it inside a crappy game. — Don’t know, didn’t pay enough attention to the Wii. Anyone? ”
Wii Fit? perhaps
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No doubt Dave, you know the digital photo frames are becoming mainstream when not only does my uncle purchase one as a christmas gift but when it’s for my grandparents.
As mobile internet users continue to expand, with Palm’s apparent rebound in the works, continuing growing usage of the iphone/new bb, do you think the digital lifestyle will leverage bloggers/etc. against the mass media? Seems inevitable to me.
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