I’ve seen lots of Top 10 lists on the subject, and I’ve decided to try a different format for my own prognostications. Instead of by rank, I’ll do a list by industry. Also, I have way more than 10 predictions to make.
- 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.
- A resolution above 1080p starts appearing in demos and labs, I’d predict a bump up into the 4000 vertical lines space.
- Bluray and HD-DVD continue to duke it out while consumers continue to not care.
- One of Hulu, Joost, etc get integrated into the Xbox 360 and/or PS3.
- Google launches “Android for Set-Top Boxes” but gains little traction in the foreseeable future.
- Anyone who is not a telephone company that tries to launch an IP-streaming set top device has a very rough year.
- 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).
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!
- 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.
- Digital picture frames continue to grow in market share, but still don’t “tip” into the mainstream.
- More companies introduce e-book readers despite general malaise in the category. Kindle II is launched with mild improvements.
- I have no clue, I don’t follow the space. Hello, this is a consumer tech blog!
- 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.
- Microsoft continues to spin about how amazing Vista is. Michael Gartenberg’s observations are probably the most poignant as to why it isn’t.
- Asus or Dell acquires or merges with one of HP, Acer, Toshiba, or other “meh” PC maker.
- 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.
- Nobody makes my awesome dual-screen laptop concept, thus leaving me the opportunity to make zillions one day.
- 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.
- Randomly pick some names from the huge list of other social networking sites and some of them merge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- Someone comes up with a really impressively new concept for the Wii. Good odds, however, that they wrap it inside a crappy game.
- 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?
- 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.
- No major Wimax deployments occur.
- The digital transition date looms, starts creating a lot of media hype a la Year2000 mania.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)!
- I still don’t Twitter.
See you in 366 days to see how I scored!
Jeremy, these predictions are great.
I also don’t Twitter (though I guessed they’ll add video and photos in 2008). I hope TiVo stays independent or is bought by Apple, and that Facebook keeps growing…
Given it’s the end of the year, there are a lot of predictions out there, yours and mine included. (See: 10 Predictions for 2008 In the World of Tech
I suggested Facebook might buy Digg, Google Reader would compete with TechMeme and eBay would sell off StumbleUpon. I’ll link to your list from mine.
Also good? ParisLemon’s The Year Ahead 2008: 17 Predictions
The higher resolution you are talking about under TV technology is already out and has been for a little while now. It’s called 4K (4096 x 2160). There are a few cameras and projectors already that support this resolution.
Excellent Facebook prediction… Between it and Twitter, surely some people out there must be reaching info capacity — or will experience it shortly. Can attention spans get any shorter? A sentence posted via txt here, a snippet there. A status update that someone is going to work… Most of it is white noise.
A few WiFi-enabled cameras already exist. They haven’t seemed to attract much of a following. EyeFi is looking pretty good – if they can market it, it could really become a hot, hot item and company. The prices and features seem right. It’s a question of educating folks and usability (I haven’t tried one yet).
I was in Target yesterday and they had a whole row of digital photo frames. Even Kinkos was selling digital photo frames when I went in to ship something. The mainstream may or may not be buying them in large numbers, but the opportunity seems to currently exist.
The WiMax prediction is interesting. You could be onto something, as this initiative seems to be stalling…
I also agree with your prediction of an (unjustified) alarmist reaction to the looming digital transition.
I agree TiVo will be fine for another year, and more. There’s probably also 150 million at play in their patent case. In the past, they haven’t seemed interested in being acquired and supposedly have poison pills in place to prevent a hostile takeover. Though they have deals with DirecTV, Comcast, and Cox -plus Cablevision in Mexico City and hardware slated for Austrlia via Seven- it’s a new year and things change. We shall see. (Won’t be Blockbuster though… they’re hurting.)
You should try Twitter. I know that conceptually and objectively, it seems a ridiculous, superfluous time-waster. But it’s not. It’s become my replacement for Google searches, my new source of real-life friends both here (I organize the Seattle Tweetups) and across the globe, my #1 referral source for my blog, and a great source of interesting clients for my consulting business.
Also, your very first prediction really pissed me off. I hope you were joking and I just didn’t get it. You need the government to protect you from cable company rates? How about you just stop watching TV? I don’t recall any Constitutional amendments guaranteeing access to Sopranos reruns at below X rate.
Some pretty good predictions. I don’t agree with everything though so I left my thoughts below:
I don’t think we’ll see anything above 1080p in plasma or lcd in 2008. We’ll probably see it in OLED? I think the big story will be the obliteration of plasma TV’s.
HD DVD will pull ahead of Blu-ray because lower prices will help them gain better market traction. Blu-ray will finally realize the numbers generated by the PS3 don’t matter because alot of PS3 owners don’t even know their game console has a high-def player.
The Hulu, Joost prediction would be smart on the video platforms’ part until web advertising gets itself sorted out.
I don’t think Google will launch anything that has to do with set top boxes, but if they did they would gain traction just because it’s Google.
TiVo will be acquired.
Facebook will lose “mindshare” by the last quarter of the year. People will realize MySpace has a much better business model and overall social network. Facebook tries to integrate video and fails.
We’ll see a fair share of mobile video platforms and advertisers launching startups before they really should. In the western world at least.
The digital transition will spark a frenzy. Regulatory bodies will totally fumble consumer education resulting in a LCD TV buying frenzy.
Louis – good stuff!
Dave Clark – so I’m already right? 🙂
Jeff – what was that? I forgot what you wrote already…
Dave – I like the Eye-Fi guys, but I think they will only win if they are a service/software company, not a flash card manufacturer.
Marina – the cable companies are monopolies who have done nothing but profit exorbitantly since deregulation. The government is supposed to protect us from monopolies, not ENABLE them to flourish. I don’t mind paying a cable bill, but I do mind the fact that there is no ability for me to switch to another provider AND they raise their rates ahead of inflation.
Justin – great adds, thanks!
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I don’t twitter either. Zune 3.0 will be great, I agree ( I love my 2.0 Zune). My Facebook honeymoon ended months ago though I still see incredible value yet to be exploited. Is Apple contractually allowed to create an iPhone that works on any network other than ATT (here in the states)? DSLR penetration will increase at a much greater rate than anyone ever thought.
Nice read JT. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year.
I believe AT&T has a 5 year exclusive on the iPhone in the US. What hardware that entails is anyone’s guess. Not to mention there’s a movement for force carriers and vendors to open up…
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