Thursday, December 29, 2011

Geek Predictions For 2012

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2011 is now just a distant memory, which means it's time to once again for that look into my geek crystal ball to see what lies ahead for 2012 in the world of technology.

1. DVD's fade to black: No other consumer video format was adopted by consumers like DVD was in the late 1990's.  In just a few years after introduction in 1997, VHS was a chapter in the history of consumer electronics.  Like VHS before, DVD's are already getting pushed aside by Blu-Ray, video on demand, and Netflix.  Disney already re-releases many of their classic animated films on BluRay a month to six weeks before DVD.  Many retail have more shelf space devoted to BluRay than DVD.  2012 this won't just continue but accelerate. 

2. Cellular startups consolidate:  After a year an a half after launching, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, and Public Mobile have not seen the subscriber growth that the fledgling cellular carriers were expecting, and now mounting debt have lead to rumours that start up carriers were negotiating a merger deal.  To build their networks to bring their services to more potential subscribers, the upstart carriers will need to secure more financing
If the current startup cellular carriers hope to secure any of the recently opened 700 MHz band they will need access to even more money, to bid in the upcoming auctions. Currently Wind Mobile and Mobilicity don't have access to that much money without merging.

3. RIM merges or sings their swan song: As 2011 draws to a close runours abound that Research In Motion is a candidate to be bought out or at the very least merging with another handset maker. Declining marketshare, failures of their popular messaging products and threats by foreign governments to shut down access to RIM's popular messaging services have taken their toll on RIM

4. Windows Phone finally grows their audience:  Microsoft's struggle to get market share for Windows Phone 7 comes to an end in 2012 when smartphones running Windows Phone 7 for next generation LTE cellular networks debut early in the year.  While Android powered the first LTE smartphones many were watching the race for second place.  With no LTE iPhones or Blackberries anywhere in sight Microsoft has an opportunity to break into mobile that they never had before.  Microsoft's has credibility in the corporate world that Google simply doesn't have

5. Android tablets start gaining market share: In just a couple years Apple's iPad has dominated the tablet market they created. HP's touch pad was discontinued and remaining stock was sold off at a fire sale price less than two months after introduction. RIM's playbook hasn't fared much better. Tablets running Google's Android from dozens of manufacturers have come into the market for half of the price of an iPad. The lower price hasn't translated into a competitive advantage for the Android tablets. With Apple sticking to LCD based display technology, manufacturers of Android tablets will need to look OLED screen technology to bring better battery life and a thiner tablet to provide that competitive advantage that they need. With Apple continuing pass on LTE, Faster 4G cellular Internet access could provide that competitive advantage that gives the Android tablets a bigger piece of the tablet market pie.

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