First things first … how did I do on last year's predictions? I'm going to call 3 out of 5. First commentary on what I predicted for this year.
- Yup – There will be no real competitor to the iPhone in 2010. Sorry guys but Android still isn't a real competitor and Windows Phone 7, well, …
- Yup – “App Stores” will become the goto model for everyone. Ford cars … nuff said. A little silly if you ask me, but it certainly has become the goto model.
- Nope – We’ll see some desperate last gasps for relevancy from the cable companies. I was right in the “gasps for relevancy” part but I was wrong from where they would come. It's the “Networks” that want us to take them seriously and are hiring people to make sure we don't dare watch Chuck on our Google TVs. I still get a chuckle every time Hulu reminds me that I can watch said Chuck on Monday nights at 8p with 4 times the commercials. The Comcast/NBC merger talks will get fascinating as well. The cry for relevancy (as opposed to the rallying cry for innovation) will continue well into next year. Eventually, they'll get it.
- Yep – Hulu 1/1/2010 will be dramatically different than Hulu 12/31/2010.Twice as many commercials and very few 15 second spots anymore. I was really surprised this year with HuluPlus but the downright silly implementation of it proves the point that this model isn't ready for the prime time it streams.
- Nope – The “App Economy” and easy distribution and product creation models will flood the economy with a bunch of great stuff at prices that can’t sustain businesses. It’s gonna be messy. The only place it got messy was EAs brilliant Christmas iPhone price slashing. I still think it will get messy but the economies of scale do make it fascinating (Angry Birds anyone …?)
But now, … 2011 …
- The Verizon iPhone will do bigger business than expected and shed some serious light on just how pathetic of a company AT&T really is. Some could call the Verizon iPhone a prediction as well but the clues are too clear for that one. Bringing choice to the iPhone economy will increase sales, lower prices and increase quality as AT&T suddenly finds herself with a competitor again. All good for us. All bad for AT&T shareholders.
- The 2nd Generation iPad will bring us a very reduced rate on the 1st gen iPad bringing prices (and consumption) close to the Amazon Kindle. I have yet to find an unsatisfied iPad user – I've only found people put off by the $499 entry point. That will change this year. Bye bye netbooks …
- Something MASSIVE from Microsoft is coming to save Microsoft from herself. This might be more of a prayer than a prediction but she's gonna have to do something very big and very out of the box if she wants to matter at all by 2015. Windows Phone 7 ain't it. Kinect (although fun) ain't it. Office 2015 ain't it. Operating systems are dead. Shrink wrap Office Suites are dead. They're too late for phone. It has to be something new from the cloud (entertainment is their best best) or something radical in gaming.
- We'll see big pushes from YouTube for video rentals, live streaming and cross platform consumption. I'm talking television and movies you start watching on your phone on the commute home and move to your television or computer upon arrival. They have the infrastructure to do it and have more than enough money to make friends quickly with the right partners. They will – regardless of how lame GoogleTV is right now.
- Social Media will quickly move from buzzworthly catchphrase to reality of online business. Much the same way marketers no longer shake with excitement over the terms PPC or Autoresponders, you'll find less hype over Facebook and YouTube advertising. You will, however, quickly see it as a part of every serious marketer's arsenal.
There we go … your thoughts?