2011 Predictions Follow up

Here are my predictions for 2011. Let’s see how I did!

All high end smartphones will be dual core by the end of 2011 enabling wild new applications.

Yes/No: Android and Apple high end smartphones are now dual core. RIM and  Windows Phones are not but they represent a small part of the market. I’m not sure we’ve seen too many great applications that take advantage of the extra CPU power though except, perhaps, for games.

Apple and Verizon will ship a CDMA based iPhone that will not support LTE.

Yes: Actually they shipped two (the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S). At the start of 2011 iPhone was only on AT&T and now is also available on Verizon and Sprint. Apple has not supported LTE yet.

Starting in the middle of 2011, smartphones from all the major manufacturers will have an NFC chip but there will be few applications for it.

No: NFC did not take hold in 2011. The two Nexus phones (the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus) have NFC but that’s about it. Android 4.0 has some useful NFC apps for sharing data between phones and there is, of course, Google Wallet but 2011 was not the year of NFC as I had hoped it would be. 2013 will be more likely to see wide acceptance of mobile wallets.

The major Android supporters (Samsung, LG, HTC, Moto) will ship tablets of several sizes. Along with Apple, they will take the lion’s share of the tablet market leaving RIM and HP far behind.

Yes/No. The big manufactures did ship many Android Honeycomb tablets in several sizes but it was Apple that took the lion’s share of the tablet market. RIM’s PlayBook was a total flop and as HP seemed to lose its mind has all but abandoned webOS and left the mobile business altogether. The only successful Android tablet came from a new player – Amazon.

RIM will announce, but not ship, BlackBerry handsets with an all new OS based on QNX, similar to the PlayBook.

Yes: RIM did announce the BBX BlackBerry 10 platform and did say they will ship it on phones in 2012… late 2012. This was a terrible year for RIM and I don’t see too much hope for 2012.

Android will be the dominant smartphone platform (in terms of unit sales) by far.

Yes: The Android platform dominates sales owning over 40% of the smartphone market. This will continue in 2013 as Google continues to eat RIM’s lunch.

Windows Phone 7 will gain a following. HP’s webOS will not.

No/Yes: Windows Phone has a very small following (at best). WP seems to have gotten some positive news with this fall’s release of “Mango” and the announcement of Nokia’s new phones but Windows still has quite a lot of ground to make up. I was right about webOS which is now all but dead.

Android tablets will only succeed if they are made available without carrier commitments.  4G services (LTE and Wimax) will be most popular on tablets and laptops where battery life is less of a concern.

No: Android tablets did not succeed even when offered without carrier commitment. The availablility of LTE radios did not seem to help. iPad dominated and wifi seems to be the preferred wireless technology.

There were also some important events that happened in 2011 that I didn’t see coming.

  • The end of Adobe Flash for mobile. The implementations of Flash on mobile were pretty poor, but I did not expect Adobe to abandon the platform for HTML5. I think this is a good move for Adobe, good for mobile users, and good for the Internet in general. Adobe can now focus on creating great tools which is their strength.
  • The failure of Android tablets in the market. Even though many manufacturers brought Android tablets to market, they hardly made a dent in sales of iPad. The tablet market proved to be different than the phone market. Where phones are tied to carriers who can dictate which devices are available, tablets are not are consumers can choose the tablet they want which seemed to be the iPad. Also, I thought that the success of Android on the phone would bring Android developers to port their apps to tablets, but that did not happen. Without a huge store of apps, Android tablets could not compete against the iPad. Amazon seems to be making some progress not because the4 Fire runs Android, but rather because it is tied to Amazon’s content.
  • The steep decline of RIM. RIM was in trouble last year, but I didn’t think they’d tank so hard so quickly. Their leadership’s lack of vision (to say the least!) and the company’s inability to execute has hurt them greatly. In the year of iOS5 and dual-core LTE Android phones all RIM had to offer was old BlackBerries with small improvements and a table without email or calendar abilities.

So, that was 2011. I think I did okay. Soon I’ll post my 2012 predictions. Stay tuned!

About Lee J.

Mobile Guy!
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