The time for New Year predictions have come and gone, so this projection will have a slight chance of being taken a bit more serious. So here’s my little list of predictions of what will happen throughout 2011 and what we will most likely see before 2012.
5. Mobile Market
Main mobile carriers will continue to shoot themselves in the foot with limited data plans. LTE/4G and other buzz words are great to create a marketing hype, but once price-conscious consumers figure out the part with low caps the adoption rates will suffer. Then someone (probably ClearWire or some other minor market player) will introduce an unlimited plan (or something that is a lot more relaxed) and that will kick majors into the right direction. But don’t expect the common sense to win this year.
Tablets will continue to be a hot trend, but consumers will mostly figure out that tablets are poor substitute for netbook. In light of this tablets based on Android platform will generally do better than others (iOS, Windows) essentially becoming a middle-tier device between phones and laptops. This also might slow down the adoption of newer smartphones, as more tasks formerly assigned to smartphones are easier and faster done on tablets. We might even see the return of Motorola RAZR!
Microsoft will continue to be a behemoth with slow reaction to market trends, however MS Office and Windows 7 will continue to be cash cows. Yahoo will probably become another Netscape, only instead of Microsoft we would have Google. Apple will continue to do better on all fronts with Verizon iPhone and iPad. MacBook Air would remain a unique device in its niche until the end of the year with couple of companies promising something similar in 2012 based off Intel’s Sandy Bridge chipset and, most likely, AMD’s similar offering. PC/laptop manufacturers would still fail to grasp the idea of neat looking laptop, however. RIM finally will completely miss the train and will visibly fall behind Android/iOS devices, regardless of the tablet.
Will NOT become as widespread as media wants us to believe. The main reason for it would be mobile carriers who will push for limited data plans (see #5), effectively barring users from using the cloud to its fullest potential. In 2011 content providers will probably realize that cloud is one of the best DRMs their money can buy so by year’s end we can see some fighting in that sector.
1. Your Personal Google
Google already personalizes search results heavy enough. What we are most likely to see by the end of the year is what amounts to “your personal Google” – or, rather, search results personalized so heavily that for any number of people first page would be 40 to 60%% different for the same query. Google already stores your search history and preferences, so building on top of that shouldn’t be a big deal. The SEO as we know it will, again, completely change.