I think the first predictions for 2009 I’ve seen, at least related to the mobile space, were from Carlo Longino. After his predictions no other predictions I’ve seen so far are very interesting or are adding much value. Kudos to Carlo to be the first, sorry for the others who I think have wasted their time.
Of course, if you want to get your predictions right you have to stick to something very likely to happen and that will probably not appear SO interesting or will not surprising TOO many people. Challenged a bit by James Whatley (a.k.a. whatleydude) here I am wasting a bit of my time and trying to bring some more controversial and probably less likely to be accurate predictions. If I can get 1 right, I think I’ll be proud.
1. mobile/not-mobile becomes irrelevant
The line that separates a mobile phone from a PC is becoming thinner and thinner. We have mobile phones, smart phone, EEE PCs, laptops, notebooks and probably more I can’t think of and you can basically get ANY display size between 2″ to 19″ and put that piece of electronics in your pocket or your bag and also be connected at any time. The distinction between “desktop” and “mobile” is about to disappear.
2. Garmin for car-navigation becomes irrelevant
Garmin has been the leader in car-navigation for many years, their products were the best by far both from the perspective of accuracy and software bundled. Nevertheless Tom Tom in many countries like Italy is the synonym of “car-navigation”. Garmin for some reason could not make it (was it just marketing?) and now Nokia is seriously in the game and all other vendors are releasing at least some device with GPS (did anyone say Google Maps?), so any user who wants navigation, will have it in his mobile device. I am really sorry to say that Garmin has no hope (and Tom Tom will follow quickly or be acquired).
3. Microsoft gives up on licensing their mobile OS
I am not sure if Microsoft will start selling their own “Zune-phone”, even though I personally think it would be a failure, but I believe their OS itself has no hope and no reason to continue to exist, what Microsoft really needs is focus on licensing Active Sync and maybe a Mobile Office (If Google can’t get a proper mobile version of their online docs first). They will continue making money on what they are really good at and keep the dominance of the e-mail and contacts. Anyone who wants to compete with RIM will have to integrate that and pay the fee.
4. Motorola mobile devices division is acquired
Carlo bets on EITHER Motorola or Palm, so I’m aligning behind him, but with a clear bet on one.
5. eBay online auctions are either acquired or become irrelevant
I personally think eBay is really a poor site and it seems like they could not make any improvement in the last 10 years. They have been ignoring mobile so far and honestly I think they are making a huge mistake. More and more when I search for something all I see are ads. Paypal is a GREAT idea and Skype has killed any other VoIP service, but ebay… well…