2009 (controversial) predictions

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…

6 thoughts on “2009 (controversial) predictions”

  1. ebay are hardly ignoring mobile – they actually have a fantastic mobile version of the site and were one of the first big web players to build one!

  2. After seeing the Pre, I think you are backing the right horse in the Moto/Palm deathwatch.

  3. OK James, you are right, ebay now has a better site, I must not have checked it for a while. Still the search is very simple, searching for “Mario Kart” provided 1280+ pages of results with only 5 per page and the results cannot be sorted in any other way and the search cannot be further filtered. It is probably OK for a really quick buy. I have to say the auction page is really nice.

    Speaking of the website, I still think it is hardly usable and they have not addressed very well the problem is better sorting and finding products… But maybe it’s just me who can’t get it right.

  4. carlo the pre UI is really impressive and the device looks very good. I’m looking forward to it, but I fear it will take a while before we see it in Europe. Still, from what I understand their market in the US is much bigger than in Europe, so it probably makes sense for them to focus on that first.

    I agree with you that this needs to be the first of a new generation and not the arrival point.

    I think they have showed a few interesting things during the presentation both functional and UI.
    Synchronization will be central and they seem to have worked hard on unifying which should be good.

  5. Interesting predictions, some I think may happen, others, we’ll see. I think number 2 is particularly interesting. Have you heard of the Nuvifone?

    A (less controversial) prediction of my own – threaded messaging will become mainstream. SE and LG now have it and the others aren’t far behind (of course iPhone and Palm have had it for a long time).

  6. Hi Mike,
    I’ve seen all the announcements about the Nuvifone and… how long have they been running? 2 years now? I remember they were already talking about it LAST year at the MWC in February and still we haven’t seen it.

    It’s sad new, honestly and I think it’s something like their last try and they seem to be failing at it. I think the Nuvifone is an additional reason why I think they are _today_ hopeless.

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