As 2009 comes to close, everyone is playing the predictions game, including me. So, here are my predictions for the new year.
1. 2010 is going to be the year that Android comes into its own. There is a lot of device movement behind it and we shall see a true iPhone challenger coming from the Android camp. Every major device manufacturer that is part of the Open Handset Alliance is going to come out with dozens of Android handsets. Also, we will see Android being deployed on devices other than Smartphones. Though it remains to be seen how Google positions Android versus its Chrome OS.
2. Android Marketplace is going to be next big goldrush for the app developers. The legions of Java developers are salivating at and furiously developing apps for the Android marketplace. Given Google’s free-for-all approach to the marketplace, I think that apps for Android are going to explode in 2010 and probably surpass the iPhone app store by 2011 unless Apple makes a drastic change to its App approval policy.
3. 2010 will see the introduction of data bandwidth caps and tiered pricing. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, AT&T is already making noise about how 3% of its data users are hogging 40% of the bandwidth. I believe that AT&T is getting ready to introduce data bandwidth caps and tiered pricing as early as Q1 of 2010.
4. Microsoft will make a major push to regain marketshare in 2010. Microsoft is at crossroads here, should it pursue a closed-wall approach like Apple or should it follow Google’s path. This is a long-shot prediction but I think Microsoft might end up acquiring a major player to disrupt the iPhone and Android hegemony. Though RIM, Palm and to a small degree, Motorola are likely targets, but I would not be surprised if Nokia and Microsoft partner up to develop or extend Windows Mobile.
So, there you go. These are my predictions. Stop by and let me know what you think or what your predictions are.
Cool, if this rumor is true, this would be a new and interesting form factor for Blackberry.
Yay, rumors! Today’s fun rumor comes courtesy of one Mr. Shaw Wu, a Kaufman Bros. analyst, who believes (thanks to his sources in the supply chain) that a BlackBerry 9900 has not only hit the prototype phase, but also features an entirely new form factor for RIM – a touchscreen slider.
The mystical BlackBerry is said to be some sort of Storm-meets-classic-Blackberry-meets-slider concoction. As IntoMobile points out, the above patent image clearly gives some hint at what a legitimate BlackBerry slider could look like.
The purported next-gen ‘Berry is expected to be revealed sometime in 2010. But until we see an actual prototype (come on Mr. Blurry cam, help a brother out!), this is all just pure speculation for the time being.
Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.
Qualcomm has an interesting take on the mobile content discovery market based on a survey it conducted recently in UK and US. The survey indicated that consumers were willing to make purchases on their mobile phones if the content was easy to find. The operators could provide more relevant content to mobile users using their location and other personal information but they have to tread lightly because too much use of personal content could be viewed as invasion of privacy and turn users off the service.
Mobile network operators can boost data revenues by providing personalized apps and content experiences for their subscribers, according to a report released today by Qualcomm. But the carriers will have to walk a fine line between being helpful and being invasive as they try to take their customers by the hand.
According to the San Diego-based chip maker — which is touting Xiam, its mobile content discovery technology — 63 percent of users polled in the UK and U.S. said they’d spend more time accessing or purchasing content if the stuff they were looking for was easier to find. Four out of five respondents said difficulty obtaining content is “a major problem,” and users estimated they would spend an average of an hour more per week and $8 more per month on mobile data if their content was personalized.
Such difficulty is especially easy to appreciate given the ways most users search for content on their phones. The two most common ways to look for mobile content are using search engines or typing in URLs on the device, Qualcomm said — methods that can deliver headaches more quickly than they produce accurate search results.
There’s no question that discoverability is a huge problem on the mobile web, and carriers — with their established billing mechanisms and strong content partners — are indeed well positioned to help their users spend money. But they’re also likely to be seen as intrusive by some, and as flat-out invading users’ privacy if they try to target content by tracking user behavior and purchases. And they’re sure to be resented by some users who figure their mobile company already takes a big enough chunk of change every month. There are opportunities to subtly suggest content their users might actually pay for, but carriers will have to tread very gingerly as they approach those subscribers.
Cool Mobile Phone Evolution
InStat today put out a report on the worldwide smartphones trends. According to this report, smartphones of future will have a different user experience than today’s smartphones. InStat expects that this new user experience driven smartphones will increase competition and shipments will increase to 412 million in 2014.
One key feature that InStat survey respondents would like in their future smartphones is accelerometer. According to InStat, of the 412 million shipped in 2014, 340 million smartphones will have accelerometer in them.
Another observation in the report is that 52% of the cost of building a smartphone goes towards the display, baseband and app processors, and software & licensing. Though one pecularity about this observation is that InStat feels it is unjustified. However, to me, that is the cost of developing a smartphone, in other words, that is the cost of putting “smart” in the smartphone.
This report is available for sale at InStat for $3,495.
Verizon today announced the launch date for RIM’s Blackberry Storm2 with Blackberry OS 5.0 as October 28. The phone will be available for sale through its stores, online and through other channels for $179.99 after $100 mail-in rebate.
Just to recap, the key features of this phone are:
- 3.25 inches touchscreen with capacitive touch
- 3G support using EV-DO Rev A, UMTS, HSPA & Quad-band GSM network support.
- 3.2 Mpxl camera with autofocus, image stabilization and video recording
Though, the one big miss on Verizon’s part is that they have not provided an easy upgrade plan for the existing Storm users, like what Apple & AT&T did for iPhone. However, they have provided software upgrade for existing Storm users via a update site starting today.