1. First of all 2011 will be the year of the tablet. That isn’t a prediction, it’s more of a fact. I think the big winner in the tablet world will eventually be Google with Android simply because they will have the cheapest and most devices. This has already been proven true with cell phones.
2. Even though the company with the cheapest and most devices will eventually win, advertising will win the tablet market in the short term. It doesn’t matter who has the best device or the best software. The company who has the most successful marketing campaign will win. This makes me think that the iPad will continue to sell well, the Blackberry Playbook will have a decent market, even though it will suck, and HP won’t have much traction unless they change their strategy. In the end, Android will still probably take the lead because they will have the most companies pushing Android tablets.
3. Because of tablets in the <$500 range I think laptops will begin to take a hit in sales. While this has already been reported with the iPad, it will actually be true in 2011. Oh and desktops don't have a chance. Even businesses will begin to go away from desktops and start offering more laptops, tablets, and thin clients.
4. Apple and Microsoft will begin to change their strategy for their computer operating systems. I think Microsoft will begin to rely heavily on "cloud computing" and try to offer some of their own services but mainly focus on always connected devices with instant on. Apple, on the other hand, still won't embrace 3rd party cloud services and will expand their own Mobile Me platform and continue to segregate their users. While this won't cause an Apple revolt in 2011, I think there may be an uprising in 2012.
5. Microsoft won't have a real answer to Windows on a tablet. While they will have lots of plans and still push out devices, they won't have something that is finger friendly until 2012. Even though what they should do is put Windows Phone 7 on tablets.
1. Smartphones will continue to expand their market and the Verizon iPhone will finally come out. The iPhone market share won’t go up as much as some people expect because most people that want a smartphone are already entrenched in the platform they are on now. And 2011 will have so many good phone operating systems that the iPhone won’t be “the best” anymore. iPhone market will still go up, but it won’t catch Android.
2. AT&T will be forced to stop riding the iPhone success wave and either slash their prices or finally get some decent devices. My theory is they will reach out to HP and Blackberry for exclusive devices rather than lowering prices to Sprint and T-Mobile level.
3. Network will be the big marketing push for carriers at first but that will die down near the end of the year because most of the networks will begin to share the same coverage and network technology. Also phones will become less exclusive because quad-band and penta-band phones will become the norm. Although 2011 will still see very few LTE voice devices.
4. Customers will start adding devices to their contracts because more devices will have cellular radios and the wireless data will finally became fast enough to use. I think there may even be a push for people to ditch their traditional internet provider and just tether their phone/buy a modem because it will be cheaper for them.
1. Nintendo will finally have to announce a new console. The Wii sales will drop so much that Nintendo will updated it to a Wii HD that has Blu-ray, HD graphics, and 3D capabilities. They will also incorporate the Wii Motion Plus controller into the standard remote and probably have a standard webcam with a high focus on video chatting and video integration into games. I am hopeful that people will finally become tired of the same thing and Nintendo’s success will plummet until they are innovative again.
2. Microsoft won’t announce a new console at E3 but will probably hint at something coming in 2012. They will continue to update the Xbox 360 to add value to the system, but developers will need more processing power and more storage space to push the envelope. And they won’t get that from the 360 because of the fragmentation of the console install base.
3. Sony won’t come out with a new console but will finally create better online services that will allow developers to easily take advantage of cross game chat, universal lobby rooms, and video chat without having to program it from scratch.
4. A new company, or possibly existing company, will come out with a “console” with the main focus of bringing PC games to the TV. It will be similar to OnLive but will have a better library and subscription model that will actually be successful. They will also include support for iOS and Android if they truly want to “make it”.
1. There will be a decline in major technology breakthroughs because the economy will finally level out and companies will realize that they can’t just keep pushing new products because people aren’t buying them. This won’t stop companies from coming out with new things, but big breakthroughs won’t happen as often as they did in 2009 because people don’t have the money to buy it and companies don’t have the money to develop it.
2. Streaming services will continue to try and eat away at the cable TV market but it will take big companies like Google, Microsoft, or Apple to make it truly successful. I am hopeful that Microsoft will finally make a all-you-can-eat video service, a la Zune pass, that will work on the 360 and Windows that might compete. No matter what, a pay-per-view model will not work, and content providers will be stubborn to allow this type of model.
That is all I got for this year. Let me know if you have any predictions in the comments or if you agree/disagree. Either way I hope everyones 2011 is great and I am looking forward to all the announcements to come.