'Tis the season to be producing 2008 market predictions. But let's wait a day or two fo that - I'm going to follow Russell at MobHappy's lead and first have a look and what's happened in 2007 vs. my predictions from last year.
1) Increased focus on manufacturers selling multiple "diverged" devices to users
Implicitly, yes this has definitely happened. I've heard a lot less "oh, you only need one device" nonsense. Although my friends over at Forum Oxford still like to imagine mobile phones taking over from laptops, GPS devices, iPods, toasters etc.
2) A lot of noise about VoIP over 3G.
Yes. But, er, mostly from me. While a lot of times I'll be critical of a technology concept, or at least say "Yes great idea, but it's not as easy as it looks", this is definitely one area where I think the market is vastly underestimating the importance and potential.
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3) Emergence of corporate-focused MVNOs
Yes, although they haven't quite set the world on fire yet. BT, iPass and newcomers like IIJ in Japan.
4) Continued uptake of various dual-mode services & handsets, but they won't change the world
5) Spectrum lobbying noise, regulation momentum and lawsuits ratchet up several notches.
Yes - WiMAX as 3G, 900MHz refarming, ITU World Radio Congress, US 700MHz, 2.5GHz.....
6) IMS confounds both its critics and its evangelists, but needs to improve integration ASAP
Yep. It's not slunk away into a corner & died, and certainly hasn't taken over the world either. But a new, rather humbler version of IMS is taking its role as part of the future landscape. IMS proxies and convergence boxes mean that it's integrating better, while we're slowly progressing on the IMS handset front.
7) Navigation becomes rather more important on mobiles. Mobile search doesn't.
Yes. There's a reason Nokia spent $8bn on Navteq & everyone on a BlackBerry loves Google Maps. But there's not been much movement in special mobile-optimised seach engines. Just give me proper Google.com search please.
8) The City WiFi bubble bursts
Yes. At best, it's wireless for bus shelters & traffic wardens. Yawn. At worst, it's a negligent waste of taxpayers' money by bored local government IT drones seduced by glossy marketing BS about 'digital inclusion'.
9) Flat-rate data becomes the norm, with browsing the killer app, driven by high-res screens
Yes. Although I missed that it was also driven by cheap USB modems for PCs. Laptops are the new smartphones.
10) No, No, No, No, No
Mobile IM won't replace SMS - true
Laptops with built-in HSDPA won't sell much (and even where they do, the cellular bit won't be activated by most owners). - true, it's all about USB dongles
WiMAX will get a few more major operator advocates, but still won't be seen as a threat to "normal cellular". - True
Mobile TV won't make much headway. - True.
Web 2.0 stuff like social networking really won't be a big deal in mobile outside Japan, Korea & maybe the US, unless carriers work out a way to give decent Internet access & capable devices to prepay users. - OK, maybe I underestimated this a bit, but there's still not that many people checking FaceBook on their phones, or Twittering.
Oh, and maybe Apple's Phone won't play music at all, but will be "just a phone". - Cough. OK I'll hold my hands up.... that was a bit tongue in cheek anyway, but still wrong.
I'll leave the 2008 predictions for another day......
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