martini_4717I just submitted my predictions to Harry McCracken who runs Technologizer and is rounding up the 2010 predictions from the community. One selected lucky winner this year will receive an Olive Digital Music Server.

So without further delay, I present here my predictions for Technologizer’s contest. Mind you, these don’t represent all of the predictions I’m thinking about as these last weeks of 2009 wind down. But they are enough to get the thoughts and comments going. Maybe some will come true, maybe not, but tis’ the season for predictions!

2010 Predictions

#1. Verizon will acquire a major content creator!

verizon_crowdComcast/NBCU means that Verizon will be searching for a similar play because it needs a high-end content play too! Let’s face it, the #1 network provider can’t be trumped by a cable company as it drives FiOS across the land! AT&T will be distracted by other things like the loss of its iPhone exclusivity and network coverage issues that will be out maneuvered by Verizon in this area.

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#2. The eight smart phone ecosystems will consolidate down to five!Nexus One

Today it’s iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian, Maemo, and now Samsung’s new Bada offering. They will consolidate down to five as competition increases and developer resources to sustain them all remain thin.

Samsung’s Bada will fail- why do we need yet another smart phone platform?

Palm will get acquired as it struggles to establish any foothold outside the US and WebOS will end up in other things, just not phones.

Nokia moves from Symbian to Maemo looking for a better way to optimize for the Web. But developers are increasingly fed up with writing apps for Symbian because it’s hard (too many versions) and consumes too many resources and development time. But even Maemo won’t be popular and the pressure will be on Nokia to move to Android.

Windows Mobile will struggle badly but makes it through the year, just barely. Buying Palm or RIM just doesn’t make sense.

RIM will not be sold, but will see increased enterprise competition (and not from Microsoft, see prediction below) and will find a harder consumer market to compete in thanks to the Android and iPhone marketing juggernauts. RIM will start re-development efforts on its OS, and go on an acquisition spree as is OS must become optimized for the web.

So 2010 will end with iPhone and Android strong, RIM and Nokia in transition, and Windows Mobile on the ropes.

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#3. 2010 will be the year of Apple in the enterprise!

iphone_enterprise-300x268We’ll see new strategies and organizational structures in Cupertino and at the store level (between the stores and Apple Enterprise sales). Led by a big push for iPhone in the enterprise, Apple will also cherry pick some enterprise verticals like design, CAD/CAM and engineering, while working with SW developers like Autodesk to gain ground on Windows in select segments. The second leg of this strategy will be with small and medium enterprise (SME) accounts, again, with the iPhone being a leading entry point for many businesses. The news and hypein 2010 may be all about Apple’s so-called tablet (if it even debuts), but the real story will be around Apple’s quiet execution of a new enterprise strategy.

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#4. Marketing practices shift full circle due to social media pressure! highpressure

Brands realize that campaigns that used to last weeks via paid media (print and broadcast) will be compressed to days via earned media (online and social). This will drive rapid consolidation among existing PR firms and ad agencies. Brands are already realizing that PR and ad agency services come at a high cost and are having marginal impact in this economy. To combat this, PR, marketing and advertising groups will need to work together within the same agency in a seamless string, rather than compete individually as they do today.

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#5. Web analytics firms go on a mobile analytics buying spree!

shopping-spreeWeb analytic and mobile analytics are like oil and water. You can’t replicate the same practices and tools on the web side to the mobile side. This will also drive some consolidation in the market research/web analytics community as well. 2010 for these firms will be all about trying to cover all the bases when it comes to measuring the impact of advertising and getting to know the customer on all platforms- TV, web, and mobile. And it will require having strong tools to mine multiple social media platforms, and the goldmine of data and perceptions that they all produce as well.

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#6. Hulu loses it’s appeal thanks to Comcast, does not make transition to TV!

Let’s be honest, I’m not wishing that this happens, quite the opposite! But I don’t see how Hulu thrives with Comcast’shulu hands on it long-term. It’s a great platform that saw an awful lot of consumer traction in 2009. Days after Comcast’s announcement of its acquisition of NBC Universal, which owns 30% of the popular online video site, it said that it intends to leave Hulu alone. But how can it, when the platform is so tempting in the eyes of all the content buyers and producers at the cable giant?  If the regulatory scrutiny by the FCC takes nine months to a year to play out as many think, then Hulu survives. If approval is accelerated, then Hulu loses steam in 2010, which would be a shame for a platform that holds so much promise.

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#7. Google Wave starts to show practical applications by mid-2010!

google_wave_logoAs its subscriber base grows, Google Wave will begin to bear some interesting fruit in the year ahead. But 2010 will still largely be a experimental year for the platform, as all manner or use will be put through it.  However, other communication, conferencing, and information sharing platforms and service providers will get increasingly nervous over Wave and feel like their business models are being threatened, as they do when Google comes out with any new innovative and ground breaking idea!

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#8. Despite best efforts, Android development will splinter!

Just like Java did, Android development will splinter off into different development versions and pieces. This will notandroid_logo_big be all due to Google’s guidance and direction, but more due to increasing pressure from all the different hardware platforms and device designs that will be pushing it in different directions— a wide degree of smart phone designs, multiple consumer tablet ideas, as well as other appliances that will go into development in 2010. Just the fact that it is focused on 5-inch displays and tablet designers want to extend the platform to 12-inch and beyond means it is due to bifurcate.

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#9. Rupert Murdoch pulls away from Google and under 40 year-olds don’t give a damn!

rupert_murdochThe financial community will bellyache, and those who have been in media for many years will think that his actions representa defiant and much needed stand against the tyrannical technology firms that have destroyed every good, clean, established and productive (financially) old media business model. But everyone under the age of 40 will know where to go for their daily Fox fix, and it’s not a search engine. They just don’t care about the rest of News Corp’s old school news properties, that their fathers’ waxed so poetically about!

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10. The Snuggie in your choice of college football and Nascar team designs will be big!

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-Randy Giusto

randygiusto@newdigitalcafe.com