By Jason Wong
Another crazy year in the mobile space and food world in 2011. I made some predictions a year ago and for the most part I was pretty on target–OK so maybe some of them were pretty obvious.
On the food predictions, Richard Blais did win Top Chef All-Stars (pretty easily I thought) and Korean food was “killin’ it” on the Great Food Truck Race show on Food Network (until they were accused of cheating and got kicked off), but David Chang alas did not enter the Next Iron Chef competition (he’s probably spending too much time counting his money).
On the mobile predictions, it was more of mixed bag. Microsoft did not buy Nokia but Nokia did go “all in” on Windows Phone 7 – success still TBD. My Playbook prediction was DOA, but my HP webOS prognostication was spot on. My HTML5 prediction was pure clairvoyance (it’s everywhere now – even Adobe has relented); mobile malware is certainly on the rise (especially for Android); NFC is still in early days; and finally Angry Birds didn’t quite make it to a billion dollars for apps, but have you seen all the licensed merchandise people are buying?!
So what’s in line for 2012? I’ll make it a shorter list of five predictions and keep it to mobile topics.
1. RIM’s BB 10 will underwhelm. It’s not about the hardware or the software any more. It’s about the ecosystem. And RIM just doesn’t have the developers, content and apps to compete any more. Their BES paradigm seems antiquated (did you hear about the outage?)and their value prop is just not relevant in 2012.
2. Facebook phone (if all the rumors are true) will be a dud. Facebook is useful and even fun for many people, but do you really want it to be your phone provider? Carrier IQ has gotten so much backlash, what will Facebook face in terms of the stuff they are capturing from your Facebook phone? Just say no.
3. Amazon phone (again if the rumors are true) will be a success. Why? because the Kindle Fire is selling briskly and Amazon has the ecosystem to sustain a real mobile strategy (see RIM above). They have an app store, they have content, they have commerce and they have the new Steve Jobs in Jeff Bezos.
4. Microsoft will exceed RIM for smartphone and tablet market share. Windows Phone devices and Windows tablets will be embraced mostly by businesses and this will directly cut into RIM’s target market. Microsoft is an aircraft carrier that is slowly turning to get back into the mobility game. HTML5 and time will be its two biggest allies to help it catch up to Android and iOS.
5. Oracle will make their move and start buying mobile vendors to catch up to SAP and Saleforce.com, both of which are betting big on mobile as the new UI for their apps. If 2012 is really the year when mobility breaks through to the big time, you can be sure Larry Ellison won’t want to miss out.
Jason Wong is a founding member of Mobile Masters, blogging about the gourmet side of mobile. Follow him on Twitter @mobilegourmet