Ryan’s 2012 Tech Predictions

Hopefully these predictions will turn out better than Nic Cage’s cinematic masterpiece (Knowing in the US)

Editor’s note: We have asked each of our researchers to pull together considerations meant to help in your planning for 2012. We solicit your feedback on all these predictive posts. bg

In 2011, we had some really great technology advances – many were mobile-centric, but did not end there. The mobile world continued to explode in 2011 – with exponential smartphone, app and tablet growth. However, this world continues to fracture as every provider tries to carve out their piece of the ecosystem. Cloud computing has become part of our daily lives, as well the IT force multiplier du jour for enterprises. Social capabilities are omnipresent, and continue to grow in importance.

The next year will likely be filled with even more technological leaps and bounds, and here are some of my predictions on them.

My 2012 Technology Predictions:


  • Android increases market share of mobile smartphone OS’s – especially in budget arena, there are over 700k Android activations each day, a number which shows no sign of slowing down.
    • A vast divide opens up between the Android “haves” and “have nots” – that is, the devices that have Android 4.0 and those stuck in Android 2.X
  • 720p becomes the de facto standard for all smartphones – 720p looks good on smartphones, and soon Apple will have to adapt/adopt the idea of HD in your hand
  • iPhone 5 update brings LTE radio + multiple handset sizes to iOS – iOS/Apple is getting hurt due to the fact that they offer primarily 1 phone, in 1 form factor. While you can get the 3GS for free on contract, that phone is no longer competitive against today’s budget Android devices.
  • Apple releases 7″ iPad – while Steve Jobs thought this space held nothing of value, the Kindle Fire and Nook Color have proved him wrong. Apple needs a device that is more reading friendly than the larger iPad, and will roll something out to avoid missing this market share.
  • iPad maintains 55+% share of tablet space – despite tablets made by everyone out there, the iPad will maintain the lion’s share of the tablet market – at least for 2012.
  • Sprint or T-Mobile releases “family data plans” – in which every device you own shares pool of data. T-Mobile tried to remain viable by selling out to AT&T, Sprint gambled on WiMax (and lost). Both of these networks need SOMETHING to keep them viable in the mobile business.
  • RIM is out, and Microsoft will do anything to be more than an afterthoughtBlackBerry is hemorrhaging mobile share, they offer no differentiators for consumers and are starting to lose corporate accounts as well. Microsoft tore through the videogame world with the Xbox/Xbox360 through a commitment to development and massive use of cash. However, lack of quality devices and carrier commitment have left Windows Phone lagging far behind Android/iOS.

Consumer Technology:

  • Apple releases iTVs (to compete with Google TV) – These will have Apple TVs built into real monitors – will most likely run iOS 5/6 (depending on release) and will likely integrate DVD (maybe even Blu-Ray)
  • Google TV reaches ICS – the Google TV platform is really neat – and offers some cool things to do with your TV. However, it is like 3D – not quite enough content to be ready to roll, but the integration of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu Plus make it viable
  • 3D TV remains on the fringes – Rolling out a new standard is all about content. 3D in the home is not ready, because there is not enough content.
  • Streaming to the living room becomes a bigger deal – as “cable cutters” proliferate, devices like Roku, Boxee, Apple TV and Google TV become more widespread. It used to be that cable was a necessity, and internet a luxury, it is now becoming quite the opposite.

Enterprise Technology

  • As the Bring Your Own Device (or Bring Your Device To Work) phenomenon continues, IT administrators scramble to provide virtualized environments on devices to employees – these efforts will be supported by security professionals – but the proliferation of personal devices on enterprise networks will lead to a few major security issues – yet will result in stronger security capabilities for distributed devices.
  • Enterprises will be making concerted efforts to outsource (to the cloud!) – Outsourcing desktops, infrastructures and platforms to the cloud will provide great flexibility and agility to IT administrators. This outsourcing will bring down the costs of IT labor and divisions as a whole. There are many concerns associated with cloud – but these will be swept under the rug as monetary savings and business process benefits take the spot light.
  • As the Federal Government moves to cloud based services, there will be growing pains – enormous growing pains. NIST is working hard to create frameworks and standards for governmental cloud capabilities. This will change the way IT services are rolled out and offered to both govvies and citizens.

Social Media

  • The big 3 of 2011 were Facebook, Stumbleupon and Twitter – they defined the way we interact with friends, find and curate content, and share.
  • Facebook will continue to define our online social interactions – as much as everyone complains about Facebook/Chat/Timeline, they are on it, and on it to stay.
  • Stumbleupon will continue to outperform Reddit/Pinterest/etc – it has the best mobile experience, and great sharing options, if you don’t use it, get on it now, and follow me (Kamauff).
  • Twitter is the news sources of choice, as well the disseminator of links – we all use Twitter, it’s likely you found this site on Twitter, and that won’t go away. People will keep using Twitter for snarky comments, news and sharing links – but the character limit will create issues in the future.

So what did I miss? I welcome all comments/thoughts/complaints disagreements!

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