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December 29th 2011 6:15 pm

Predictions for 2012

Seems like a worthwhile topic of discussion is predictions for 2012. I know a lot of podcast hosts are doing it around now since it gives them a podcast to drop in the hopper while they're off on vacation. Seems like there might be some worthwhile opinions on this forum, so maybe this'll catch a few comments.

I'd suggest:
- Make all your predictions in one post
- Comment on others predictions by replying to their post.
- Make your own predictions by replying to this root post.

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6 replies

Okay, here's mine:

- Apple will introduce the iPhone 5/4G in the fall. It will have the same screen resolution, a slightly larger screen (4" or less, but bigger than the current 3.5"), an improved processor, LTE support, be thinner, improve the front camera to 720p.

- Apple will introduce the iPad 3 in the spring. There will be two models--an iPad 3 at the same size with a 'retina display' of 2048x1536. There will also be a smaller model but bigger than 7". So lets say 8.9". It will sell for $399 base and have the current 1024x768 screen and no rear camera. The larger model will improve the front camera to 720p and the rear camera will still suck (but who cares). Both will feature an improved processor. There will be LTE support on the 3G model. The Wi-Fi models will include GPS. Both will support Siri. The 10" iPad 3 will be lighter than the current one but no thinner. Battery life will be slightly worse but still great.

- Apple will NOT introduce an actual TV. Most likely they'll just upgrade the current Apple TV to the new processor/1080p support. But I'll predict they get in bed with Comcast and Verizon and ship a CableCard supporting DVR model that you can rent from the cable company for say $99 down and $10/month more than the other cable company DVRs from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta. It'll have iTunes rentals, AirPlay etc but also do DVR functions and live TV. The CableCard will come paired with the box when the cable company installs it or you pick it up from them.

- BlackBerry will cease to exist as a standalone entity within the year.

- WebOS will not see any significant adoption

- Amazon's Kindle and B&N's Nook will take large chunks of the tablet market from the iPad despite being labelled as no good/not competitive. Amazon will continue updating the model and by sometime next year will fix the physical issues--the stupid power button placement, lack of volume buttons etc with an improved model.

- Other Android tablets will start to gain traction with the deployment of ICS. The Asus Transformer Prime and Samsung's tablets where available will be the standouts. Apple's marketshare in tablets will fall below 50%.

- Windows 8 won't ship in time to matter. ARM tablets will have vastly better battery life than Intel-based ones and it will become obvious that Intel has a serious problem on its hands. Windows ARM tablets will look like they should take off but the numbers will be too early to tell in 2012.

- Tivo will still not complete their HD UI on their retail models and see continued defections.
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Battery technology breakthrough
More of a hope this one, but in smart phones and laptpos, processor speed, GPUs, HD playback etc have all advanced at a much faster rate than battery technology. It needs to catch up! Play a power hungry game on your smart phone for an hour or so and half of your battery has gone! I'm sure we'll look back at this and think "hell, that was crazy!".

3D take-up slow-down
Next prediction is a drop in 3D take-up. I think as more devices are released with this, and the more exposure people get to it, the less fascination they'll be. I can see a future in the big-screens, but for mobiles, and gaming devices I think it's more trouble than it's worth. The slow sales of the 3DS are evidence of this.

Ultrabooks, and more ultrabooks!
Big, fat laptops are surely coming to the end of their back-breaking lives! Ultrabooks are now the new-thing! SSDs are more common-place and are becoming more affordable, physical media is taking a back seat to downloadable content and so the need for heavy HDDs and optical drives is dwindling. Price is the only thing stopping ultrabooks from dominating mobile computing, and price is the one thing that we all know will come down (at least once a 'lower-end' range is introduced).
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Obviously a breakthrough in battery tech would be wonderful. Even minor improvements would be awesome. But since its chemistry rather than electronics, it moves at a much slower pace. I'm not sure there's anything really amazing coming. More likely we'll see better electronics with respect to how they use power--things like that quad core tegra device that has a separate low-power CPU that can be switched to in order to handle low-power tasks. More efficient idle Wi-Fi use. The new low-power bluetooth spec. Stuff like that.

As for 3D I think you're completely right, but since at CES virtually all the TVs are 3D--manufacturers still have a few low end models that aren't but otherwise they all support 3D, I'm not sure you're going to see the fall-off in sales you expect. You'll have to track 3D usage by things like the sales of 3D glasses, 3D blu-rays sales, stuff like that.

Agree completely on the Ultrabooks. It'll be interesting to see how big they get. I assume Apple is going to do a 15-inch Air this year, and I assume the PC industry will go at LEAST that big and maybe even do something nuts like make a 17" pizza ultrabook. Thin and heavy may turn out to be a problem when the hinges turn out to be unreliable or people really hurt themselves dropping one on their foot and slicing off a toe.
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I agree that ultrabooks are were a lot companies are taking it. We saw a trend with tablets but since apple is still cornering that market but with truly competitive design, hardware, and price, companies actually have a chance competing with the Macbook air.
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-My Predictions: (Chronologically grouped by company):

- Apple will release a stand-alone Apple TV (probably not called iTV due to the UK channel of the same name), probably in February
- They will, in March, release an iPad 2S or 3. If it is a 2S, there will be Siri, a spec bump (probably an A6 processor) and a better camera. If it is a 3 there will be all that, a design change and a retina display level resolution.

- They will announce iOS 6 at WWDC, which will feature Widget Support for the Lock Screen and third-party widget support for the Notification Centre. Siri will be taken from beta, and will be put on the iPhone 4, 4th/5th gen iPod Touch and the iPad 2. Also, dynamically changing app icons will be supported, and a panorama mode will be added to the camera. iPad-like gestures will be brought to the iPhone and iPod Touch.
- They will release a next-generation iPhone with a changed design, a larger screen, 4G LTE and a 12MP camera either at WWDC or at a standalone event during the Summer/Autumn.
- They will offer a better iPod Touch, probably in October/November with A5, a better camera, Siri and whatever hardware improvements came with the iPhone 5.

- They will give us a look at OSX 10.8 (probably either Lynx or Mountain Lion). Mountain Lion would make it a Snow-Leopard style stability under-the-hood type of OS, while Lynx would be a brand new OS, like Lion was. Lynx may not be used, however, due to confusions with Linux.
- iPod Nanos will get an App Store.
- iPod Classic and Mac Pro will either by axed or refreshed.
- They will release a new form-factor computer.

- Google will release a desktop computer running Chrome OS.
- Chrome will overtake IE as the Number 1 browser.
- The Android App Store will overtake iOS in terms of number of apps.
- Android marketshare will drop.
- A new Nexus phone will be released in November (hopefully called the Nexus Prime, that was a great name) running Android 5.0

- Google will make a PC running Android.
- Will shut down Google+ due to lack of widespread adoption.

- Will release Windows 8, and gain at least a 20% marketshare in tablets by the end of the year. -Touchscreen PCs will become far more common. The ASUS Transformer form factor will be taken to an even greater length with a Windows 8 tablet being able to transition into a touchscreen notebook
- Windows Phone will see continued adoption and overtake Blackberry and Symbian.
- Microsoft will release the XBOX 720. just in time for the Christmas buying season.

- Will properly enter the social network business (so.cl doesn't count).

- Blackberry 10 will be too little, too late to save the company's phone business, and they will transition, much as IBM has done, into the services industry, providing security and encryption services to companies.
- It will sell its phone business to Google/Microsoft, who will implement features of the Blackberry OS into their mobile OS, as well as having a talent acquisition of keyboard designers, resulting in more qwerty slider/candybar phones.

- RIM will port BBM to other mobile platforms.
- Playbooks will be discontinued.

- More windows phones will be released, less half-hearted than the Lumia 800, especially when hardware requirements are loosened up in Apollo.

- They will release a colour e-Ink Kindle.
- The Kindle Fire will have a design change, fixing hardware issues and making it look less like a Playbook.

-Amazon will release a high-end, iPad-level tablet
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Apple - I don't think they're going to release a TV. I think they are going to perfect the Apple TV first. Most people have already bought the TV they're gonna stick with for a while. Jumping into the game now doesn't seem likely. I think we will see a 15" Macbook Air with better graphics.

We're gonna see tons of ultrabook. I predict that the vizio "thin and light" notebooks will do pretty well. They have distro deals with walmart and costco so we'll definitely see the average
consumer flock towards a product they can easily find at their local walmart. It doesn't look half bad either.


We're gonna see more and more 4.5''+ screen phones. I think this year WP7 is gain way more attention with the lumia. What I would like to see are more stock android devices.

Chances are that Apple will announce a new phone this summer.
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