Expect a Twitter backlash in 2013
PlayStation Vita also seem stuck in neutral. The 3DS did not take off the way Nintendo hoped, and despite some high-quality hardware, the Vita has not been a breakout hit. Games on mobile devices like phones and tablets seem to be where people’s eyes and thumbs are parked now.
Last year I said: Microsoft and Apple would face off for control of living room TV watching and Netflix would try again to get out of the DVD business.
What actually happened: We’re still waiting for Apple to introduce a TV set. Microsoft has expanded its TV offerings on Xbox 360 and Netflix, still an increasingly powerful player in streaming video, wisely kept its mouth shut about DVDs this year. The interesting shift has been companies like Roku offering Apple TV alternatives that are becoming increasingly popular and efforts by cable and satellite companies to offer more streaming video options. Even Nintendo’s Wii U is being touted as a new way to watch and buy TV and online video.
Last year I said: Facebook would continue to grow and have a recordsetting IPO. Live chats on Facebook would influence the presidential election.
What actually happened: Boy, was I wrong about Facebook’s IPO. It was much weaker than expected despite the company’s proven track record for making money on advertising. Facebook did grow past a billion users this year, but its influence as a water cooler destination has waned compared to Twitter, Buzzfeed and Reddit, which landed President Barack Obama for an “Ask Me Anything” chat with users in August.
Last year I said: Social media location check-ins would fade as Gowalla shuts down and Foursquare tried to figure out a way to shift to another kind of service.
What actually happened: Google, Facebook and even Foursquare itself have not been able to save the idea of checking in at locations to alert your friends or get discounts, an idea that feels passé. Instead, new ambient location apps like Highlight, which alert you to what’s around you without the need to check in, seem more like the future, even if they’re far from mainstream.
Last year I said: Wearable sensors would get cheaper and small enough to be worn all the time, tracking our fitness and sleeping habits.
What actually happened: Despite my disappointment in its actual performance, Nike’s FuelBand, which tracks your physical activity, appears to be a big success. Products like Fitbit and a redesigned Jawbone Up are drawing positive attention, and apps continue to improve to help us keep fit and recognize our daily patterns. It’s a trend that’s still on track.
Last year I said: Apple will introduce a 15” MacBook Air, as well as rede- signs of the iPod, the iPhone, iPad and iMac. Apple may roll out its own streaming music service under pressure from services like Spotify.
What actually happened: These were pretty easy ones to predict and all came true except the 15” Air. Apple did bring sharper screens with “Retina Display” technology to some of its pricier laptops. It introduced two new iPad models this year plus a smaller iPad Mini. Surprisingly, Apple still hasn’t created an iTunes monthly subscription service or announced any major moves in TV for 2012.
Not too bad! Now here’s five quick predictions for 2013:
Yes, an Apple TV: It may not be until the end of 2013, but Apple’s all but announced that it plans to get into the TV hardware market. It may take longer for Apple to get the details right than originally hoped, but expect an HDTV with Apple software built into it, finally, and for rivals like Roku, Boxee and perhaps even Amazon to try to get there first.
Amazon makes a big move: Emboldened by its success in e-readers and tablets, Amazon will try to extend its empire, perhaps with a smart phone (a dumb idea) or its own TV or online entertainment and TV channel (much smarter).
Social media shakeout: A big backlash against Twitter culture will take hold as people begin to get burned out on being constantly connected and many begin to abandon social media in search of less all-consuming ways to communicate. “I’m taking a Twitter break” will be an oftheard boast in 2013.
Microsoft’s worst year: Bad buzz on Windows 8, weak Surface tablet sales and a lack of adoption of its online Office products will lead to a huge run of bad luck for the software maker that will shake up its already shaken PC partners, too. Beware, HP, Dell, Acer and the rest.
Mobile wallet payments denied: Reality will catch up to the hype of mobile phone payments. Too many competing standards, confusing sign-up and hardware requirements for merchants and customers, and a nagging sense that this doesn’t make things much easier, more convenient or secure compared to paying for things with plain old plastic will continue to keep the mobile wallet concept from taking hold.
Got your own predictions? Share them with us on the Digital Savant blog at austin360.com/digitalsavant.