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I. "CarryAlongs" Dominate Global Computer Markets. This category of pads and slates takes its rightful place as the largest market segment of computing devices. Already the fastest-growing category for several years, the format and dominant market position comes to pass in 2013.
II. Intel: Long Live the King, the King is Dead. The chip royalty ladder is flipped, as Intel becomes increasingly irrelevant in the world of general computing, while CarryAlong and mobile chipmakers (led by Qualcomm and ARM) are the new William and Kate. For most observers, Intel in 2013 is a component supplier for servers. The best way out of this cul de sac: a new CEO with tech chops.
III. Net TV Dominates. A majority of US-based homes will have Net-connected TVs, with other developed nations quickly following as bandwidth allows. This change in distribution will begin to affect production in new and interesting ways, leading to more and cheaper content, of increasingly varying length and format. The straitjacket of Old TV slots, ads, and schedules is now off.
IV. The LTE vs. Fiber Battle Creates Regional Revolutions in Broadband. Customers choosing broadband LTE (Long Term Evolution) in DSL-served regions will be paying more and getting more; but those choosing LTE in fiber-served regions will be paying more for wireless broadband but getting less. The LTE vs. fiber fight will define the telecoms business-model battle for the coming decade. With LTE speeds scheduled to exceed cable and DSL wired speeds for many users, the question of price per MB will be inverted. Is it about MOB or MBS? This is the start of real revolutions in broadband pricing and provision.
V. Google Gets Its Mojo Back. Facebook is tired and nosy, Apple is Steve-less, Microsoft is Microsoft, and Amazon is the only other game in town. Google's efforts in email, video, smartphones, maps, and driverless cars open up new long-term expansion paths, with more to follow. With all its many failures, the company has proven it can find and plough new turf. In terms of creativity, Google becomes the next Apple. Now it must learn about product support or risk losing it all to competitors.
VI. The Driverless Car Becomes a Serious and Competitive Global Project, with multiple new states and countries passing laws to allow it, and major brands undertaking serious development of all the features that will one day lead to common acceptance. (Note: This prediction was written before Volvo's December 3 announcement.)
VII. e-Books Are The Books. Total e-book sales in dollars will beat adult paperback sales in 2013, and their differential growth rates will exceed 30%, as e-books continue their ramp toward dominating the entire market.
VIII. Enterprise IT Struggles to achieve very modest gains, with executive purchase decisions captured between large cash holdings, increased Asian competition, and their own poorly performing customers. Although "big data" is the marketing cry, vendors in this market will find a general reluctance to spend. 2013 looks like another defensive year, except for the security segment, with no serious enterprise Windows 8 adoption and not much else going on. The screws are already tightened.
IX. "Hacktivist" efforts acquire an important and permanent role in political transparency, moving from the level of annoyance to becoming an important, long-term part of the international political and security landscape. Nations and leaders hoping to hide the truth from their constituents will have to give up this option, paving the way for a new era in reluctantly open governments.
X. Supply Chain Security Becomes a Major Factor in Global Technology Purchases. Starting with the high-security risk offerings from Huawei, the feeling of cyber unease on the part of inventing nations grows, and has a material effect on vendor market share among countries that can afford to prioritize their infrastructure security over short-term price advantage. Recognition that today's supply chains are virtually all compromised will lead to plant relocations and a new set of business opportunities for onshore component makers.
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