2006 Wrap Up. 2007 Predictions. (Part
29th December 2006
wildcard, Apple may or may not release its long-awaited
phone in 2007.. although the anticipated iPhone trademark
is owned by someone else.
However, Apple's entry into this market
has been rumoured for two years now, and although Apple
might well have made a splash back in 2005, any release
in 2007 will be up against tough competition and may
well be irrelevant.
We feel that Apple will only launch
into this market if it knows that it can succeed. 2005's
iTunes-compatible Motorola ROKR was a disaster, and
Apple knows that it must come up with something distinctive
if it tries for a slice of the mobile market.
Our bet is that Apple will squash any
hopes for an entry into this market and the "iPhone"
rumours will go away. But we're not betting our shirts
VK Mobile was a company that
we tipped would do well in 2006.. it collapsed under
the weight of its debts in the summer. Emblaze Mobile is
another company that didn't really get very far in 2006,
despite our predictions. Vitelcom/Grundig Mobile failed
to make any inroads. NEC quitely slipped off
the rader completely, but may well return in partnership
with Panasonic. HP made zero impact
in the smartphone market, and the PDA market has collapsed.
Similar issues face other PDA manufacturers who tried
to move into smartphones. Palm is an exception
to the rule and may well carve a niche in direct competition
to RIM and its BlackBerry range.
So.. what's next?
year we predicted that hard disks would fail
to make an impact and that QVGA (240x320 pixel)
resolution displays would become the standard for everything
except low end devices. We feel that we were correct
in that prediction, and this will hold true for 2007
with most devices stuck at 240x320 pixels with no real
We said that four megapixels
would be the standard for camera resolution, but in
fact most high end phones only go up to three megapixels,
so that didn't come to pass. Consumers are getting wise
to the megapixel count being meaningless without good
quality optics, so expect to see more work on lenses
and optical zoom mechanisms.
2007 will be a year in which over-the-air
digital TV will come to mobiles in one of a number of
different formats, including DAB TV and DVB-H.
Flat rate 3G will also be a hot topic after the
launch of 3's X-Series tariff.. our bet is that mobile
networks will resist this for as long as possible, and
then all fall into line at roughly the same time. Flat
rate 3G will also open the doors to Skype over 3G and
other low cost VOIP solutions.
GPS will find its way into more
phones, although this will still be a fledgling market.
Electronic Paper displays will find their
way into more phones. Power consumption will
become more of an issue as features are added, so expect
to see handsets designed for longevity rather than gadgets.
Colour variety has been important in 2006 and
will be more so in 2007.
That's it from Mobile Gazette in 2006.
We'd like to wish all our readers and subscribers a
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