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2007 Wrap Up. 2008 Predictions.

28th December 2007

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 Apple Apple

The biggest news of 2007 was the Apple iPhone - love it or hate it, you certainly can't ignore it. As a result of the iPhone, touchscreen phones started to become popular and manufacturers had a good, long look at their interfaces to make sure that they were as user friendly as possible.

Expect to see a 3G iPhone announced in the next couple of months, possibly at the Mobile World Congress in February. There's a good chance that the iPhone II will fix many of the other issues with the original iPhone. One question is: how easy will it be for iPhone owners to upgrade? Most iPhone users are locked into an 18 month contract, and will be frustrated if they can't upgrade to the latest version.

 Google Google

The long-rumoured Google Phone turned out to be just a rumour after all - Google was working with a number of other manufacturers to create the Open Handset Alliance and Android platform. Android handsets should be out in the second half of 2008, the impact they will have on the market is anyone's guess.

Google is involved in many other aspects of the mobile industry, from bidding for part of the radio spectrum in the US to finding ways to push advertising on mobile phones. Expect to see more of Google where you least expect it during 2008.

 Microsoft Windows Mobile Microsoft


Despite launching Windows Mobile 6, 2007 really hasn't been Microsoft's year. Cosmetically, Windows products compare poorly with the "iPhone generation" of user interfaces. Ironically, Microsoft has been able to champion the openness of the Windows platform, and there is no doubt that there is an impressive array of devices that Windows Mobile can run on.

Microsoft is being squeezed from several sides at once - the Linux-based Android environment, an improving Symbian platform and the consumer friendly iPhone all compete directly with Microsoft in the smartphone market.. and in the corporate environment, the BlackBerry range are proving difficult to beat.

It's unlikely that Microsoft will make a breakthrough into the consumer market in 2008, but improved integration with Microsoft's corporate offerings (such as Microsoft Exchange) should lead to a strengthening position in the business sector.

 Nokia Nokia

Nobody covers all the bases in the same way as Nokia - from the ultra-cheap Nokia 1200 to the massively sophisticated Nokia E90, Nokia's range is far broader than the competition - a fact that is reflected in its market share.

The Nokia N95 and N95 8GB are the phones that other manufacturers are trying to beat for their "flagship" devices. Nokia will want to keep the N-Series devices at the top of the pile, so you can expect to see something snazzier than the N95 (The N96?) announced in February.

Nokia will be moving forward with touchscreen smartphones during 2008, and this will help to overcome a key weakness in phones such as the N95 8GB which has a huge screen, but it isn't touch sensitive.

Expect to see more of Nokia's Linux-based Maemo platform too (as used in the N810). We've suspected for a long time that a future Maemo device will also have built-in telephony.. although Nokia will want to be careful not to compete too much with it's own Symbian S60 operating system.

Nokia are certainly on the right course for 2008, and we expect to see them end next year as the clear market leaders.

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