2007 Wrap Up. 2008 Predictions.
28th December 2007
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.
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.
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.
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.
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