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2007 Wrap Up. 2008 Predictions. (Part 4)

28th December 2007

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 2007 2008 What's next?

At least some of our predictions for 2007 came true, but many didn't. Here are our best guesses for the shape of the mobile market in 2008.

2007 was the year that QVGA (240 x 320 pixel) screens became standard, in 2008 we expect to see VGA resolution (480 x 640 pixel) displays on high-end consumer phones. We didn't see much in the way of digital paper displays in 2007, but they should make a bigger impact in 2008 - and we might even see integrated projectors next year too. As we said earlier, expect to see many more touchscreen phones.. especially from Nokia and Motorola.

We predicted last year that over-the-air digital TV would become important in 2007, but it didn't.. perhaps 2008 will be better, and at least now the DVB-H standard has been set throughout Europe. To a large extent, DVB-H competes with HSDPA high-speed data for media delivery.. and HSDPA will become pretty much standard on all 3G phones by the end of 2008.

We think that the camera megapixel wars will quieten down during 2008 with the effective cap set at 5 megapixels, mostly due to limitations with the camera lens in most mobile phones. Instead, we think that manufacturers will concentrate more on video camera with 640 x 480 pixels at 30 fps being the standard on midrange by the end of 2008. Autofocus and flash will become standard on midrange phones too - handsets that lack these camera abilities will have a hard time in the marketplace. Despite this, there will probably be one or two eight megapixel phones by the end of 2008 as manufacturers show off a little.

GPS will only feature in very high-end phones in 2008, although we will see more GPS devices as manufacturers compete with the N95. Few phones can compete with a dedicated satellite navigation system for ease-of-use, and prices are dropping all the time - so in our view the standalone satnav will survive.

Software will get better - expect to see more polished user interfaces and cleverer applications that seamlessly share data with a PC. Here both Google and Apple will drive the quality of software forward, providing some much needed competition in the market.

Prices should remain steady, the Motorola FONE F3 comes in at just €35 or so SIM free and is even free for some prepay customers. Top-of-the-line phones will still cost up to €1000 SIM free. Manufacturers will continue to lengthen contract times in order to compensate for the cost of phones.

The Nokia 3110 Evolve perhaps indicates that environmental issues will make more of an impact during 2008. The manufacture and disposal of phones will be two areas where companies will have to make improvements during 2008, and consumers themselves will have to change their habits.

And Finally..

We'd like to thank all our readers during 2007, and we look forward to another interesting year in 2008. If you'd like to keep up with events, please remember to subscribe to our newsletter or RSS feed.

Happy New Year!

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