2008 Wrap-Up. 2009 Predictions.
31st December 2008
At the end of the year, it's nice to have a look
at some of the significant events in the mobile phone
industry during 2008.. and also to make so predictions
about what might happen next year. Are we going to be
right? Well, judging by last
year's predictions the answer is likely to be "sometimes!".
is a video version of this article here.
Predictions for 2009.
2009 will be a tough year for mobile phone
manufacturers. We can expect sales to drop and customers to look for
more value rather than better gadgets, reversing the trend of recent
years where sales have been on an ever-upward path.
manufacturers to slim down their product ranges and perhaps abandon
market segments where they cannot make a profit. Handsets are likely to
compete on value-for-money rather than technical wizardry, although
manufacturers will continue to show off new flagship phones during the
Apart from a proliferation of "value" phones, we also
expect to see manufacturers taking less risks with products - they will
want every launch to be a success, so hopefully we will see rather more
care taken with the design and testing of new handsets next year.
introduction of 8 megapixel camera phones in the second half of 2008
sparked off another round of megapixel wars. By the end of the year we
can expect to see some 10 megapixel devices with announcements perhaps
coming in February. We're still waiting for video capture rates to
catch up with our expectations - in our view all decent camera phones
should be able to capture 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second,
perhaps this actually will be normal during 2009.
displays have been the norm during 2008, higher resolution screens are
starting to appear on high-end phones. We expect to see VGA resolution
screens appearing on a few midrange phones by the end of the year.
and more handsets will feature GPS as costs come down, and geotagging
photographs will be a standard feature. Phones will not kill off
dedicated SatNav units for in-car navigation, but expect manufacturers
to come up with some clever location-based services to open up new
Most midrange phones now have HSDPA 3.5G support, by
the end of 2009 we should see HSUPA as a standard feature on all 3G
class devices. WiFi will also be much more common, by the end of 2009
we would expect most 3G phones to support WLAN connectivity.
TV has been something of a flop. Expect the roll-out of DVB-H to stall
as advertiser revenues dry up, a few handsets will feature DVB-T for
standard terrestrial TV signals.. but this is never going to be a
Social networking sites and web browsing are
increasingly important, so the overall quality of software will improve.
We think that software features will start to become more important
than hardware features during 2009, and the rate of hardware
development will begin to slow.