But not everything I forecast last year was wrong. I guessed the stock values of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter would rise and fall. They did, if not in that order and heck, Twitter wasn't even listed back then! I did consider that Google or Amazon would rule the planet by this time this year, so I guess I was right after a fashion. Google didn't build the time machine I've been working on, or if they did I haven't noticed the temporal tear as they attempted to go back in time to invent Facebook. Or perhaps it was the other way around and the timeline has been rewritten. I guess I'll never know.
So what does 2014 hold in the tech world? Well we'll see the demise of the dedicated eReader. I've mentioned this a few times this last year, but this holiday season will be the last time significant amounts of these fine devices will be sold in quantity. The rise of tablet computing, with the attached benefits, has made the dedicated eReader all but redundant, especially as you can now buy basic tablets for under £50 and reasonably well specified models for just over £100. The trend is going to continue, we'll just accept the daily routine of charging our tablets and learning to read in the shade - a no brainer in the UK thanks to the clouds. There will be a small surge in sales of dedicated eReaders as companies holding stagnant stock offload them - that'll be me at the front of the queue making sure I've secured a spare for a knock down rate. Just in case the sun comes out.
Apple will have a crisis of confidence mid year when they realise that they are losing market share big time. They've translated a loyal and essentially niche customer base to the general population, not realising that real people are less forgiving than the long term Apple aficionados. To be fair, if they hadn't made such a mess of iOS 6 then upset nearly everyone with iOS7's new layout, they might have got away with it. But of course they still only provide one size of phone, two sizes of tablet and everyone knows they make over 65% of the product price as profit. Arrogant we can take, arrogant and greedy - taking the Michael surely? I know of people seemingly locked into the Apple environment seriously considering turning their backs on Apple next time they replace their tablet or phone - especially the phones with their outrageous lock in periods - aiming to adopt the cheaper and more varied Android devices. They'll probably keep their old Apple devices limping along to access the content they've bought on iTunes, but it's a slippy slope for Apple. If they're smart, and they do seem to be a bright bunch over there, they'll allow others to make devices that can run iOS, which might just turn sentiment around, but I doubt it. They've crashed and burned from a stellar position before and this time Steve Jobs won't be back to save them.
Google are going to have a rough year, along with Facebook. Normal people will start to realise that the NSA snooping on our emails to try and keep the majority of us safe from the evil minority is nothing compared to the shameless way these guys cut, dice and hawk our personal data. The Snowden scandal will have its second wind as journalists start to ask the real questions. Such as why Facebook saves the text we choose not to post. There's a background rumble about the way these organisations accumulate and sell on information about us, it could turn into a backlash this coming year. Of course we all accept that search engines and social media is here to stay, but expect alternatives to surface this coming year. Perhaps they'll have a model that doesn't involve stripping every piece of data out of us just for interacting with them.
Amazon will come under fire internationally as governments start to realise that the downside to a phenomenally successful company investing in their country is that it cuts the legs from underneath the small and medium sized traders who cannot compete with the likes of Amazon. When the politicians realise that Amazon employ less potential voters than they displace, and the tax revenues from the failed home-grown companies lost is greater than Amazon's less than generous tax avoided donations to the exchequer then things might get a little awkward.
So my forecast for next year is that between the people and their governments the excessively large players in the tech world will have a stormy ride. They'll survive it, of course, and may well come out stronger than ever. But I suspect there will be plenty to blog about this coming year.
If we don't meet before 2013 is out, have a happy New Year. Unless you're a tech giant.
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